T Nation

DB and BB Rows: How Far to Pull?


#1

Hi buddies,

Just a quick question regarding rowing.

How far should one "pull back" their elbow when rowing.

For example when I row a barbell, I row the bar until it touches my torso and I can not pull it back any further. The other day the gym owner told me that I should be shortening my ROM, so that my elbow is inline with my torso and not further back.

Same with the dB row. I pull the dB so its pretty much touching my hip, but apparently i am not meant to be pull the dB so far back.

Please correct me on the correct method?

Uncle Bird.

tweet


#2

it’s more about scapular retraction, IMO.

Pull as far back as you need to to fully retract the scapula and the elbow should just go to where it naturally wants to go.


#3

With dumbbells in particular, defining range of motion by looking at the end position of the dumbbell is tricky because you can get some of the ROM by rotating your hip. As Yogi said, try to fully retract your scapulae - where the weight is at this point is really a matter of forearm length.

If, you go heavy on rows - which can be useful for certain things, probably not for you though - arguing about ROM also seems useless. You’ll know when your form is too bad to continue.


#4

I’d have to agree with Yogi with scapular retraction or squeeze really makes a difference. Also learning to pull with your elbows.

As long as these are in check and you can feel your muscles working, then distance really isn’t as important. Especially since everyone’s anatomy is different. Arm length, torso etc.


#5

Isnt it ironic how the view on form for the barbell row is much more liberal that the bench press (always have to touch your chest).


#6

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
Isnt it ironic how the view on form for the barbell row is much more liberal that the bench press (always have to touch your chest).[/quote]

In general, discussing regarding form instead of technique tend to be of little benefit. Yogi’s answer definitely hits more toward the technique aspect of the movement, whereas many people are too fixated on how a movement looks versus what it does.


#7

Thanks for the replies friends.

I think I prefer to keep doing what I have been doing, which it to pull the weight as far back as I can. I feel that I feel more of a “squeeze/contraction” when doing this.

tweet


#8

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
Isnt it ironic how the view on form for the barbell row is much more liberal that the bench press (always have to touch your chest).[/quote]

I think you misunderstand irony, but your point is taken. People seem to have a much more emotional attachment to some exercises than others. The squat and bench being the most obvious two.


#9

Nobody cares how much you row, so nobody gets butthurt if you row more than them but go 1 inch shorter on the movement


#10

[quote]tsantos wrote:
Nobody cares how much you row, so nobody gets butthurt if you row more than them but go 1 inch shorter on the movement[/quote]

that’s my thoughts, too. People are way more inclined to cheat their reps on the bench and brag about their lifts.

When has anyone ever asked you what you row?


#11

FTR you don’t have to touch your chest when doing the bench press unless 1)you are competing or 2)the range of motion brings you the best results.


#12

Just go with what feels good and gets results. Personally I’m a full ROM where possible guy, but I know that doesn’t work for some goals or some people; not to mention my full ROM is going to be different to someone else’s full ROM.

I do love rows, though.