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Not Feeling Barbell Row


Hey ive done barbell rows for back before with good form but i don't really feel it in my back. More often than not for some reason my shoulders start to fatigue. Any ideas on why this is happening or should i just cut out BB rows and move onto a different exercise?

I asked a friend of mine who happens to be a personal trainer, although im not sure how good he is lol, but he said that everyone has some exercises that just don't work for them and that i need to do an exercise that my body benefits from.
This is true i need to listen to my body but ive read over and over that BB rows are excellent and one of the best exercises for back.


I don't feel BB rows in my back either. Doesn't mean they're not working, so long as the weight I'm using keeps on going up. I found that dumbpell rows hold more sensation for me, so I kinda prefer those. I have no idea what it's like to feel BB rows in your shoulder.

Deadlift is the greatest back exercise. Rows come in after that and pullups.


Yeah I'd agree that they are one of the best exercises for back width. Deads for the win on thickness!
If you just can't seem to do them, then try chins or pull-ups. IMO these are just as good if not better.

Can you post your current routine please?

The BB row does involve the shoulders somewhat- the rear delts, in a similar way that bench will involve the front of the shoulders.
If you have already done an exercise/exercises that exhaust the shoulders before you do the row, this could explain it.

Or if you have a weakness is your rear-delts in comparison to your upper back that could also explain it.
That's not to say that your shoulders should be as strong as your back, I mean if the strength isn't proportional.

Hope this helps.


Barbell rows can be a tricky one.

Next time you try them, think of these steps:

Unrack the bar.
Sit back with slightly bent legs to stretch at your hammies and glutes like a RDL.
Bend down into position and pull with your elbows tucked while consciously thinking of depressing your shoulders. (Pull your shoulders down towards your hips).

Pull the bar up to around your navel, squeezing to feel your lats. (I always envision the bodybuilder's "Christmas Tree" flexing in my mind).


Make sure you're bending over at a proper angle. Slightly above 90 degrees. Pull the weight up to your
belly button. The grip is up to you, overhand or underhand. At the point where the bar touches your belly button you should be squeezing the hell out of your back. Start with a lower weight and ensure that you feel the squeeze as you progress.


Like Army said, try bending over closer to 90. Of course, this lowers the weight. I like to super set them with reverse flys.


Yeah i need to stretch a lot more and work on some flexibility cuz ive got naturally tight hamstrings so its a little hard to bend forward that much. As for my routine i havent started my new one yet but BB rows are just an exercise i was curious about and have been having trouble with. But the routine i am going to implement has deadlift, 5x5, then Barbell rows, 3 sets of 6-8 reps.

Also someone said the deadlift is the best back building exercise, i know it adds a lot of thickness to the upper back but does it work lats?


I never really felt the deadlift in the lats until the weights really started to pile on. I think it's more of an isometric thing though, ditto with the way it works your traps, fore-arms etc.
To really build width to the lats you need one of those other movements... DB or BB rows, pull ups or chins.

What routine are you doing?
5x5 DL would be brutal. I do 3x5 and my head absolutley swims by the end of it. Hell, it swims after the first set. 5x5 would be brutal on your grip strength too, I imagine that might become the limiting factor very quickly. Get use to using a mixed grip, but stick with double overhand for as many sets as you can.

Doing rows after deadlifts could be pretty hard, as many of the muscles in your back will already be (or should already be) exhausted. See how you go with it. Is there an exercise (non- back) inbetween the two? I think that would help. If you do other lat work on another day I wouldn't worry about it too much.


Well tassietaekwon i would be doing pull ups and chins on another day but im not going to be using any crazy heavy weights for the DLs, ive never DL-ed before so it will be an experience. I think the program is worth giving a try and yeah its gunna be hard but thats how u get gains, by going balls to the wall.