T Nation

BB Row Form

Been doing these twice a week for a few weeks, working up to 110 kg for the top set of 13-15 reps.

I felt form was allright, but since taking a video of me doing them I’m not so sure. I feel it in my lats and mid-back, but should I be leaned over more than this? Most of the time my hams/glutes are sore from leg work when I do these so it gets difficult to hold the angle.

I personally lean over more and move the barbell to my stomach. The range of motion is greater when the body is bentover more. I feel them that way more, but if you are getting results this way then stick to it. You might want to just try out different ways and see which works best.

They’re fine. As long as your lower back doesn’t round and you’re hitting your backthickness without a ton of bicep involvement, you’re doing great.

Leaning over more isn’t all that feasible for many (flexibility, limb-lengths etc… Lean over too much and some just can’t keep their back arched). It involves the lats more imo, but doesn’t do any better for upper back thickness… And if you want lat-width, you’d do a different exercise anyway.
Whether the bar hits you in the stomach or not isn’t all that important either as long as your shoulders come back far enough (rather than keeping shoulders forward and only taking the elbows back all the way) etc.

Parallel to floor (sort of), starting with rounded uppper back and arched low back, then pulling off the floor with a dead stop between reps while arching the whole back when pulling up = Pendlay’s if I’m not mistaken… They can work well, too, but I think that they’re a bit too low-back intensive for people on a 3-way or so… Basically too much interference with leg work/deadlifting for me. If you can’t or don’t want to bend over that far, but still want to pull from a dead stop each time, just do them from the Pins in a rack or from aerobic steps or rubber blocks like you’d do when Rack Pulling.

Good to hear I’m in the clear! I’d hate to be ‘that guy’ humping 100 kgs and be thinking he’s the man-

That’s excactly what happens, I lose the arch and the back round halfway through the set when I go lower. I have very short legs and a long torso, so might be that.

Tried Pendlays a while back, didn’t give them much time but lower back definately didn’t like the way I did them.

Now, for the heaviest sets of 8-10 I do just as you described, Cephalic_Carnage, and set the bar at knee height in a rack. That way I can get 120 for 8 or so. Helps to ‘reset’ the back a little between the reps I feel, rather than relying on momentum. Duh. Dead stop :stuck_out_tongue:

Did 112,5x15 today, but at the last reps I felt a twinge in the lower back, so did seated pulley rows for the last two sets. Think I might do this more, especially as rest grows shorter on Big Beyond Belief.

[quote]Amonero wrote:
Good to hear I’m in the clear! I’d hate to be ‘that guy’ humping 100 kgs and be thinking he’s the man-

That’s excactly what happens, I lose the arch and the back round halfway through the set when I go lower. I have very short legs and a long torso, so might be that.

Tried Pendlays a while back, didn’t give them much time but lower back definately didn’t like the way I did them.

Now, for the heaviest sets of 8-10 I do just as you described, Cephalic_Carnage, and set the bar at knee height in a rack. That way I can get 120 for 8 or so. Helps to ‘reset’ the back a little between the reps I feel, rather than relying on momentum. Duh. Dead stop :stuck_out_tongue:

Did 112,5x15 today, but at the last reps I felt a twinge in the lower back, so did seated pulley rows for the last two sets. Think I might do this more, especially as rest grows shorter on Big Beyond Belief.

[/quote]

If you have any kind of HammerStrength row, use it. BBB probably gives you more than enough low-back involvement already…

I have the Iso-Lateral Low Row, which has a strange line of pull I think…

The low row always feel like more of a Haney type shrug, side row.

The barbell row is one of those exercises where you have to be the judge of how loose you want form to be. Personally, I like to start every rep from the floor, making it more or less like a deadlift. You will have to use some extension in the posterior chain to get it moving, which is part of the movement.

You have to be the judge on how upright you allow yourself to be as teh range of motion shortens the higher you go. For me proper form is always off the floor and up to the xyphpoid process. You pull from a dead stop on the floor everytime doing it this way.

Personally, I think your set looked a bit rushed and range of motion was kinda compromised. I do love barbell rowing and am by NO means an expert, and I agree that video taping form can be very insightful. Here’s a video I took of me a few months ago. Since then I’ve lowered the weight significantly and working my way up with tighter form. Regardless, I try to have each rep have a somewhat controlled eccentric and an explosive concentric.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79XyBuWgEiM

PS: the end is an inside joke between the BOI guys haha.

I now have trap envy.

Seems like we’re rocking different ways, you’re leaning a bit back when you pull, I rock a bit forward.Your grip also seems a bit narrower, whereas I grip the bar about 2/3 towards the marks in the OLY bar. I’ll play around with different grips and see which one…Shit, that just sounded wrong.

Never used a belt either, do you feel it helps with keeping position?

i find pendelay rows actually save my lower back due to less TUT for the erectors.

[quote]bugeishaAD wrote:
Personally, I think your set looked a bit rushed and range of motion was kinda compromised. I do love barbell rowing and am by NO means an expert, and I agree that video taping form can be very insightful. Here’s a video I took of me a few months ago. Since then I’ve lowered the weight significantly and working my way up with tighter form. Regardless, I try to have each rep have a somewhat controlled eccentric and an explosive concentric.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79XyBuWgEiM

PS: the end is an inside joke between the BOI guys haha.[/quote]

LOL, I forgot about that clip. Funny shit.

Since everyone on this post has put up sum gr8 info, i wont say much but i recommend you really try to pull till the bar makes contact with the hip/torso area. I don’t know how much warm up sets you do before you put up the 115 kgs, but you can probably get away without bio-mechanically contracting maximally if you did so on all your previous and ascending sets (for example; set 1-make contact to torso,set 2 make contact, set 3 ATTEMPT to make contact, set 4 attempt to make contact even if your body cannot) the reason i make this recommendation is; even if you do not complete the full range of movement in your Heavy set, you can still get the benefits of doing so if your “warm up and amp up” sets were done this way.
and as for your positioning, yeah; just like CC said earlier, you are at a great angle already, especially for some back thickness, that is, if you are drawing in the scapuli (shoulder blades) together. And yes I absolutely do agree that leaning over more (especially with a wider grip) brings more lats into the movement as opposed to back thickness such as; rhomboids, teres major-minor,the whole trapezious complex all that good stuff.
Well, that was my 2 cents on the subject, if i explained anything that didn’t make much sense just shoot me a question to correct myself, im on a meal break at work so i was kinda rushed.peace.

Is there a benefit to doing rows from a platform to keep your back parallel to the floor (if you can)?

maybe to prevent using your body to force the reps? im not sure if it makes that big of a difference. i cant get myself parallel because of a bad lower back. maybe its just me, but it seems like a lot of guys really force the weight using their legs and momentum when doing bent over bb rows. i agree with hypertophd completely, i couldnt put it any better than that. really gotta squeeze your scapulae together and pull more with your back than your biceps, legs, etc.

[quote]aspengc8 wrote:
Is there a benefit to doing rows from a platform to keep your back parallel to the floor (if you can)?[/quote]

yeah, the parallel 90 degree animal is great as well, with this position though you will change up the target areas significantly by where you traject the bar. if your trying to “pound up” that upper back which is everything between the delts, under your head and above the middle of the back. take a slightly wider that shoulder width grip and pull till the bar makes contact with any area above the nipple or neck, hell, you can even pull to the nose area. you’ll notice that because of the mechanics of the movement you will be forced to pull very light weight here, i suggest learning with the bar alone. for a side note, while bent over; try to keep your belly on your thighs to keep a good center of gravity and stability.

    if you're more into the big lats (and here is a big benefit of the platform) hold the stretch position for a second or 2 or 3, with your chest up and shoulders kinda rounded, this will create a nice "stretch reflex contraction" and really "wake up" your lats. the barbell path will have to travel to your ab area for this method.
well, to go back to your original question, is there benefit to the platform? yeah taking advantage of the stretch reflex and greater range of motion.

[quote]waylanderxx wrote:

[quote]bugeishaAD wrote:
Personally, I think your set looked a bit rushed and range of motion was kinda compromised. I do love barbell rowing and am by NO means an expert, and I agree that video taping form can be very insightful. Here’s a video I took of me a few months ago. Since then I’ve lowered the weight significantly and working my way up with tighter form. Regardless, I try to have each rep have a somewhat controlled eccentric and an explosive concentric.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79XyBuWgEiM

PS: the end is an inside joke between the BOI guys haha.[/quote]

LOL, I forgot about that clip. Funny shit.[/quote]

Same, I LOL’d again. Can’t wait for finals to be over so more parody vids will be made! lol

For the OP - I agree with what bug said. The whole set looked rather rushed but form didn’t look bad.

Hmm, I’ve always done BB rows with my upper body parallel to the floor because that’s the first way I’d ever seen them done in my first workout book. I’ve always wondered how peoples barbell row #'s were so high, especially those with less than impressive back development (just a general statement, not talking about anyone in particular).

[quote]kingbeef323 wrote:
Hmm, I’ve always done BB rows with my upper body parallel to the floor because that’s the first way I’d ever seen them done in my first workout book. I’ve always wondered how peoples barbell row #'s were so high, especially those with less than impressive back development (just a general statement, not talking about anyone in particular).[/quote]

If you look up Yates Row - it was his version…basically a bit more upright, underhand grip…supposed to pull into the lower abdomen and squeeze at the top.

But basically - being a bit more upright helps to stop the lower back from becoming the limiting factor, and after all, the goal is to build upper back thickness.

I’ve been doing them more upright lately with a decent bit of body english and hit 385x8 (underhand grip) on my last session…but am going to lower weight down to around 315 next session and try to use no body english and really hold the squeeze at the top. I like to switch back and forth between the 2 styles.

Since switching to traditional rows my back has responded somewhat.(I have always had a pretty narrow back). Maybe I wasn’t doing them correctly but Yates rows always seemed to hit my traps more than my lats. After getting some advice in this forum, I switched to 45 degree rows. I go lower on occasion but then it seems to hit my middle back more. Of course the weights I handle are pretty light.