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Darkhorse 07-17-2005 08:49 PM

Barbell Row Technique
This was a repost by Fortified Iron originally from Madcow1 that talks about getting the most from barbell rows. I think after trying a few different ways that this is the best IMO.

Rows: Well, the best way to do them is to start with the bar on the floor every single rep. Your middle back will have slight bend to it. You pull the bar off the floor quickly with the arms, and by a powerful arch of your middle back. You finish by touching the bar to your upper stomach or middle stomach. At no time is there any movement of the hips or knees, no hip extension at all, all that bends is the middle back and the shoulders and elbows.

This is hard to do and you have to have good muscular control to do it, or you'll end up straightening up at the hips along with the arching of the back. But if you can master doing them this way you will get a big back. This works because the lats actually extend (arch) the middle back in addition to other functions, just like with glute-ham extensions compared to leg curls…you always get a stronger contraction when you move both the origin and insertion of a muscle, flexing it from both ends so to speak.

The bar returns to the floor after each rep. The bent row is actually best done as an explosive movement and the bar is moved fast. I have trained many people who could do this exercise with 350 or more lbs. I myself (Madcow) have done reps with 425, Ed Coan, who also knows how to do them properly, has done reps with over 500lbs without his back ever coming above parallel with the ground. That is stronger than Dorian Yates or Ronnie Coleman, by the way.

I did rows with Coleman once, actually, and I was far stronger than he was. He could not do more than 350lbs strictly although he could do over 500lbs by standing almost all the way up at the completion of each rep. Ed Coan is probably the strongest person on these, although one power-lifter I trained did manage 525 for a double done strictly.

Rows look at an anatomy chart. if the scapula and upper arms are held in a constant position, shortening of the lats WILL result in arching of the middle and upper back. i AM NOT saying that the lats are primarily responsible for upper back flexion... what i am saying is that they can assist in this.

i also HAVE done EMG work on various different rowing techniques... and there is not doubt that rows performed as i describe them will activate the lats more completely than done any other way i have ever seen. i have done EMG work on a large quantity of people for rows... and ive always found that these kind of rows activate the lats most completely. and besides, even if you dont buy the fact that they activate the lats better, hell, you can always be content with the fact that your getting an erector workout.

verbatimreturned 07-18-2005 04:40 PM

very interesting information. im going to print this one out because the back is one of my weakpoints, and so are my shoulders

Darkhorse 07-19-2005 04:37 PM


Originally Posted by verbatimreturned
very interesting information. im going to print this one out because the back is one of my weakpoints, and so are my shoulders

You don't really need to print it out. All it's saying is to:
1. Start with the barbell on the floor.
2. Use an explosive positive to bring the bar to your upper abs as fast as you can.
3. Slow down the negative and return the barbell to the floor.
--Keep your upper body parallel to the floor. Too many people, myself included, sometimes rise up higher to pull more weight.

That's basically it. Hope this helps. ;)

WantingMuscle7 07-19-2005 05:05 PM


Originally Posted by 0311
2. Use an explosive positive to bring the bar to your upper abs as fast as you can.

Not to question you just trying to clear this up do you mean using momentum when going up with the rep?

Darkhorse 07-19-2005 05:38 PM

Nah, just concentrate on bringing the bar up as fast as possible. Fast=explosion=type IIA fast twitch muscle fibers=more strength. Just keep it under control as well.

Plus, with JS rows, you won't have any momentum anyway since the weight will have a brief pause resting on the ground between reps. :cool:

joeyboy777 07-20-2005 05:33 AM

Good stuff 0311, Ive been using this the past few workouts. Works real well. Working on the explosiveness with heavier weights. next week we will be at 225.

Ive been having trouble rising when doing heavier weights. One thingthat work a little was ding a set of cable crunches /bendovers. It gets me used ot pushing my back down. Then I grab the barbell and do some rows, My back remembers to stay down a little more.

Darkhorse 08-10-2005 11:03 AM

Bump for Verbatimreturned :D

verbatimreturned 08-10-2005 11:35 AM

lol thanks (feeling embarresed) lol

joeyboy777 08-10-2005 12:10 PM

yeah, do it. Then do your darn stretchin boy.... flare them lats, get huge....

Ok, There are going to be the death of me tonight. I am making a 3" platform for under the bench and rack area. Now the bar can go lower

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