T Nation

One Arm T-bar Rows?


Does anyone have any experience with one arm t bar rows?

I would be doing them like a db row only with a bar in the corner. The only reason i ask is that i have switched to a different gym and the heaviest db is 50kg.

My old gym had up to 65kg which i could do 3x12 reps on. Tried doing 50s and the higher reps felt more like cardio lol.

Not really a fan of bb rows, i much prefer the feel of dumbells (although i think pendlays are ok, i heard they arent great for mass though). I would also be using deadlifts for back and machine tbar rows on occassion.

If anyone has done them......do you use 10kg (22lb) plates for more of a stretch or do 20kg (45;bers) work aswel?



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxAxyI8UuIM&feature=related <10kg plates (looks beeter to be fair)


Why would pendlay's not be great for mass??!!

Anyway yep, smaller plates are better in my opinion as I get better ROM, and thus a better contraction.


Please show back.


I think 1-arm barbell rows using 25s instead of 45s (if that's what you're talking about) are a great exercise for lats. I have used them with pretty solid results.


I really like them because of lower back issues that come up now and then (especially with things like bb rows). I do the more upright one (first vid, is great to be able to lean on bench!), plate size doesn't matter since you're standing further up...poundages keep going up and up which is a good sign :slight_smile: Give it a slow and controlled negative and a good stretch


What's wrong with using the 45's? Unless you are very short, I don't see a reason to be loading up a bunch of smaller plates. I'm 5'8 and have no trouble getting a full contraction using 45's.


Thanks for the advise guys...

I really like 1 arm rowing because it gives a great stretch. Would be a shame to give it up because of not being able to use enough weight as i feel its also a great strength builder. Not liking bb rows either lol

Its_Just_Me is right about the lower back being saved aswel. i feel i get enough of that from deads lol and yes its very easy to use progressively heavier weights :slightly_smiling:

Is it in practise just a db row variation or a tbar? I usually use deads as my main back builder with a row variation and pull ups. On days where my low back may need more recovery (not often) which row variation would give me best bang for buck in terms of hitting the remander of the back? I think maybe the seated row may be best for this but I know u guys are more experienced than me!


If you put them into groups, it's easier (there's no all or nothing thinking). Think of low rowing (elbows tucked, row to stomach level) as your thickness exercises, and your high pulling as your width exercises (elbows out more, pull to head). You should be doing an exercise for each area weekly.

Example thickness exercises:

Deadlifts and it's variants (rack pulls/sumo deadlift/SLDL etc)
Most heavy DB/BB rowing exercises (which would include t-bar rows)

Example width exercises:

Rack chins
pulldown machines etc

If you're training bodyparts frequently, like ~ twice every 8 days, you could alternate the exercises (e.g. deadlifts one back day, t-bar rows the next) just to give the lower back a break. I usually go by feel (got to be feeling really strong before deadlifting lol...which means no twingey feelings in lower back, no stiffness in hips/knees, high drive etc)

I see seated cable rowing as more of a supplementary exercise rather than your "bread and butter" ones like the above. The bread and butter exercises are one's that you can do for some time and make decent progress on. If it's just slabs of meat you're wanting to add to your back, and good strength, this small handful of exercise will do the trick. The "detail" work doesn't take long to do, so IMO it's better to save that for later when you're at a "comfortable" size.

Above all, try to stick to it and make the most out the exercises.


I think they are the cat's meow. I'll occasionally load up with 25lb plates after a heavy 2 arm BB rows to focus on the pump and contraction.


I think it turns a T-bar row into a "dumbbell row" with awkward angles.

I did T-bar rows for the added effect on the lower back as well as mid development. That is removed when doing them one handed while hanging on a bench.


This is how I do them


I still don't see how this is better than a regular t_bar row.

If I wanted to hit the muscles this targets by doing it one handed, I would do other rows more suitable....like Hammer Strength, dumbbell rows, or regular barbell rows.


You're right X - angles are akward. I do them the same as I do normal bent over t bar rows just with a lighter weight. I don't use the bench because it changes the movement for me.

FWIW - not a fan of bench dumbell rows. Just hasn't fit well with my mechanics.


I feel the same.

2 hand TBars (Old school TBars) are a completely different lift than single arm... To me at least.

I don't put my knee on the bench though, I only brace my body with my other arm and still row the bar between my legs and into my chest. I really see the single arm version as a "get used to moving heavy ass weight" lift more than anything.

Old School TBars are a great lift IMO, but once you have to start deadlifting 7 or more plates to TBar row it, it gets annoying and awkward.


Mine either...which is why I like HS machines so much. That shit was made for me. My usual routine back in the day used to be something like "lat pull downs, seated rows (cable), T-bar rows, and then another lat machine (cybex I think).

I now use mostly HS machines and I think I have made more progress that way.


I like HS movements as well, both are great IMO. I use these occasionally when I need a change and really like them because for some reason I feel a great stretch and contraction when I do these right...it's very easy to use too much momentum with this exercise and lose the focus. Although I use momentum, or less than perfect form, on most rows (HS or barbell), I think this is one exercise that needs to be done with very good form to work.


I feel like this is true too.

That is why I don't really expect much from it, other than getting used to holding and moving that much weight.


Don't expect much from it because it requires better form?


Uh, yep.

The basic mass builders, the ones that provide the most size potential, are usually NOT the ones where your form has to be perfect just to get something from it.

I have great form...NOW...after several years of getting to weights most don't ever get to and perfecting my form overt time.

If you want to be a monster, good luck getting there while being one of the "everything must be perfect" crowd (not saying that is you, but you get the point).


Yeah, pretty much at this point.

I'm not going to take a ton of time to tighten up my form and find the proper load etc etc etc, when I can achieve what it would achieve by using other rowing lifts. Does that make sense?

Somewhere between 3 and 4 plates it gets too heavy to use strict form... I like one arm TBars and have been using lately, I just don't find them a staple for me right now.