T Nation

How Low to Row?

When performing a bent-over-row, where is the correct position to bring the bar? I would have to say, the most common point I see is the mid-lower abdomen. In my rowing experience, I have generally brought the bar to the upper abdomen, just below the pec-line.

Clarification on this would be appreciated, although I’m sure there’s likely no specefic position, as each likely hits the back a little different, I would like to see what most folks consider standard. Thanks.

I think it really depends on the back angle. I try to alternate between a low, 90 degree bend and a higher, more upright row. When I’m doing rows w/ my back parallel to the floor I try to move the weight like an upside down bench, hitting the low pec area. When I’m going with less of a back arch I focus on getting the bar right where you mentioned: the mid ab area.

Hope this helps.

I pull lower due to when I pull lower I pull through my elbows a LOT more and use my back more. Going high I tend to use more arms which can play hell with my tendonitis and whenh rowing im looking to work my back.

Phill

“When I’m doing rows w/ my back parallel to the floor I try to move the weight like an upside down bench, hitting the low pec area”

yup. Tit for tat. I try to get the reverse movement of BB bench with maximum ROM. On days with DB bench I superset with DB row.

all you need to remember is to maintain as close to a 90 degree as possible between your forearm and the ground. in other words, keep your forearm hanging STRAIGHT down throughout the entire lift. that means your forearm should be perpendicular to the ground throughout the entire lift.

if you’re bending your upper torso and making your lower back close to parallel with the ground, that’ll mean brining the bar to around your lower adbomen. under no circumstance will the bar ever be brought to your pecs unless your arms are short. if you’re brining it to your pecs your flexing your biceps too much and not using your lats enough.

here is a link to the image that decribes what i’m talking about:

http://www.T-Nation.com/forum_images/7af48-pull1.jpg

you can now invert that image 90 degrees countercloackwise and imagine the line of pull from the ground.

but please, DO NOT listen to people who advise you bring it to your pecs. that is not how to correctly perform barbell rows.

Well I am pretty short with short arms, so that might explain it. And my suggestion wasn’t bringing it up to my pecs, just to the the low pec area, essentially the gap between your pecs and abs. That’s both where I feel most comfortable and where I get the tightest squeeze at the top.

[quote]Hambone1818 wrote:
Well I am pretty short with short arms, so that might explain it. And my suggestion wasn’t bringing it up to my pecs, just to the the low pec area, essentially the gap between your pecs and abs. That’s both where I feel most comfortable and where I get the tightest squeeze at the top.[/quote]

if you’re trying to emphasize your lats, keep your forearms perpendicular to the ground throughout the entire range of motion.

I always do my barbell rows like Dorian Yates did his. Reverse Grip and pulled into the lower abdomen [pretty much pulling right up the thighs].

Well, how low can you go?

Meh, I don’t get too worried about “the exact, scientific way” to do an exercise.

Just keep a neutral spine happening and do it so you can feel it in the target muscles. The more vertical you are, the more trap is involved, the more horizontal, the less trap and more back.

I just go for a setup where I feel strong and get into it.

[quote]hueyOT wrote:
all you need to remember is to maintain as close to a 90 degree as possible between your forearm and the ground. in other words, keep your forearm hanging STRAIGHT down throughout the entire lift. that means your forearm should be perpendicular to the ground throughout the entire lift.

if you’re bending your upper torso and making your lower back close to parallel with the ground, that’ll mean brining the bar to around your lower adbomen. under no circumstance will the bar ever be brought to your pecs unless your arms are short. if you’re brining it to your pecs your flexing your biceps too much and not using your lats enough.

here is a link to the image that decribes what i’m talking about:

http://www.T-Nation.com/forum_images/7af48-pull1.jpg

you can now invert that image 90 degrees countercloackwise and imagine the line of pull from the ground.

but please, DO NOT listen to people who advise you bring it to your pecs. that is not how to correctly perform barbell rows.[/quote]

grip width will have a large effect on this as well. If you grip the bar wide you will bring the bar up higher on your torso. Much like the reverse bench press example

[quote]JNeves wrote:
hueyOT wrote:
all you need to remember is to maintain as close to a 90 degree as possible between your forearm and the ground. in other words, keep your forearm hanging STRAIGHT down throughout the entire lift. that means your forearm should be perpendicular to the ground throughout the entire lift.

if you’re bending your upper torso and making your lower back close to parallel with the ground, that’ll mean brining the bar to around your lower adbomen. under no circumstance will the bar ever be brought to your pecs unless your arms are short. if you’re brining it to your pecs your flexing your biceps too much and not using your lats enough.

here is a link to the image that decribes what i’m talking about:

http://www.T-Nation.com/forum_images/7af48-pull1.jpg

you can now invert that image 90 degrees countercloackwise and imagine the line of pull from the ground.

but please, DO NOT listen to people who advise you bring it to your pecs. that is not how to correctly perform barbell rows.

grip width will have a large effect on this as well. If you grip the bar wide you will bring the bar up higher on your torso. Much like the reverse bench press example[/quote]

if you grab the bar too wide you’ll be unable to allow your forearms to maintain a perpendicular angle to the floor, it’s fucked up if you ask me.

i don’t know why anyone would ever do that. same goes for ultra-wide bench. ya, you can do it, but why? if your objectives are emphasize the chest more and reduce delt involvement, there are smarter and safer ways to do this. same goes for wide-gripping the barbell when performing rows. why would anyone do this? to emphasize rhomboiads? rear delts? there are smarter and safer exercises for that prupose.

i’m probably being a bit too uptight with rowing technique… but you have to ask yourself, ‘what am i trying to achieve with this exercise? why am i doing this exercise?’ then you can determine how to execute it.

[quote]hueyOT wrote:

if you’re trying to emphasize your lats, keep your forearms perpendicular to the ground throughout the entire range of motion.
[/quote]

Yeah, after you posted this I mimicked my bent-over technique and where I come up to–right in between the pecs and abs–has my arms at a 90 degree angle. I guess when I posted I wasn’t really thinking from a mechanical, universal point of view, just what’s worked for my short arms.

So yea, your definition works considerably better from a universally relevant point of view. Sorry about that.

[quote]Hambone1818 wrote:
hueyOT wrote:

if you’re trying to emphasize your lats, keep your forearms perpendicular to the ground throughout the entire range of motion.

Yeah, after you posted this I mimicked my bent-over technique and where I come up to–right in between the pecs and abs–has my arms at a 90 degree angle. I guess when I posted I wasn’t really thinking from a mechanical, universal point of view, just what’s worked for my short arms.

So yea, your definition works considerably better from a universally relevant point of view. Sorry about that.

[/quote]

out of curiosity, how far forward to you bend? how low does the bar go <past your knees, near the ground, whatever>?

here’s an easy way to look at it, bend over and let your arms hang as if you’re about to start rowing, peep yourself in a mirror from the side. so now you’re bent-over in the starting position with your arms hanging straight down to the ground and peeping your setup in a mirror placed to the left or the right of you.

now contract your lats and pulls your arms toward your torso. are your forearms still pointing straight to the ground?

my position is that the forearms must always be perpendicular/90 degree angle to the ground. the angle between the forearm and the upper arm changes throughout the range of motion though, from a 180 degree angle at the beginning of the exercise , and then close to a 90 degree angle a the conclusion of the lift.

i also think it’s a good idea to do every repetition from the ground. that way you get a break at the end of every rep and minimize extra volume for the lower back.

if you prefer a shorter range of motion, you can also go in a power cage/rack and set the pins to wherever you want <i.e. near your knees> and row every rep from the pins.

hope that explains where i’m coming from.