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Need Alternative for Bent Over BB Rows

im 6’5 and every time iv used bent over bb rows in my routines, once i get up to around 100kgs i always end up hurting my lower back, I know its not a form issue, I bend about 45 degress,keep a neutral spine, brace my core and keep it pretty strict all way through. I guess im just prone to hurting my lower back once weight goes up.

im doing these at 3x5 and need a good alternative that puts less pressure on my lower back/spine

Would incline bench BB row be a good alternative or even smith BB rows recommended by meadows?

Id do chest supported T-bar rows but my gym aint got it unfortunately.

Anything that keeps you safe and whole but lets you progressively overload sounds like a win. Smith BB Rows sounds like a decent alternative. Or make it harder to lift what you are lifting (accentuated eccentric, pause at contraction, at pauses during the lift).

For what purpose are you doing the BB rows in the first place? That will determine what is an adequate replacement.

Like, I do BB rows specifically for the function of keeping my trunk strong in that bent position, so swapping to incline bench BB rows would completely defeat the purpose.


3x5 is a funny rep range to be barbell rowing in if it’s a hard set of 5. For almost all purposes I’d drop the weight a bit and go higher reps.

Maybe these if u wanna stay close to the movement

well for my back primarly, I do PPL and got leg day after where i do low bar squats and rack pulls.

Thats what i meant but laying on the bench, this way looks like it will hurt my chest once weight comes up.

A lot of benches don’t really have a design that allows for a good full ROM row but if u do go right ahead. Won’t hit your lower back, glutes and hams with stability demands in the same way but will be good for back gains

You can literally do any single row on the planet and be fine if the goal is as general as the back.

Inverted rows or db rows perhaps.

Well id like to hit my erectors aswell but stability is an issue for me, low bar squats and rack pulls work fine tho, get no pain or discomfort in my lower back there.

I would try hyperextension rows

you mean barbell extensions or actually rows from that position?

I mean rows from that position.

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kroc rows something to try

dumbbells only go so far at my gym, otherwise I would do them :frowning:

That’s actually the entire premise behind Kroc rows: when you can’t add weight, you go for rep PRs.

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Pull-ups with a thick rope, Gorilla KB rows, OH shrugs, back extensions, Zercher Deads, KB snatches, I mean the list is just endless, get creative.

I like really high volume with OH shrugs (think 8x8, 10x10) and high frequency “strength-skill” type mindset for KB snatches, Rope chins and Zerchers. Throw in Gorilla row / Farmer walk superset periodically and I really don’t see the benefit of BB rows. Traditional back extensions work well with 30-10-30 parameters (for me), and I don’t do them all that often. And now we even get towards the discussion of hip thrusts / glute bridges.

Is your gym open still?

Could also stick the bar in a landmine setup and load up 25lb plates for Meadows/1 arm BB rows.

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Yep as Pwnisher said go for rep PRs, Matt Kroc would sometimes go for 25+ reps

It seems like you’re being a bit stubborn…

DB Rows, DB Meadows Rows, underhand rows, Pendlay rows, single arm barbell rows (treat your barbell like a big dumbbell), etc.