How Banded Rows Work For Muscle Growth & Rehab

banded rows

Banded rows can work to aid in growth and recovery by acting as a versatile exercise.

We all know those massive lifts that work to strengthen our back and aid in shoulder development, but other exercises, like banded rows, may be overlooked for they aren’t as massive. While dumbbell rows or cable rows, or any real pulling motion for that matter, can greatly affect your gains, it should be said that you want a quality workout to see that back growth you want most. Banded rows use resistance bands which are great tools when looking to optimize growth and recovery and while this exercise may not seem as beneficial, banded rows can do you some good.

By working with resistance bands, you give yourself a great chance to build muscle and improve your range of motion by working both flexibility and mobility. Building better mind-muscle connection also allows for more effective gains and the ability to get your body in sync with your mind. Great tools to use for pre-, mid- or post-workout routines, you can’t go wrong with a great set of resistance bands.

Let’s take a look at banded rows and see what this exercise is all about. From what it is, to muscles worked, the benefits around it, and how to perform it, this exercise can greatly affect your health and performance by maximizing training and performance.

banded rows

What Are Banded Rows?

Banded rows are a great exercise using resistance bands as opposed to free weights to work for a number of benefits including scapular retraction, shoulder rotation, shoulder extension, and all around better posterior movements. Working to train your shoulders and upper back, the benefit of using resistance bands can greatly affect all that you do when it comes to both growth and recovery (1), working those muscles for increased hypertrophy, while also providing light enough weight if you choose to work for more rehab.

Muscles Worked

When it comes to the banded row exercise, many upper body muscles will see work done as you look progress in terms of training and performance. Your rear delts and rhomboids will help with any and all things related to your shoulders and your lats will feel a nice burn being a larger muscle. Given it is a pulling movement, your biceps may get some work done and your abs will be necessary to keep you grounded and stable during the movement.

banded rows

Benefits Of Banded Rows

Banded rows may seem not worthy of taking your time in the gym but when it comes down to it, you need all the variety you can get. Performing the same old workouts just gets boring and can be so monotonous. Looking to those exercises that can add diversity while still aiding in growth and gains should not be overlooked by what you think their image is.

Benefits of banded rows include:

  • Stronger back: Working your back will be only increase growth for any pulling movement or big lift that comes along (2).
  • Better shoulder development: With your shoulders acting as principal movers for this exercise, they will see some development as you look build good strength and size.
  • Protect against injury: If a muscle group or certain spot feels weak, using banded rows can work to protect an unfortunate injury that may arise.
  • Help with rehab: For those looking to perform lighter movements as a part of a rehab routine, look into resistance bands (3).
  • Add variety: Putting this exercise into your routine can add nice variety to your workouts so you see the gains you want most without the boredom.

How To Perform Them

Here are the steps for performing the banded rows:

  1. Place the resistance band around a fixed point and either sit on the floor or stand.
  2. Holding the handles in front of you, set yourself into an athletic position and engage your core and lats.
  3. When ready, pull the bands towards your body, really giving a squeeze as you get closer.
  4. Slowly return to the starting position, maintaining a good posture and engaged core.
  5. Repeat for your desired number of reps.

If seated, another option is to wrap the band around your feet and perform the same movement as above.

banded rows

Featured Resistance Bands For Banded Rows

When it comes to this exercise in the banded rows, having quality resistance bands can greatly influence all your gains, especially a set that can work for both muscle growth and rehab (4). While exercise equipment like dumbbells, kettlebells, and barbells can certainly increase strength, and others like foam rollers can work to better your recovery, it’s important to know that resistance bands can do both and should not be overlooked as an effective tool.

Serious Steel Fitness 32’’ Resistance Training Bands

Serious Steel Fitness 32’’ Resistance Training Bands are perfect for strength training and mobility goals. Ranging from 2-200lbs., these bands are portable, functional, and high quality.

Serious Steel Fitness 32’’ Resistance Training Bands offer next level resistance training to improve your overall strength and mobility goals. These bands range from 2 lbs. to 200 lbs. and are made from 15 layers of continuous latex. Portable and functional, you can take these anywhere be it at home or in the gym. Offering 32’’ and a high quality resistance band, Serious Steel has done a great job with this product so you can maintain tension and have a full range of motion throughout your entire workout.

Price: $21.90

Check out our list of the Best Resistance Bands for more great growth and recovery products!

Wrap Up

Banded rows may seem unnecessary but for those looking to add in an exercise that can work both growth and recovery gains, this is it. What banded rows can do are really work for your benefit by working to strengthen your back, provide for better shoulder development, and offer a nice recovery exercise if need be. A quality set of resistance bands is worth the money so definitely look into investing in a set as you look to take your workouts to the next level.

Let us know what you think in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

*Images courtesy of Envato


  1. Lopes, J.; Machado, A.; Micheletti, J.; Almeida, A.; et al. (2019). “Effects of training with elastic resistance versus conventional resistance on muscular strength: A systematic review and meta-analysis”. (source)
  2. Fenwick, C.; Brown, S.; McGill, S. (2009). “Comparison of different rowing exercises: trunk muscle activation and lumbar spine motion, load, and stiffness”. (source)
  3. Iversen, V.; Vasseljen, O.; Mork, P.; Gismervik, S.; et al. (2018). “Resistance band training or general exercise in multidisciplinary rehabilitation of low back pain? A randomized trial”. (source)
  4. Bergquist, R.; Iversen, V.; Mork, P.; Fimland, M. (2018). “Muscle Activity in Upper-Body Single-Joint Resistance Exercises with Elastic Resistance Bands vs. Free Weights”. (source)
Austin Letorney
Austin Letorney is a writer, actor, and fitness enthusiast. As a former rower, he has shifted his focus to sharing his knowledge of the fitness world and strength sports with others.