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  1. #1
    Banned -=FLEX=-'s Avatar
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    Let's talk about ROWS

    I've generally always included bent-over barbell rows in my routine, but I've gotten away from them recently. Heavy squatting and heavy deadlifts and heavy BOR all on separate days just wasn't allowing my lower back enough recovering time.

    So these days I seem to be rotating seated close grip cable rows (my favorite), the Hammer Strength plate loaded iso row machine, and wide grip T-Bar rows (which are only slightly kinder to my lower back than bb rows).

    Someone seems to have absconded with the wide "D-Grip" bar at our gym or I'd do wide grip seated cable rows too.

    I don't like doing wide grip rows with an angled lat bar. In fact I hate it.

    So what's everyone else doing?
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  2. #2
    The show goes on chodan9's Avatar
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    been doing BOR's for a long time, I also do close grip cable rows (seated) and some wide chest supported rows
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  3. #3
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    I just switched to Pendlay rows after years doing regular bb rows or Yates style. The jury is still out but damn my lats get a lot more sore. I tend to get sore traps using conventional style.
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  4. #4
    Registered User jawafett's Avatar
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    BOR, close grip seated with v handle alternated with the d-grip handle. D-grip handle is my favorite. I also use dumbbell rows as my warm up on back day.
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  5. #5
    Time to Work litljay's Avatar
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    I haven't done them lately, but the DB rows are really kind to the lower back if you use a bench.

    Seated cable rows and the hammer strength iso row are good too. I'll also do seated one arm cable rows.
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  6. #6
    H = T + V mslman71's Avatar
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    I do BOR right after deads, before my back has time to tighten up. But, I don't lift nearly as much as you... not yet
    2 + 2 = 5 (for extremely large values of 2)

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  7. #7
    Registered User bbsitum's Avatar
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    by Charles Poliquin
    Very often in seminars or internships I get the following question asked in one form or the other:

    I have not seen you mention barbells rows in your workouts. Agreed, most people do not perform them correctly, but what are your reasons to ignore this great exercise? Could you provide a quick primer to barbell rows just in case I get bored by chin-ups?
    The reason that I don’t mention barbell rows is simply that I don’t believe they are a great upper back exercise, even when performed correctly. Why? Because there is is too much neural drive expended in firing the muscles involved in maintaining the postural aspect of the exercise. There is a great neuromuscular demand on firing the erector spinae, glutes and hamstrings at the same time- so much that the level of recruitment finally left over for the lats is too minimal to be worth it.

    I would rather stick to variations of one arm dumbbell rows. To develop optimal structural balance, I strongly believe that for every set of chin-up done, one should a set of dumbbell rows (for both arms, of course). One arm dumbbell rows allow for even distribution of the load on both upper extremities, and great range of motion (particularly for the scapulae retractors). I can hear the functionalist cult already on their soap box: “What about function? This is a primary movement”. My answer to that is: if you already did a good job in the loading parameters for the squat and deadlift exercises, why overtrain the posterior chain?

    Clearly I post upper two citations for discussion. I don't know are they right.

    and

    Let's have a look at the rows fist. If you compare it to a dumbbell row you will notice that they have more than one contact point. A normal dumbbell row uses the entire upper body as a contact point for support, the 1-arm dumbbell row stabilizes the body using the leg on the same side and the knee and hand on the other side of the active portion. Multiple contact points are important as they divide the stress over a larger plane and not just a small area like the lumbal vertebrae. Now in a bent-over barbell row we stand bent-over with the upper body as a lever hinging on those very vertebrae, while the other end of the lever is carrying an inhuman amount of weight
    Last edited by bbsitum; 02-01-2012 at 04:44 PM.
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  8. #8
    The show goes on chodan9's Avatar
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    On bent over 1 arm dumbbell rows,
    I don't know if I never gave em a fair shot or I have been doing them wrong.
    but to me they never felt like they did sh!t for me.
    I can go heavy or light, focus on strict form or just throw em up and nothing.
    I haven't done them in a long time (kind of gave up on them)
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  9. #9
    Registered User DocTats's Avatar
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    I like bent over barbell rows way better than one arm DB (although DB rows both arms simultaneously is great). There's something about squeezing/pinching my shoulder blades together that seems to hit the deep upper back muscles much better that I don't feel with one arm DB rows. Doing it with DBs both arms at a time makes the shoulder blade pinch even more intense, although less weight can be used. The Yates style more upright style feels better on my back as long as I keep the bar very close to my body. My gym has this bar http://www.t-gripbarbell.com/index.htm which I like better than the overhand, underhand or the close parallel grip
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  10. #10
    I grunt pharmamarketer's Avatar
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    BOR are a probably one of my favorite. I like adding in drop sets with them as well once in a while. I usually will load on the appropriate # of 25s and strip em from there until I get to 95lbs. I usually do this on the last set because it fries me. Yates speaks highly of rows being a key to developing a solid back. Can't argue with teh back he produced
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  11. #11
    Texas Crew Kraken's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by chodan9 View Post
    On bent over 1 arm dumbbell rows,
    I don't know if I never gave em a fair shot or I have been doing them wrong.
    but to me they never felt like they did sh!t for me.
    I can go heavy or light, focus on strict form or just throw em up and nothing.
    I haven't done them in a long time (kind of gave up on them)
    Rarely do I see people doing them correctly. They either go too heavy and heave-ho, or their form is just really odd.

    When I do mine, I make sure my back stays square to the floor, and I let my arm go about 90% of the way down, and when I bring it back up, make sure my back doesn't move, otherwise, I know I am starting to throw the weight. When I pull the weight up, I make sure my elbow completely breaks the plane of my back.

    Its very difficult to explain to someone in writing. Its one of those things where you almost need to assess the form i person. From years of an old muscle strain acting up every now and then, I manage to keep a pretty consistent imbalance if I am not careful. 1 armed DB rows have a pretty big impact on regaining that balance, that I try and rotate them in and out every 12 weeks.
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  12. #12
    Registered User jdtemple's Avatar
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    I do them on back day:

    Deadlift
    Pullups
    BB row
    Pulldown
    Seated close grip row
    DB row
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  13. #13
    Chasing the dragon JRT6's Avatar
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    I mainly do inverted rows w/ homemade blast straps. I'll use the supported t-bar with the offset handle at the gym on occasion. I don't do straight BORs anymore.
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  14. #14
    Registered User Oceanside's Avatar
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    my lower backs too smoked to do bor's on back day..
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  15. #15
    Registered User paolo59's Avatar
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    I have been pounding away on Iso-Lateral machines lately, both high and low rows. They are extremely enjoyable!
    paolo59

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  16. #16
    Where's my flip flops ? jayluk4600's Avatar
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    I do..
    Pull ups
    Bent over BB rows
    One arm DB rows
    Med grip Pull downs

    Bent over BB rows do tax my back some, I can see taking them out of the equation espec when your back gets to the point its strong and you have to use alot of weight to make them worthwhile but for now I am sticking to them.
    Keep it simple
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  17. #17
    Enjoying the lamentations Ed_Hitchens's Avatar
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    Barbell rows, followed by reverse-grip pulldowns (close-grip).
    Chins/pull-ups on alternate day.

    Never liked db rows and especially hate the t-bar machine as the pad pushes against my chest. I like to recruit the stabilizers, I feel this is much more challenging and beneficial.

    I also do deads at least once per week but consider them more of a 70% lower body, 30% back and upper body exercise. YMMV.
    Last edited by Ed_Hitchens; 02-01-2012 at 07:14 PM.
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  18. #18
    Registered User Dencio's Avatar
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    hmm.
    just did back today...
    -yates
    -tbar rows ,vbar
    -db rows
    -hammer mach,plates-pulldowns
    I do pullups and deads on seperate days
    I get occasional arm cramps....even though I use straps
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  19. #19
    I grunt pharmamarketer's Avatar
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    Totally agree on most people going tOo heavy. I was guilty. I have since lightened it up and control the weight. BIG difference

    Originally Posted by Kraken View Post
    Rarely do I see people doing them correctly. They either go too heavy and heave-ho, or their form is just really odd.

    When I do mine, I make sure my back stays square to the floor, and I let my arm go about 90% of the way down, and when I bring it back up, make sure my back doesn't move, otherwise, I know I am starting to throw the weight. When I pull the weight up, I make sure my elbow completely breaks the plane of my back.

    Its very difficult to explain to someone in writing. Its one of those things where you almost need to assess the form i person. From years of an old muscle strain acting up every now and then, I manage to keep a pretty consistent imbalance if I am not careful. 1 armed DB rows have a pretty big impact on regaining that balance, that I try and rotate them in and out every 12 weeks.
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  20. #20
    Banging it! flat6nut's Avatar
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    Love me some rows! My fave is sorta like a pendlay row except I feel stretching all the way out without touching the floor is best for me. Seems to work the lats better by keeping tension on the muscle.

    Someone stated they dont go all the way down on db rows. I personaly think the full range of motion and stretch at the bottom is key to fully developing the lats.
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    Registered User Chris_T's Avatar
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    I was doing Kroc rows as an assistance lift for my DL, which I have been stalled out on. I'm switching to Bent-over rows this week. I just wasn't getting anything from the Kroc rows.
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    Registered User db_ggmm's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bbsitum View Post
    Charles Poliquin

    If you already did a good job in the loading parameters for the squat and deadlift exercises, why overtrain the posterior chain?
    This is really smart.

    However, I dislike one arm rows. I either don't do them right or they simply don't do much for me AND they are comparatively time consuming. Even the touted grip training aspect of Kroc rows doesn't seem to work for me.
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  23. #23
    Registered User dbx's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by -=FLEX=- View Post
    I've generally always included bent-over barbell rows in my routine, but I've gotten away from them recently. Heavy squatting and heavy deadlifts and heavy BOR all on separate days just wasn't allowing my lower back enough recovering time.

    So what's everyone else doing?
    I'd like to tell you that I'm doing it now (IOW, can't atm, but working on it ), but this is how was doing it and found that it worked well:
    The key (for me...and some other respected members here) was to change from conventional deads and substitute rack deads/rack pulls on Back Day. It takes the majority of the lift off of your legs that have been recently working (depending on the starting point of the pull) and won't put you in danger of an injury that could result due to fatigue, depth, the "floor break point pull", etc., but will allow you to work on your back in great ways by doing this exercise. It also will give your legs a break! (especially hams)

    I've always found that while trying to work on one particular muscle group, I had to chill a good bit... and let other compounds take a back seat, of sorts, to allow any improvement to occur. I know that backing off of "full" deads is probably blaspheme , but you need to decide on what changes (and why) you might need to make to move forward in your progress. I also tried to re-focus such shifts with each new 8-12wk program I would embark on. Hell, I even came to rotate the emphasis on a particular exercise on a weekly basis. Basically, beside what I said to start with here, periodization is everyone's friend in almost any case.
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  24. #24
    Registered User zedx's Avatar
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    Pendlay rows ftw
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  25. #25
    Squat onslaught hammerfelt's Avatar
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    I do Pendlay Rows(Bent over rows if fatigued) every other workout after bench press.
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    Lately, reverse grip rows with an ez bar.
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    Originally Posted by dbx View Post
    I've always found that while trying to work on one particular muscle group, I had to chill a good bit... and let other compounds take a back seat, of sorts, to allow any improvement to occur. I know that backing off of "full" deads is probably blaspheme , but you need to decide on what changes (and why) you might need to make to move forward in your progress. I also tried to re-focus such shifts with each new 8-12wk program I would embark on. Hell, I even came to rotate the emphasis on a particular exercise on a weekly basis. Basically, beside what I said to start with here, periodization is everyone's friend in almost any case.

    That's old-man ****.


    For rows I pretty much live off of barbell rows and HS rows. I'll typically do 10 or more sets of each in a back workout. I also throw in t-bar rows w/barbell every now and then. I ****ing detest that t-bar row apparatus with the chest pad.
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    Registered User CardinalRB34's Avatar
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    do you do your deadlifts on back day? If you do... you can do them at the end of your workout and get your rows in first. Of course your deadlift would be much weaker at that point too.

    if you need to do deads at the beginning.. I use to alternate deads or bbell rows every other week. I also love dumbell rows bent over without a bench. opposite arm sits on same side thigh.
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    BB rows are a staple for me ... and have done more for my back then just about anything else.

    Every couple of weeks I'll also do high rep DB rows (high rep because most gyms suck when it comes to having heavy DBs). And every now and then, I'll do seated cable rows.
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  30. #30
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    I stick with BB rows, Yates rows and HS low rows (single arm)

    Once in a while I'll set up the old school t-bar and throw in DB rows.
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