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Bent-Over Rowing with Back Injury

I have a back injury for which I’m currently seeing an ortho. I’m due for an MRI next week. All the x-ray showed was a protruding disk in the lower back.

Squatting hurts. Deadlifting hurts. For the time being, I’m replacing these with lunges (which I still suck at) etc. Anyway, my question is about bent-over rowing. Do you think think this would be dangerous or not? My first thought is that I should replace these too for the time being, but then again, since the torso and hips are not moving during the exercise, I thought it might be safe. I tested my theory last night by doing a few sets at moderate weight, and felt no discomfort after.

If I trained at a gym I would probably just replace these with another exercise, but I train at home for the time being and this is my main lift for back thickness.

Thoughts please-thanks.

If deadlifting hurts, I would think bent-over rows would too.

If it was me, I’d do chest supported rows. MacGuyver something for them. Otherwise, defer to the “do what doesn’t hurt” and just be careful

Negative.

I have/had a back injury and tried them (as well as a host of other lifts that didn’t work).

If you want to work your lats, do some pull ups, lat pull downs, DB rows, seated rows.

Bending over will put your back at risk for another injury.

Weighted pull-ups might help your back (stretch it verse compacting it like squats and deadlifts) and 1-arm DB rows might be better for your back.

[quote]B rocK wrote:
Negative.

I have/had a back injury and tried them (as well as a host of other lifts that didn’t work).

If you want to work your lats, do some pull ups, lat pull downs, DB rows, seated rows.

Bending over will put your back at risk for another injury. [/quote]

Bastard, you beat me to it with the pull-ups and the DB rows lol

Okay, it looks like everyone is agreeing with my gut, pretty much. I usually do these as my main lift, then move on to pullups. I guess the smart thing to do is just drop the rows and focus on pullups as my main exercise. I guess I could also use this as an oppurtunity to work on my grip a bit. Thanks, dudes.

[quote]Itchy wrote:
Okay, it looks like everyone is agreeing with my gut, pretty much. I usually do these as my main lift, then move on to pullups. I guess the smart thing to do is just drop the rows and focus on pullups as my main exercise. I guess I could also use this as an oppurtunity to work on my grip a bit. Thanks, dudes.[/quote]

You don’t have to drop the rows completely. I have a herniated disc and can’t deadlift or squat. But I have no problems doing seated rows or dumbell rows at all. They seem to hit a different section of my back then the pullups and chinups. Now the seated rows I’m talking about are not the one attached to the lat pulldown station where you’re pulling the cable toward you. Those bother my back.

I use this one:
http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/cms/article-detail.asp?articleid=826

or the hammer strength version:


(that’s not me)

Combine these with pullups and chinups and you’ll get a nice back workout that won’t aggravate your disc at all.

I also have a lower back injury, not as severe, but I still have to be careful about what I can get away with. Pull downs, rows (one and two armed variations) are cool, but I can’t do squats, deads, etc… I really hope that it gets better soon.

Again, yes, you dont have to completely move from workout horizontal rows, instead use seated chest supported row on incline bench using dumbells, use lower angle for less spinal copression. works great for lower back problems.

Bummer, I share in your pain brother. A while back I had a severe case of sciatica that we thought was a herniated disc but after alot of money and treatments later I’m semi-back to normal but with no herniated or bulging disc. For rows I did DB rows the way Jay Cutler or Markus Ruhl do em on an incline bench. It helped protect the back and got the job done.

Pulldowns are okay and I was told they mildly help with decompression. Bent-over rows, deads, etc anything that puts excess pressure on the spine is out of the question. Seated rows, and all the hammer leverage row machines will do more than enough to replace old back exercises. Fuck they have em at every possible pull angle. A chiropractor managed to fix me but I’m forever cautious. Hope everything workouts.

I totally wrecked my lower back once, and it hurt even to do DB rows laying prone on an incline bench. What I figured out was that if I took a flat bench, and propped it up a bit to make it higher (some have adjustable legs, others will need some wooden blocks), you can lay perfectly flat, face down, and have a preloaded barbell underneath… Row away!

S

I have some serious back problems. I can front squat and barbell row, but deadlifts and back squats not so much. In the end, you need to see what works for you.

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[quote]bushidobadboy wrote:
The Mighty Stu wrote:
I totally wrecked my lower back once, and it hurt even to do DB rows laying prone on an incline bench. What I figured out was that if I took a flat bench, and propped it up a bit to make it higher (some have adjustable legs, others will need some wooden blocks), you can lay perfectly flat, face down, and have a preloaded barbell underneath… Row away!

S

Bingo! This is precisely what I do and it brought out my back thickness a treat, as well as not aggravating my lower back muscles. There is no cheating with the lower back with this setup really.

I also do my reverse flyes on the same bit of kit. I usisally superset widegrip pronated BB rows with pronated grip DB rev flyes.

As a bonus to using a setup like Stu describes, you can either keep your chest and chin, etc in close contact with the bench, to focus on those ‘typical’ upper/mid back muscles (rhomboids, traps etc), or, if your back allows, you can extend the upper chest away from the bench as you bring the bar up (controlled form though of course), giving your thoracic paraspinal extensors (iliocostalis lumborum pars thoracic, longissimus thoracic pars thoracic - yes those are actually the full names of two of the three ‘erector spinae’ muscles).

These are the kind of muscles only ususally worked fully in an OH shquat, for example, so it’s valuable to train them on the bench, both for aesthetic and ‘functional’ reasons IMO.

BBB[/quote]

I was thinking of trying exactly this thing. since I don’t go to a gym I don’t have the option of using any of those great machines. The bench/barbell combo sounds promising, though. I tried bent dumbell rows and they were pretty uncomfortable.

I’m actually thiking of breaking down and getting a membership somewhere just so I will have a wider selection of exercises.

[quote] Matt wrote:
If deadlifting hurts, I would think bent-over rows would too.

If it was me, I’d do chest supported rows. MacGuyver something for them. Otherwise, defer to the “do what doesn’t hurt” and just be careful[/quote]

I’d agree with this.

[quote]bushidobadboy wrote:
The Mighty Stu wrote:
I totally wrecked my lower back once, and it hurt even to do DB rows laying prone on an incline bench. What I figured out was that if I took a flat bench, and propped it up a bit to make it higher (some have adjustable legs, others will need some wooden blocks), you can lay perfectly flat, face down, and have a preloaded barbell underneath… Row away!

S

Bingo! This is precisely what I do and it brought out my back thickness a treat, as well as not aggravating my lower back muscles. There is no cheating with the lower back with this setup really.

I also do my reverse flyes on the same bit of kit. I usisally superset widegrip pronated BB rows with pronated grip DB rev flyes.

As a bonus to using a setup like Stu describes, you can either keep your chest and chin, etc in close contact with the bench, to focus on those ‘typical’ upper/mid back muscles (rhomboids, traps etc), or, if your back allows, you can extend the upper chest away from the bench as you bring the bar up (controlled form though of course), giving your thoracic paraspinal extensors (iliocostalis lumborum pars thoracic, longissimus thoracic pars thoracic - yes those are actually the full names of two of the three ‘erector spinae’ muscles).

These are the kind of muscles only ususally worked fully in an OH shquat, for example, so it’s valuable to train them on the bench, both for aesthetic and ‘functional’ reasons IMO.

BBB[/quote]

Bushy, what about ROM. Doesn’t the bar hit the bench frame, or do you just load it up?
I’m hoping our gym (after refirb, at end of next year) get something like these:

http://www.gymequipment.uk.com/store/large/1595r/Plate_Load/Bench_Row.html