T Nation

Bent over barbell rows

When doing a bent over barbell row does it matter if you pull to the upper, middle chest area or the pelvic area?
Most articles regarding this exercise say to bring the barbell to the lower stomach region? Why is this?

Also does it make a differance if you use an overhand grip vs an underhand grip?

as far as grip goes if you use an underhand grip you will hit the biceps more.

the lower you pull the bar the lower you will feel it in your lats, the higher you go the more you will bring those traps into play. just experiment and try to feel the diff.

I am not an expert in exercise science, but I think if you pull to the upper chest you should be careful because you are adding extra pressure on the lower back (because the weight is further out in front of you).

I am an avid rower, and I bring the weight to the solar plexus, with a medium grip.

I find underhanded grip rows uncomfortable and awkward, and the overhand grip is effective for me, so I never tried too hard to explore it further.

Here’s the deal:

Pulling to the stomach forces your elbows in. The emphasis increases on the lats and lessens on the rear delts and upper back. Widening the grip and pulling higher reverses that trend; more upper back, more rear delts, less lats.

Underhand grips push the elbows in even further, and thus promote even MORE lat involvement, and as P-DOG mentioned, slightly increased bicep use. It’s negligible however --I don’t honestly consider this a bicep movement.

The further you bend over, the less trapezius you use, and the more mid-back comes into play.