Comparison of electromyographic activity when performing an inverted row with and without a suspension device


This study determined the extent of electromyographic (EMG) activity of the latissimus dorsi (LD), middle trapezius (MT), posterior deltoid (PD), and biceps brachii (BB) while performing the inverted row (IR) with and without a suspension training (ST) device. Eleven men and 4 women participated in this study. Each subject performed 4 repetitions of the IR with and without a ST device while EMG activity was recorded for each of the studied musculature. There were no significant differences in EMG activity of the LD, MT, and PD between each exercise (P>0.05). However, EMG activity of the BB was significantly greater (P<0.05) with the IR compared to the suspension inverted row (SIR). The results of this study demonstrated no significant differences in the selected musculature of the posterior chain (i.e., LD, MT, and PD) between the IR and the SIR. Therefore, it appears that the ST device provided a suitable alternative to traditional equipment (e.g., a Smith machine) when targeting the posterior musculature analyzed in this study with the IR. However, BB activity was significantly lower when performing the IR with the ST device compared to the traditional approach.

Document Type



EMG, Exercise, Inverted row, Suspension training

Publication Date


Journal Title

Journal of Exercise Physiology Online