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Bent over rows (and variants)

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by bowlie, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. bowlie

    bowlie Purple Belt

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    Many beginner programs like SS, SL and other 5 x 5 based programs all call for bent over rows. I was wondering what the more experienced members of the forum think about bent over rows in a beginners program.

    Personally I have found that bent over rows cannot be trained like other compound lifts - simply be increasing the weight - and that when training the back in general a bodybuilding approach of isolating the specific muscles is needed. I guess this is why 5/3/1 uses back work as assistance, rather than main lifts.

    Also, I find bent over rows one of the hardest exercises to properly engage the back in, rather than something like cable rows or even db rows. I find it much easier to just bicep the weight up. What are your opinions on bent over barbell rows in beginner programs?
     
  2. hotborsh

    hotborsh Blue Belt

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    I feel my back the most with DB rows. BORs usually put too much stress on my lower back. Cable rows are ok, but my biceps give out on them faster than my back.
     
  3. FyrFytr998

    FyrFytr998 Not my clowns. Not my circus. (2020)

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    I personally prefer Kroc Rows and traditional 1ADBR's over BB Rows. In coaching, I find new lifters have a hard time keeping the core tight to properly execute the BB row. I build up their base with DB rows and once they get the "feel" of the movement we move in to BB rows. BB Rows for a newb is an "ego" lift 9 times out of 10, by putting too much weight on the bar and slamming it like a deadlift. Which would be fine if they were attempting Pendley Rows, but you know they are not.
     
  4. Troublesome10

    Troublesome10 non serviam belt

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    Don't take my advice cuz i'm not a serious lifter ( i do it at home for fun and to not be fat )- but for properly engaging the right muscles and avoiding just using the bicep, I found that the simple mental trick they give you when learning stronglifts 5x5 works very well. The key is to imagine a string attached to your elbow from the ceiling, and like someone is pulling it up like a string-puppet, rather than you muscling the bar toward your torso.
     
  5. Thundercock

    Thundercock Assman Extraordinaire

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  6. gspieler

    gspieler Silver Belt

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    Good full-body lift. Lends itself well to being assistance work. Not so much as main lift. Hard to teach noobs, though; most lack the kinesthetic awareness to maintain lumbar extension. Def a lift where it pays to start lighter than you think you can handle.
     
  7. MatterOverMind

    MatterOverMind Pulling for you

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    You gain no credibility by speaking in absolutes when it comes to strength training.

    Plus, you sound like a mook, since Pendlay rows ARE a form of barbell rows.
     
  8. MatterOverMind

    MatterOverMind Pulling for you

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    To answer your question, I think they're great for a beginner's program.

    They're an easy lift to perform, and they are, IMO, one of those exercise that's just perfect for maintaining balance.

    Do whichever kind you like. All rows are similar enough that it really comes down to personal preference. I prefer to move as much weight as possible if your primary goal is strength.
     
  9. ballhawkdawk

    ballhawkdawk ****ing Gumshoe's dad

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    I'm personally a fan of Pendlay rows. I think Madcow had me running barbell rows as part of the progression, and I had a harder time with those than anything else. The propensity to cheat even a little bit made it harder for me to confidently progress on them; however, I love using them as an assistance. I've started incorporating them more lately since I feel like my upper back is an area of weakness right now.

    Most of the time your gym won't have a heavy enough dumbbell for you to progress without hitting a high number of reps. My gym has DBs that go up to 115, and I got tired of adding a rep each week and just grinding away. Obviously, this is all personal preference. I'm partial to the BB row just because it's easier to progressively load.
     
  10. Thundercock

    Thundercock Assman Extraordinaire

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    Let me fix that for myself.


    I don't believe in absolutes. I keep an open mind about various things. I do have preferences, though.

    I am well aware that Pendlay Rows is a form of barbell rows. I was comparing the Pendlay Rows to the Conventional Bent Over Barbell Rows, which are performed with the torso at an inclined position and the barbell not touching the floor.

    http://nattyornot.com/pendlay-rows-vs-conventional-barbell-rows/
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2015
  11. Waingro**

    Waingro** 解決力 Platinum Member

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    Starting Strength does not.

    Mark Rippetoe on BORs: "My opinion about barbell rows is as follows: fuck barbell rows. Really. Fuck them. Stop wasting time worrying about barbell rows and get your deadlift up to 500. By then you'll have your own opinion and you won't have to worry about mine."
     
  12. ballhawkdawk

    ballhawkdawk ****ing Gumshoe's dad

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    I don't get it. I can deadlift 500, and my opinion is that barbell rows are still the best upper back exercise. I've started incorporating them more frequently because I tend to round over on my 90%+ front squats, and my diagnosis is that it's upper back weakness causing my issue. Am I wrong? Fuck if I know. Gotta start somewhere, but if I had a better inclination, then I'd be starting somewhere else instead of barbell rows. Should they be the focus of a program? I'd say no. But they're a top assistance exercise.
     
  13. MMA Maine-iac

    MMA Maine-iac Black Belt

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    I'm a Yates Row fan myself. I can feel it in my lats better than conventional or Pendlay's.
     
  14. immanurse

    immanurse White Belt

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    never liked barbell rows... probably never did them correctly, either. mine started to look like a mini dead lift when i increased the pounds. too much emphasis on the lower back/legs. chest supported or a pulley type machine for me.
     
  15. NurseKnuckles

    NurseKnuckles My Mom's stronger than you belt

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    Rippetoe has a remote point, though.
     
  16. j123

    j123 Pro Sherdogger 500-0-1

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    I prefer DB Rows, second to that just regular bent over rows
     
  17. DrBdan

    DrBdan Something clever

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    You proved his point. You deadlift 500 lb and you've developed your own opinion on rows. I believe his point is that the differences aren't important enough to worry about for a beginner and once you have moved passed the beginner stage you will have figured out what you like.

    My preference is for DB rows with a moderate amount of body english.
     
  18. Weight Thrower

    Weight Thrower Orange Belt

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    personally i dont like barbell rows.. when i take my overall lifting seriously i include them. but i prefer grabbing the heaviest dumbell i can use for bent over rows..which for me requires using straps to hold the dumbells. knee and palm on flat bench and start cranking out reps. focusing on pulling my lat back and elbows up. one th setshing i notice, my back doesnt respond well as my pressing movements( heavy weight/low reps/high sets) instead my back responds better to moderate weight and high volume reps per set.
     
  19. ThinkGreen

    ThinkGreen Der Übermensch

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    I'm a big fan of rows, but BB and DB. I do BB way more as my gym doesn't have dumbbells however I used to DB row a lot when I lifted at home. I do it more of a yates style.

    Either way, upper back work is really important.
     
  20. Waingro**

    Waingro** 解決力 Platinum Member

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    I don't know. My post was in response to the confident claim that SS included BORs - which it doesn't.

    For what it's worth (nothing), I prefer DB rows much more than BB variants.
     

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