The Barbell Bench Pull
The barbell bench pull exercise, a variation of the barbell row, is a multijoint upper body exercise that can be performed by athletes and nonathletes for improving strength of the posterior shoulder girdle, back and elbow flexor muscles (1,2,4–7), and upper body pulling (1,2,4) and pushing (8) power. It has been commonly prescribed in “periodized” strength and conditioning programs for elite rowers, kayakers, sailors, swimmers, and rugby league players (1,2,4,5). It also has been used as an assessment of one repetition maximum (1-RM) upper body pulling strength and power (2,3,5,6,8–10). Because of its relative simplicity, it is considered a basic exercise that can be taught to novices; however, it can be an appropriately challenging exercise for more highly trained athletes and clients as well. Because of the strict nature of the exercise, proper teaching, posture, and exercise techniques are warranted. Lifters should be free of neck, shoulder and back pain, and those with a history of neck, shoulder, or back pain should consider an alternative exercise to the bench pull. The bench pull exercise is shown in Figure 1.
Ronai, P., & Taber, C. (2021). The barbell bench pull. ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal, 25(4), 33-36. doi: 10.1249/FIT.0000000000000683
ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal