How Gorilla Rows Seriously Build Your Posterior Chain

gorilla rows

Build that massive back with gorilla rows.

Building our backs can be a challenge but exercises like gorilla rows are perfect for giving us that increased strength and size we need most. Our backs are an important part of our body and work to provide postural and structural support as well as increasing our ability to perform a number of exercises and movements. By putting an emphasis on our backs, we work to better improve our gains so we see results we want most.

The best part about gorilla rows are that they require minimal equipment and are easy to perform. This allows you to create a workout that is versatile and convenient so you never have to worry about being pressed for time. Our busy schedules often interfere with our workout routines but by putting an emphasis on the right exercises, we better set ourselves up for increased success.

Let’s take a look at gorilla rows and see what this exercise is all about. From what it is, to muscles worked, the many benefits of them, and how best to perform them, by the end of this, you will have a complete guide into this incredible exercise. All of your gains are important and knowing just how to better tackle them can be beneficial for your overall performance.

gorilla rows

What Are Gorilla Rows?

Gorilla rows are a great compound exercise to really give your posterior chain an effective workout. By working to build overall lat development, you also get great work done with other upper body muscles to increase overall strength and size as well. Perfect for functional and sport specific movements, this exercise is relatively easy to perform, this exercise can take your gains to the next level. Great to use with kettlebells or even dumbbells, these are the only equipment pieces you need to perform this exercise.

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Muscles Worked

As a compound movement, gorilla rows work a number of muscles, which will build serious strength and size. Your lats are one of the primary muscles targeted and gorilla rows can add to that serious width. Your traps, rhomboids, and delts will get some work done as well as your biceps and forearms resulting from the increased need for stronger grip.

Of course, your spine will be worked and keeping good form is obviously very important but it is your core that can really work to boost stability and offer support. Gorilla rows are a highly effective compound movement that is perfect for seeing serious gains start to unfold.

gorilla rows

Benefits Of Gorilla Rows

The benefits of gorilla rows are hard to ignore and for those looking to increase strength and size in their back, these are highly effective. Plus, with the other muscles worked, you get a great compound movement to help you tackle any and all of those strength wants and needs.

Benefits of gorilla rows include:

  • Great lat builder: An effective lat builder, gorilla rows work well for building up your pulling movements and increasing width for a larger aesthetic.
  • Increased upper body strength: By working your upper body muscles as an effective compound movement, you really build nice upper body strength and size with your other muscles (1).
  • Functional and sport specific: These exercises are perfect for building functional strength for everyday movement as well as sport specific actions for your respective sport (2).
  • Easy to perform: Gorilla rows are relatively easy to perform one you get a hang of the movement and how it will work.
  • Good core work: Relying on your core for real stability, your core will feel a burn and you will build better strength for overall support and stability (3).
  • Plenty of variations: This exercise offers many variations for you to still see great gains while diversifying your workout.
  • Limited equipment: With gorilla rows, you barely need any equipment. All you need are a set of weights, with kettlebells being easier.

How To Perform This Exercise

Here are the steps for performing gorilla rows:

  1. Place two kettlebells or dumbbells in front of you with your desired weight of choice. Your feet will be a bit wider than hip width apart.
  2. Bending your knees slightly, hinge forward and grab the handles. Engage your core and make sure your spine is in a neutral position.
  3. When ready, bring one of the weights up towards your hip as if you were performing a dumbbell row-type movement.
  4. Lower that weight to the floor and repeat with the other side. Gently lower that weight back down to the floor.
  5. Repeat for your desired number of sets and reps.


Gorilla Rows Alternative Exercises

As mentioned before, there are many alternatives you can try to mix up your workouts and give you a break from gorilla rows without sacrificing any gains. Some awesome alternative exercises to gorilla rows are:

  1. Single-Arm Rows
  2. Dumbbell Rows
  3. Pendlay Rows
  4. Renegade Rows
  5. Plank Rows
  6. Towel Grip Inverted Rows

Best Exercises To Pair With Gorilla Rows

For those looking to increase their gains, pairing the right exercises together can make all the difference for you. Dumbbell rows are nice to add with gorilla rows for they both work similar muscles but differently, giving you the ability to push through fatigue and increase growth. Also, the barbell deadlift and farmer’s walks are great to pair with it and will really enhance your back day routine for the better.

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Wrap Up

Gorilla rows are a great exercise to add to your routine and for those looking to enhance lat development and overall upper body gains, look no further than gorilla rows. Able to provide for serious benefits and give you the best chance at a wider aesthetic, it’s no wonder why people have turned to gorilla rows for all their posterior chain needs. Easy to perform with minimal equipment required, gorilla rows are versatile and convenient to help you see serious gains. Place these into your back day routine and see what they can do for you today.

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*Images courtesy of Envato


  1. Kak, H.; et al. (2013). “A Study of Effect of the Compound Physical Activity Therapy on Muscular Strength in Obese Women”. (source)
  2. Weiss, T.; et al. (2010). “Effect of Functional Resistance Training on Muscular Fitness Outcomes in Young Adults”. (source)
  3. Hibbs, A.; et al. (2008). “Optimizing performance by improving core stability and core strength”. (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.