TRX Rows Muscles Worked

TRX Rows Muscles Worked

Written by Ben Bunting: BA, PGCert. (Sport & Exercise Nutrition) // British Army Physical Training Instructor // S&C Coach.


If you're looking to strengthen your back and improve your posture, you may be considering TRX rows or traditional rows.

TRX rows are a popular exercise that targets multiple muscle groups in the upper body.

By using suspension straps, this exercise engages the back, shoulders, and arms, helping to improve strength and posture.

In this article, we will explore the specific muscles worked during TRX rows and discuss the benefits of incorporating this exercise into your fitness routine. 

What are TRX rows and traditional rows?

TRX rows are a type of exercise that involves using suspension straps to perform a rowing motion.

This exercise primarily targets the muscles in the upper body, including the back, shoulders, and arms.

By pulling your body weight towards the straps, you engage the muscles in your back, particularly the latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, and trapezius.

Additionally, the muscles in your shoulders, such as the deltoids, and the muscles in your arms, such as the biceps and forearms, are also activated during TRX rows.

Incorporating TRX rows into your fitness routine can help improve your upper body strength, posture, and overall muscular endurance.

TRX rows and traditional rows are both exercises that target the muscles in your back, but they are performed in different ways.

Traditional rows, are performed using a barbell or dumbbells, where you bend over with a straight back and pull the weight towards your chest.

Both exercises engage the muscles in your back, but the way they are performed and the equipment used can have an impact on their effectiveness.

Benefits of TRX rows for building a strong back

TRX rows are a highly effective exercise for building a strong back.

One of the main benefits of TRX rows is that they engage multiple muscle groups at once, including the muscles in your back, shoulders, and arms.

This means that you are able to work multiple muscles in a single exercise, making it more efficient and effective for building strength.

Additionally, TRX rows require you to stabilize your body using your core muscles, which further enhances the effectiveness of the exercise.

By consistently incorporating TRX rows into your workout routine, you can strengthen your back muscles, improve your posture, and enhance your overall upper body strength.

Benefits of traditional rows for building a strong back

Traditional rows are another effective exercise for building a strong back.

While they may not engage as many muscle groups as TRX rows, they still target the muscles in your back, shoulders, and arms.

Traditional rows can be performed with dumbbells, barbells, or resistance bands, allowing for variations in resistance and intensity.

This exercise also allows for a greater range of motion compared to TRX rows, which can help to further strengthen and develop the muscles in your back.

Loaded TRX Reach Row

The Loaded TRX Reach Row is a powerful workout that challenges core muscles in the middle and lower back.

It can be difficult to do with a 5-pound dumbbell, but it builds muscles in the mid-back and glutes. To perform the exercise, sit on a flat surface with your feet flat on the TRX and knees bent.

Hold the handle of the TRX with your left hand and the dumbbell in your right. Squeeze your shoulder blades to ensure that the muscles in the mid-back are being worked.

When using the TRX, it's important to engage the muscles in your back, including the rhomboids.

To do this, lean back and bend your elbows, transferring your body weight upward. Hold this position for two seconds, exhaling and repeat. Repeat this motion as often as possible, to develop the desired muscles in your upper back.

When using the TRX, reverse flyes are another great way to work the muscles in the back. They engage the posterior deltoids, middle trapezius, and rhomboids.

In addition, they are a great postural exercise. You can modify the exercise to fit your fitness level and goals.

This suspension trainer is lightweight and easy to transport. It's also adjustable, allowing you to hit different muscle groups and positions.

However, the TRX row is challenging for people with weak core muscles, weak grip strength, or unstable shoulders. In general, most people can safely perform the TRX row.

The TRX suspension straps are adjustable for a higher level of difficulty. Start by positioning yourself at about 15cm off the floor.

Then, hook your feet into the straps. Then, lean back until your arms are extended. Maintain this position for one second, and then repeat the motion.

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What Muscles Are Worked With TRX Rows?

When you perform TRX rows, you should keep your shoulders away from your ears. Then squeeze your shoulder blades together.

This will help you develop your upper body and strengthen your arms.

Your muscles will feel a lot of tension and work harder if you can maintain this position throughout the entire exercise.

TRX rows are an excellent exercise for targeting multiple muscle groups in the upper body. The primary muscles worked during TRX rows include the latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, rear deltoids, and trapezius.

These muscles are responsible for pulling your body weight towards the suspension straps and are essential for a strong and defined back.

Additionally, the muscles in your shoulders, such as the deltoids, are also engaged during this exercise, helping to improve shoulder stability and strength.

Finally, the muscles in your arms, including the biceps and forearms, are activated as you pull yourself up towards the straps.

By incorporating TRX rows into your fitness routine, you can effectively target and strengthen these muscle groups, leading to improved upper body strength, posture, and overall muscular endurance.

The Latissimus Dorsi Explained

The Lattissimus Dorsi (LD) is one of the largest muscles in your back, but can easily become injured without proper warming up or by using poor technique.

Therefore, it's crucial that a variety of back exercises be performed regularly in order to strengthen this muscle group while providing enough rest and recovery between exercise sessions to avoid overtraining.

This muscle has multiple origin points, such as the scapula (shoulder blade), spine and upper ribs. Its innervation comes courtesy of the thoracodorsal nerve (C6-C8) which starts on its costal surface and enters near subscapular artery.

Further arteries that provide blood include subscapular, humeral arteries as well as perforating arteries of lumbar intercostal and thoracic paraspinous segments.

When contracted, the latissimus dorsi extends and adducts the arm, pulling it toward either the body or towards one side from its position at an angle.

Additionally, it medially rotates humerus at shoulder joint while drawing in inferior angle of scapula downwards and backwards - working alongside other shoulder rotator muscles such as deltoid.

Rhomboids Explained

Rhomboids are the muscles found between your shoulder blades and spine (scapular retraction).

Rhomboids Major Rhomboids major are two broad quadrilateral muscles located between two to five of the upper thoracic vertebrae that attach at their spinous processes and insert onto the medial border of the scapula.

The rhomboids run obliquely between its superior angle and spine of scapula extending obliquely inferolaterally between superior angle of scapula and spine of scapula, contributing to its downward rotation while functioning as functional antagonists to serratus anterior.

Their purpose is to elevate and downwardly rotate the medial border of the scapula with respect to the glenohumeral joint; working in concert with levator scapulae muscle in elevating and fixing scapula to thoracic vertebrae.

Additionally acting synergistically with inhibited trapezius muscle in down-ward rotating of scapula.

Rhomboids, while crucial for shoulder movement and stability, aren't often targeted when training them due to being superficial muscles that can easily get covered up by larger back muscles like lats.

As a result, they are difficult to see or identify due to being dwarfed by more prominent trapezius muscles when seen from the side.

Strengthening the rhomboids is vital, and they respond best to high volume exercises with short periods of time under tension.

Trapezius Explained

The trapezius (traps) muscle is a large triangular fan-shaped muscle running from your skull's base, along the spine's upper, middle and lower portions.

The traps assist with rotation, extension, tilting of shoulders and tilting neck movements, raising and lowering arms when lifting heavy objects or changing direction of movement of shoulders or neck.

Most people know this muscle for its role in shrugging shoulders.

However, its main function is elevating your shoulder girdle (including collar bones and shoulder blades) when contracted, rotating your neck, helping pull shoulders back away from ears ("unshrug") as well as stabilising neck movements such as bending or twisting of body.

Muscle pain in the trapezius region may be triggered by poor posture, such as sitting for too long at a desk. 

Rear Deltoid Explained

Rear Deltoids begin in the spine of your scapula (shoulder blade), and insert into your humerus (upper arm bone).

They play an essential role in balanced shoulder strength and stability, acting alongside other key muscle groups like Scapula Retractors/Traps to reduce shoulder hunching.

By strengthening Rear Deltoids you can avoid this by maintaining strong healthy posture and supporting balanced strength across both shoulders. 

They provide extension and external rotation - essential elements in creating balanced shoulders from all perspectives when viewed from front, side or rear view; developing them further differentiates upper back/trap muscle activity from shoulders.

Rear deltoids are active participants in pulling movements such as lat pull-downs.



TRX rows are bodyweight pulling exercises designed to strengthen back, shoulder and core muscles.

Their unique feature allows users to alter its difficulty by changing the angle of their torso; when this angle approaches parallel with the ground, its challenge increases accordingly - ideal for beginners who can start off slowly before progressing as their strength does.

TRX rows can help anyone looking to improve their posture, especially those suffering from rounded shoulders or weak upper back muscles, strengthen them while working the shoulder stabilizers to provide greater stability and avoid injury.

In fact, TRX rows make an excellent companion exercise to chest-focused movements like bench presses and dumbbell shoulder presses.

TRX Row works all of your major muscle groups: Latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, trapezius and rear deltoids are targeted.

In addition, your core muscles are engaged to maintain body stability throughout. Furthermore, performing row using TRX presents unique challenges to shoulders due to its instability.

To utilize TRX row in your workouts, the optimal way is to hang from its handles and pull yourself upward, or "row." This will engage all major muscle groups in your back, core, and shoulders while developing balance and coordination needed for more advanced movements such as deadlifting.

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