Exercise of the month: The Bent Over Row

When it comes to back work bent over row is a strong choice. The only problem is most people, in fact most trainers, we do it wrong.

Let me clarify, if you want to develop maximum strength, rather than just hypertrophy in the last, the bar must be pulled from the floor. Most people allow the bar to hang from the arms with their body at anywhere between 45 and 80 degrees. The more upright you are the more you can lift, true. But you affect less muscle, creating less adaption and moveover the bar moves a shorter distance (that’s why you can pull more weight as work done = weight X distance), in the same way a half squat compares to a full squat. So don’t massage your ego get results instead.

As for the hang while it enables the post stretch reflex, which will help you lift more, it makes the reps unmeasurable as the bottom of each pull may be different in high.

How To Do A Bent Over Row For Strength

Start with the bar on the floor, bumper plates are great for this as they give you a set high for each rep whatever weight you use.

Lean over the bar and grab hold. Use the grip your most comfortable with over hand hits more triceps, under hand more biceps.

With your back parallel to the floor lift the chest to brace the back. You do not need to artificially retract the shoulder blades, they will come back as you pull, if you pull hard and far enough. The lift should start with a hip thrust while keeping the back level. Then pull the bar virtually slamming it into the upper belly.

For a rep to count it must reach the stomach.

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