T Nation

Row Form


Just a quick question on the amount of "cheating" that should be used when doing rows. I tend to do mine with a little bit of lower back extension and the beginning, to cheat a little bit at the start, and then make the negative really slow. Does anyone else try to use more perfect form because of it working the back harder, or to not strain the lower back?


I do cheat as well I’m sure many on here do with their rows. However, when you don’t cheat you really start to engage your back and not just use the momentum of the bar created by your arms.

What kind of grip do you use? Do you use straps?


I used to use a slight bit of a lean when I used to really do heavy BB work, but once I started using DBs instead, not only do I not cheat (nor worry about how many platesI have on each side), but my mid and upper back have much more thickness and detail to it.



I think the most common error is using your lower back to start pulling the weight up and then raising your torso higher then pulling the bar to your waist. I know I have been known to use my legs to push up to get the weight moving and then using an explosive pull on the bar to my upper abs, my torso dosen’t really change it’s angle much, but I don’t really feel it as weel in my back if I don’t do that.

I don’t use a strict robotic form, I guess somewhere in the middle is best, the bent over barbell row has alot of variations in its form depending on who you watch and listen to. I think you need to watch some of the big back guys do rows and decide how to do them yourself through practice using a little lighter weight until you get it down. Its easy to mess up your lower back with bent rows, just maintain your low back arch, chest sticking out, shoulders pulled back and think of pulling thru your elbows.


I use DBs, keeps your form much better.

Problem is many gyms dont have larger dumbells, some have past 150 but it isnt common.


See Ronnie Coleman’s Unbelievable dvd for proper form. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QW09a7FrlGU


[quote]hawaiilifterMike wrote:
See Ronnie Coleman’s Unbelievable dvd for proper form. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QW09a7FrlGU[/quote]

I agree 100%. Trying to do perfectly strict BB rows with over 3 plates a side just isn’t going to happen.

That form ronnie shows is really tricky to do right though. You gotta time that ‘jerk’ just right, otherwise it turns into a semi-shrug. Gotta keep practicing!