T Nation

Bent Over Row Form Tips?

Dear mr Thibaudeau,

I’ve recently incorporated the bent-over back row (supinated) into my training regime. I am by no means an expert. Ive seen your various instructional videos, but after a first try yesterday I feel my lower back/hamstrings (a bit) more than my upper back.

I’m afraid Im doing it incorrectly, but dont have recourse to an experienced coach; I train at the gym owned by the institute I work for.

I’d be thankful for any tips on form—same regarding high pulls.



Of course these muscles are involved since they allow you to maintain the proper lifting posture. Which is why personally I prefer the chest-supported row variations as they take the stress away from the postural muscles.


Thank you! I’ll try these variations.

j’adore en appui ventral , mais çà comprime ma cage thoracique dès que je monte en poids ou en reps surtout avec la barre
I love in ventral support, but here compresses the thoracic cage when I climb in weight or reps especially with the bar

Oh very cool. I like the first vid, CT’s exercise. So you set a bench (on incline) up against a barbell in power rack, then use a ez handle bar to do row (45 degree ish)?

The chinese rows/seals row look amazing but my current gym lacks capacity (boxes/equipment) to setup.

Do you still do standing rows (yates, pendlay, “Cheating” rows, 1 arm db rows)?

1, I never really did 1 arm rows … ever… never liked how they felt

  1. I only do Pendlay rows when I’m focusing on the olympic lifts, and not even a lot of them even in that situation

  2. Never do Yates row

  3. Rarely do free-standing rows of any kind, never felt them great in my upper back

I set my bench up in my rack and used the EZ bar last night for my rows. First time I tried this and it was great, was really able to feel the muscles working - even more than the Chinese row. Thanks for that vid CT!

Yeah, the slight angle always felt a bit better to me… with the flat angle I tend to use the traps a bit more and the lats less

I find the angled handles of the bar help to get a good lat contraction as well, my new favorite way to row for sure.

Yes I agree, it’s weird but it does contribute to a better lats contraction

I gave the row version on the first video a try today and they felt pretty damn awesome. Might try added band tension on the top of the lift next week.

I would do it as is for 2-3 weeks before thinking of adding bands… milk the exercise before adding an intensification technique

I’m considering band usage mostly because the setup with our gym’s incline bench is awkward as hell. With band work, I can use lighter weights on the bottom and hold the bar throughout the entire set instead of screwing around with re-adjusting my grip and other useless stuff.

It’s a go then! If that makes the exercises more practical you are using them for the right reason.

I have actually found light bands a gift from the gods when it comes to transitioning to bodybuilding style training from powerlifting. It has been a ton easier for me to learn to train the muscles instead of training the movement pattern when I use added band resistance and use a lighter weight on the bar.