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  • Pendlay Barbell Row

    One of my favorite exercises for my back. Although I used to not do them, due to lack of strength in my core and lower back and glutes.  I now very much enjoy this compound movement.  Some basic instructions.  

    The Barbell Row starts with the bar on the floor. And the bar returns to the floor on every rep. You don’t keep the bar in the air between reps (those are Yates Rows). You pull from the floor so you can set your lower back neutral, breathe and use your hip muscles. Proper form on Barbell Rows is similar to Deadlifts: each rep starts and ends on the floor. It's not a high rep movement, do 5-10 reps per set.  Here’s how to Barbell Row with proper form in five simple steps…

    1.Walk to the bar. Stand with your mid-foot under the bar. Don’t touch it with your shins. Medium stance, toes pointing out.

    2.Grab the bar. Use a medium grip width. Narrower than on Bench Press, wider than on Deadlifts. Hold the bar low in your hands.

    3.Unlock your knees. Keep your hips higher than on the Deadlift. Bend your knees but keep them back so the bar can’t hit them.

    4.Lift your chest. Straighten your back. Don’t move the bar. Don’t drop your hips. Don’t squeeze your shoulder-blades together.

    5.Row. Take a big breath, hold it and pull the bar against your lower chest. Lead with your elbows and pull them to the ceiling.

    You can raise your torso at the top to lift heavier weights. But your Barbell Rows can’t turn into Deadlifts. If your torso rises more than 15° above parallel, the weight is too heavy. You’re shortening the range of motion to make it easier. This is like turning Squats into half Squats. Your upper-back works less which turns Barbell Rows into an ineffective strength and muscle builder. Lower the weight to keep your torso down.