T Nation

Bent Over Barbell Rows


I'd like to get feedback on proper technique. When doing a bent over barbell row, does the back stay perfectly parallel to the floor throughout the entire movement, or does the back rise as you lift the weight up?



you gotta keep the back "relatively" parallel to the floor, with as little extension upward as possible as you bring the elbows back, and the bar just below the chest. Keep the knees slightly flexed as you make an effort to keep the back straight throughout the motion by retroversion of the pelvis... (ie. stick your ass out).

However, that being said, I'm not a huge fan of this exercise. The amount of weight you can lift relative to the amount of energy you spend just trying to hold proper form, is not really worth it. It,s also really easy to "tweek" your back doing this.

I would recommed you opt for any kind of seated row or even a T row machine.



Not parallel but 45 degrees is generally what's recommended. You can vary the exercise greatly by grip, either standard (pronated) or underhand (supinated), and by where you bring the bar - either lower into your abdomen or higher near your chest. Get a good deep stretch at the bottom and haul that sucker up. Try to squeeze at the top and let it gently back down.
I love these things and I've never hurt myself doing them. Keep a good back arch and your knees slightly bent and all will be good. I try to keep still but on heavier weights I will cheat the weight up with my legs since I figure if I control it on the way down I'm getting a good stimulus.
I went pronated for the longest time but recently switched to supinated after reading something by CT. I kinda like it better since I can pull it in a little lower and tighter.
I like the chest supported rows, too, on a T-Bar station, but Bent Rows get your lower back and entire body into the action.
If you are worried, just take it easy when learning and get the form right and smooth. Then give it hell.


I agree with the above. I think it's a great exercise, but unfortunately, most people dont do them properly. The most common problem I see is people rounding their back. I personally would recommend that you try to keep your back slightly/"naturally" arched - just like when doing deadlifts, or even bench presses.

I would only recommend against them if you include deadlifts in your routine on a regular basis. I think it's too much for your back to do both exercises within one week.