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    Registered User mojojonz's Avatar
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    Alternative to Bent Over Row

    Hey,

    So been on F5 Intermediate for a few months, and I've decided that I've got to swap out Bent over Rows. They are killing my lower back. I realise this is most likely a form issue or something, but I'd rather swap it out than keep trying. It's the only exercise that really strains my lower back and which makes it stay sore.

    On Monday I do Pendlay row (as per program), this is fine on my back
    Then Thursday its bent over row.

    It seems that 2x good alternative are:
    1. Lying face down on a inclined bench and pulling up dumbells
    2. Doing seated wide grip overhand cable rows to the stomach

    Are these correct? I'd rather do the second one, but not sure if its too much like Pendlay Rows or not.
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    Registered User Xpiro's Avatar
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    Same problem here (not anymore it seems, I just started back on them... knock on wood tho), I just did T bar rows for a while. I guess you'd want to use a cable attachment that allows you to pronate with a grip wider than a typical neutral grip seated row attachment, but I liked to alternate between the two.
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    Registered User vristang's Avatar
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    my alternate for bo row (when my low back is tight), is dumbbell rows.
    I can handle heavy weight, and actually get a better pump with the dumbbells.

    I do them with one hand braced on the dumbbell rack, sometimes I brace on an incline bench. What ever feels better.

    Try a few different row variations, and be willing to rotate lifts now and then...


    for low back issues, I work in hyperextensions and RDL's. Might be a couple weeks of doing weighted hypers will strengthen your low back enough that the issue goes away...
    Jason
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    My advice is from personal experience only, use at your own risk, lol
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    Registered User mojojonz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Xpiro View Post
    Same problem here (not anymore it seems, I just started back on them... knock on wood tho), I just did T bar rows for a while. I guess you'd want to use a cable attachment that allows you to pronate with a grip wider than a typical neutral grip seated row attachment, but I liked to alternate between the two.
    Is that T-bar pulling to the stomach. On the F5 Intermediate it has Pendlay rows on Upper A, so I guess I want rows to be as close to bent over rows as possible, and not basically just hit the same muscles as Pendlay rows
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    Registered User melpa64's Avatar
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    I do incline dumbbell rows as an alternative which are great, you won't be able to go as heavy as a barbell row of course but it takes the lower back completely out so pretty much isolates the lats completely. It's a great excersise.
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    Registered User Zeke2112's Avatar
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    Not sure about the cable rows but I do 45 degree incline dumbbell rows and I love them.

    Exact same muscles worked as bent over barbell rows without the tension on the lower back.
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    Registered User Xpiro's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mojojonz View Post
    Is that T-bar pulling to the stomach. On the F5 Intermediate it has Pendlay rows on Upper A, so I guess I want rows to be as close to bent over rows as possible, and not basically just hit the same muscles as Pendlay rows
    To the stomach for neutral grip yes, but for the prone/wide grip attachmemt I pulled it a little higher toward my upper abdomen. But I wanted specifically to work on my traps and rear delts, so you can just do what feels more akin to a normal BOR to emphasize more lats or however you want to do them to fine tune whichever part of your back you think needs attention. Others have suggested DB rows which will work as well, but overloading will be more difficult because of the 5lb jumps with DBs.
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    Registered User mojojonz's Avatar
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    mojojonz is offline
    Originally Posted by Xpiro View Post
    To the stomach for neutral grip yes, but for the prone/wide grip attachmemt I pulled it a little higher toward my upper abdomen. But I wanted specifically to work on my traps and rear delts, so you can just do what feels more akin to a normal BOR to emphasize more lats or however you want to do them to fine tune whichever part of your back you think needs attention. Others have suggested DB rows which will work as well, but overloading will be more difficult because of the 5lb jumps with DBs.
    Thanks for replies everyone. I have a home gym with small plates so I can increment my dumbells by 2.5lbs each so no problem.

    Seems to be agreement that incline dumbells is a good option so I'll do that.
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    Registered User Sulo2piste0's Avatar
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    I confess to not knowing what F5 is, or how that is significant. I take a wide grip on a bar and do seated rows. I don't know how different the muscle work is (if it be significant). I feel a good pump similar to bent rows, partly because I know I am stricter with my movement when seated (on the ground).
    Just trying to become stronger.

    Short-term goals:
    50 kg dumbbells for bench presses (at 45 currently)
    48 cm biceps (44.5 currently). Size of biceps seems to correspond to strength in my case.

    Old-fashioned home gym; no special workout other than lift heavy.

    46 years old, not 50.
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  10. #10
    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    Bent rows with any kind of weight are dangerous to the low back until you build more strength in that area as the lats and mid to upper back muscles are much stronger than the low back. Use a lighter weight on bent rows to progressively strengthen the low back and include supported rows that will challenge the mid to upper back. At some point the lower back will develop the strength necessary to allow the exercise to be heavier. This will come from progressive overload
    If you don't get what you want you didn't want it bad enough
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    Registered User Garage Rat's Avatar
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    A common mistake is not hinging at the waist but bending over at the low back.
    Push the hips back as you bend and let the glutes and hamstring take some of the pressure off if your not doing it already.
    You may want to work the low back/lumbars with back raises other movement to condition them for heavy endurance.
    Also use the right amount of weight so your not heaving it up and are rowing.
    Other movements to save the low back are DB rows on a low incline bench or chest supported row if you have one available.
    Good luck.
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    Registered User mojojonz's Avatar
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    Thanks again, all. Some really helpful responses here!
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