T Nation

Body Language for Bent Over Rows

Whatever is everyone’s opinion on how much body language is too much for bent over rows? For me as long as it isn’t absolutely horrible form , my back angle is around where it should be, and I am rowing up to where I want it through the full range of motion it is alright.

I actually prefer not to jerk to much when I am bent over like that. When I perform bent over rows I actually am set up in a power rack so I can reset in the bottom for a split second that way I don’t really haves to use much momentum to get it going. If that makes since. Its either I am strong enough to pull or it or I am not from that position.

I know in Starting Strength Coach Rip advocates initiating the weight off the floor with a slight opening of the hips. Personally, I want to maximize the use of the back muscles so I use as slight a hip movement as I can to break the weight off the floor.

[quote]DSSG wrote:
Whatever is everyone’s opinion on how much body language is too much for bent over rows? For me as long as it isn’t absolutely horrible form , my back angle is around where it should be, and I am rowing up to where I want it through the full range of motion it is alright.[/quote]
Ha, pretty sure you mean body english, not really body language.

Anyhow, bent rows can be somewhat tweaked depending on what you want to get out of them. The basics, like you pretty much figured out, are to maintain a neutral back (not rounding), row to the position that targets the muscles you want to engage/prioritize (grip will also play a role in this), and use the most effective ROM for those muscles.

From there, some guys will use more oomph/low back swing to move a heavier weight and increased back work, some guys use a deadstop and have the bar rest for a quick beat on the floor between reps to work on explosive strength, some guys prefer to stay a bit more upright through the movement and incorporate more upper back work.

I was playing around a few months ago and tried doing them bent close to parallel and having my hands very close together, and it hit my lats like nothing before. Definitely a new favorite variation.

I guess to answer this more directly…

“Too much” is simply when you cross the line into decreased muscle tension and increased risk of injury, both of which can vary somewhat from person to person based on goals and abilities.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
“Too much” is simply when you cross the line into decreased muscle tension and increased risk of injury, both of which can vary somewhat from person to person based on goals and abilities.[/quote]

x2

This is just my opinion obviously, but I actually feel like it’s better to use some body english as opposed to none when you’re trying to build strength. If you want to concentrate a muscle for bodybuilding, then that’s one thing, but on rows, using some body english enables you to ratchet up the weight much heavier, which despite not being as strict, I feel provides much more bulk and strength in the end just from handling the heavier weight.

I’m sure you’re smart enough to use your own discretion here though. Don’t be that guy swinging 80lb dumbells in a curl like motion without actually using a single muscle in your arm lol.

for beginners I’d say keep it reasonably strict…