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  1. #1
    Registered User broganoff's Avatar
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    T Bar row weak compared to DB row?

    I can bent-over single arm dumbbell row 100 pounds. I've done those and pull-ups religiously for many years. T-Bar has always been something that I've done here and there but never really took seriously, but trying to do more now.

    My T-Bar/Incline Lever Row using both arms is about the same as my single arm DB row. Shouldn't my T-Bar be much higher?

    Is this because:

    1) T-Bar/Incline row focuses different muscles than a bent-over DB row?

    2) When rowing with one arm, are both sides of my back assisting with the lift, therefore reducing what I actually lift if rowing with both arms simultaneously?

    3) Does the bar itself add much weight? I can't see it weighing more than 45 pounds on it's own, and from what I understand lifting one end of a lever is a small fraction of it's total weight. The other end is in a joint about 8" off the floor.

    Thanks in advance for the feedback.
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  2. #2
    I need about tree fiddy davisj3537's Avatar
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    Chest supported t bar rows are hard to cheat; db rows are super easy to cheat. Your torso will twist and you angle your back up a bit without even thinking about it. Both of these things significantly reduce range of motion and shift emphasis to larger muscles a bit.
    Experience, not just theory
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    Registered User darrenash's Avatar
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    There is no rule that says you should be stronger in one exercise over anther. My seated dumbbell shoulder press is heavier than I can manage of flat dumbbell chest press. And my Romanian dead lift is heavier than my conventional dead lift.

    Weight is not important. Performing the move correctly and safely is all that matters.
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    old woman melDorado's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by broganoff View Post
    I can bent-over single arm dumbbell row 100 pounds. I've done those and pull-ups religiously for many years. T-Bar has always been something that I've done here and there but never really took seriously, but trying to do more now.

    My T-Bar/Incline Lever Row using both arms is about the same as my single arm DB row. Shouldn't my T-Bar be much higher?

    Is this because:

    1) T-Bar/Incline row focuses different muscles than a bent-over DB row?

    2) When rowing with one arm, are both sides of my back assisting with the lift, therefore reducing what I actually lift if rowing with both arms simultaneously?

    3) Does the bar itself add much weight? I can't see it weighing more than 45 pounds on it's own, and from what I understand lifting one end of a lever is a small fraction of it's total weight. The other end is in a joint about 8" off the floor.

    Thanks in advance for the feedback.
    All rows are not equal
    I can DB row way more than i can barbell bent row and i can BB bent row more than i can strict wide grip seal row.
    Personally i like to go over heavy on DB rows and even allow a little body english in my form
    Then follow this up with another lighter super strict row
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  5. #5
    Registered User Garage Rat's Avatar
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    Both different.
    T bar rows have a shorter range of motion that you can move the bar.
    You can do T bar rows strict pulling and contracting or like Arnold in the movie Pumping Iron a little looser and using the low back also creating some momentum on the pull.
    Ive found for me the T bars hit the low lats pretty well.
    I would as mentioned though if you want a stricter back building movement go with the chest supported row if you have access to one.
    The one arm DB row allows more freedom with the working arm so you can target specific areas of the back better and get a good lat /back stretch at the bottom of each rep.
    Example if you pull more to the chest and have your elbow out you'll target more upper back and rear delt.
    If you keep the elbow more to the side and pull back towards the waist you hit the lats better.
    Both are beneficial to back development but are a bit different with leverages and range of motion.
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    Tuna, No Crust Jax05's Avatar
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    Most likely reason: t-bar uses wider grip and db row uses a narrow/close grip
    you'll always be able to pull more weight with your arms close to the body
    Don't hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit softly.
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  7. #7
    Registered User broganoff's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Garage Rat View Post
    I would as mentioned though if you want a stricter back building movement go with the chest supported row if you have access to one.
    Yes, I am speaking of chest-supported T-Bar/Incline Lever Rows. Sorry for the confusion. Not sure how much that has an effect, although if anything it should isolate more?

    Thanks for the replies everyone, repped
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  8. #8
    Registered User broganoff's Avatar
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    Edit: Double Post via poor internet connection
    Last edited by broganoff; 02-23-2018 at 03:24 PM.
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  9. #9
    Furniture Lifter Champ fluidZ's Avatar
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    my tbar chest is a bit more than half of my pendlay....
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  10. #10
    Registered User broganoff's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Garage Rat View Post
    Example if you pull more to the chest and have your elbow out you'll target more upper back and rear delt.
    If you keep the elbow more to the side and pull back towards the waist you hit the lats better.
    Makes sense. By default your palms will be facing you with a DB row and lends itself to pulling closer to the body unless you make a point of not doing so, whereas with the T-Bar you have the option of having your palms facing down and a wider grip. I think that's why I felt the burn in my rear delts in the days after doing T-Bar Rows with a wider BB-style grip.

    Cause of that I think I'm liking T-Bar rows now! Will alternate T-Bar and DB rows now. Thanks all.
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  11. #11
    Replies in 1/2 hr - 3 day GeneralSerpant's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by broganoff View Post
    Makes sense. By default your palms will be facing you with a DB row and lends itself to pulling closer to the body unless you make a point of not doing so, whereas with the T-Bar you have the option of having your palms facing down and a wider grip. I think that's why I felt the burn in my rear delts in the days after doing T-Bar Rows with a wider BB-style grip.

    Cause of that I think I'm liking T-Bar rows now! Will alternate T-Bar and DB rows now. Thanks all.
    BTW palms facing each other on pulls is called a neutral grip, while palms facing forward as you were describing is a pronated grip. Palms facing your body is a supinated grip.
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