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Barbell Bent Over Rows


I would like to pose the question to all BB's, Crossfitters, Pl'ers who do barbell bent over rows.

I've seen people do them at at 70 degree angle

and I've seen some do it all the way bent over.

I've done them both ways and I can pull more at the higher angle. Which way is the correct way or is it just a variation to hit the back at different angles? In other words, will one way build overall mass better?


here's how i do them. i take a wider than shoulder width grip. i'm sure to keep my lower back from rounding and i pull the weight back into my gut. i think you should do them in a way that lets you use as much weight as possible while still protecting the lower back without a huge amount of swing. this is a mass builder and a little body english is expected. those that believe in slow reps with "perfect" form are always small and weak.


Well, if you would call the one that's all the way bent over 90 degrees, then the first one is 20 degrees.

But if you want to call the one that's all the way bent over zero degrees, then the 70 degree figure would match up.

Anyway they are different exercises. At 90 degrees, there is more stretch and further range of motion. There is more load on the lower back. The bar is also pulled to a different finishing position (higher up.) At the 20 degree angle, the reverse is true. More weight can be used.




i have to do mine at a bigger angle because my lower back is fucked. the biggest thing you need to worry about is your back health. like everyone else said, the more bent over you are, the more stress on your lower back. make sure you're not using your legs to complete reps and your pulling your elbows in towards your body, really squeezing your back muscles when pulling. of course, everyone lifts different.


I do them Dorian Yates style [with the supinated grip] although body angle would be more like the first you tube video linked or similar to meats' video. I can I see have a ways to go to catch up to those rows though, wowza!


Impressive rowing! My back angle is very similar. I tried switching to higher angles after watching Dorian do them but they never felt right.


What kind of backwards geometry is this?

EDIT: Nevermind, I see how you're approaching this. I was thinking standing straight up was 180 degrees.


I've yet to see a person call doing fully bent over bent rows as being at "zero degrees" but it gets called 90 degrees all the time. In other words, bent 90 degrees from normal standing position. By that method of reckoning, the Yates row is bending 20 degrees.

If a person's not bent over at all, most would call that being bent zero degrees, not 90 degrees as would follow if we call the Yates angle "70 degrees."

Also if as you suggest one called a not bent at all row "180 degrees," then the style in that first video, the Yates angle, wouldn't be 70 degrees. It would be 160. So that would be an odd argument to support the figure of 70.


I do mine from the floor on each rep. I am about halfway bent over- about like Maraudermeat is in his video. This style complements my goals (going heavy) and my build (short back, long legs, long arms). I don't sweat technique on these. It's a compund training lift that is all about going heavy.


I tend to do them higher as well. Less stress on the low back and lets you move more weight. If you're doing them right, you'll feel it the next day, and like one other dude said, it's a mass builder- strict form isn't something I'd worry about (aside from being careful about the back).


Do both and get huge. Thats what Im doing. Im finding that the form, for me, changes from more strict (bent over) to more upright as I fatigue.



this is now considered a Pendlay Row is it not? why it now has a name and it didnt a while ago...


Not sure. I thought with Pendlay Row, you used an underhand grip (which would probbaly require much lower poundage)- but I've no clue to be certain


I've always called a barbell row from the floor a Pendlay Row (I love them btw), dunno what the story is with grip. I always assumed it was overhand!

I guess you could differentiate by calling one a Pendlay Row and the other a Yates Pendlay Row?? :s


If you want to use some big weight but are worried about the back try braced or chest supported rows. Its the same thing but put your chest up against an adjust able bench. dont lay against it just put your chest on the top. then you can get the nice horizontal angle and use way more weight going on. the best part is that you are less limited by your lower back fatiguing.



I needed an abacus and a goniometer to follow that post.

More lifting, less math.


Thanx, that added something

In future everyone will be sure to write either "bent over a little," "bent over a lot," or "bent over maybe halfways" so as to not be so mind-boggling for you.

Heaven forbid 2 people should, in a thread, have a relevant discussion that didn't interest you or you found too tough. Your complaint is a valuable contribution.


that there is what we funny people like to call dry humor.


I don't care who you are, your form sucks ass... Either way, you're still strong...

Rows, either pendlay style, bent style, whatever, should never be done with momentum. You are not trying to train your lower back dynamically. This movement should be done super strict, cause after all, you're trying to add mass on your upper back. Let us think of it this way, many people consider barbell curls to be one of the best exercises to build your biceps, and yet, none of these people recommend any "body english". Same thing with rows. They should be done strict, and the only type of action that your posterior chain should be involved with is isometric, NOT DYNAMIC!

...Even though you gave out a crappy advice, you're still one of the strongest people ever! You're still awesome so please don't worry.