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Alternative to Barbell rows? too much lower back pain
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Mr.GM Offline
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Alternative to Barbell rows? too much lower back pain
I'm able to do squats and deadlifts in a relatively safe and proper form , but for some reason I struggle to do barbell rows without feeling lower back pain after.


There is a good alternative to it in strenght training ? Anyone with the same issue?

the rows are the last exercise in the routine , (after squat and bench) on day b




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05-07-2012 10:09 PM
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bface Offline
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RE: Alternative to Barbell rows? too much lower back pain
Did you have someone check your form?

You could try cleans instead, but lower reps and more sets (ex. if you did 3x5 rows, do 5x3 cleans).
05-07-2012 10:20 PM
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MikeCF Offline
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RE: Alternative to Barbell rows? too much lower back pain
Does your gym have a t-bar row machine?
05-07-2012 10:22 PM
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YoungGunner Offline
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RE: Alternative to Barbell rows? too much lower back pain
I used to have the same problem, but I figured out my form was wrong. You gotta stick your ass all the way back, keep your weight on the soles of your feet, and personally I press my knees together
05-07-2012 10:29 PM
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HiFlo Offline
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RE: Alternative to Barbell rows? too much lower back pain
ur machine should have a back row machine, yes?

[Image: seated_cable_row.jpg]
(This post was last modified: 05-07-2012 10:41 PM by HiFlo.)
05-07-2012 10:41 PM
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RichieP Offline
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RE: Alternative to Barbell rows? too much lower back pain
Sternup pullups if you can do them (the king)
1-Arm Dumbell rows (takes twice as long, but just as good really)
T-bar rows (not quite as good as free weights, but decent)
Bodyweight rows on smith machine with legs on bench, can rest weight plates on your abdomen for progression


I'd avoid cables and shit, no one builds a big back with those.
05-08-2012 12:25 AM
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WanderingSoul Offline
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RE: Alternative to Barbell rows? too much lower back pain
First I would make sure your form is correct. That very well may be the problem. If it is correct and the pain is still too much, I would start doing pullups in their place.
05-08-2012 12:35 AM
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The Fantasist Away
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RE: Alternative to Barbell rows? too much lower back pain
Yeah I can't do BB rows either. The obvious replacement is the supported BB row with a bench under your stomach/chest. Personally I just do one armed rows with straps so I can go heavy. Best solution IMO.
05-08-2012 12:38 AM
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Biz Offline
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RE: Alternative to Barbell rows? too much lower back pain
The video you posted the guy is bending over WAY too much, that's putting serious stress on your back..

Check this out, Dorian Yates technique



(This post was last modified: 05-08-2012 03:34 PM by Biz.)
05-08-2012 03:32 PM
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ElJefe Offline
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RE: Alternative to Barbell rows? too much lower back pain
That's a pendlay row, and is good for isolating the lats and delt posteriors.

Gm... try bent-over DB rows with a bench instead... same exercise, but easier to keep good form.

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05-08-2012 04:16 PM
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kosko Offline
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RE: Alternative to Barbell rows? too much lower back pain
Isolate on a machine. You will eventually blow your back out with those standing hunch rows. Your back muscles are quite large and don't have the fine creases like a pec that needs the free weight stimulation on the smaller parts. My back is quite strong and I never do those movements I just isolate, use a tbar row and to back raises with a plate on a Roman raiser.
05-08-2012 06:55 PM
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velkrum Offline
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RE: Alternative to Barbell rows? too much lower back pain
(05-07-2012 10:09 PM)Mr.GM Wrote:  I'm able to do squats and deadlifts in a relatively safe and proper form , but for some reason I struggle to do barbell rows without feeling lower back pain after.

shoot a video of yourself when doing BB rows. If you can deadlift properly you should not be feeling any pain
05-08-2012 07:11 PM
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Mr.GM Offline
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RE: Alternative to Barbell rows? too much lower back pain
(05-07-2012 10:22 PM)MikeCF Wrote:  Does your gym have a t-bar row machine?

no , not a machine. But it is possible to do it fixing the bar against the wall in the corner. I'll give it a try to the bench over dumb bell rows too.

I have some escoliosis , so it is hard to keep the back 100 % straight. I'll need to deload a little bit.

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05-08-2012 07:51 PM
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NuMbEr7 Offline
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RE: Alternative to Barbell rows? too much lower back pain
Do exercises for your core. Core and lower back are attached i.e. Strong Core = strong lower back

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05-09-2012 12:10 PM
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Newb#3 Offline
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RE: Alternative to Barbell rows? too much lower back pain
Great alternatives to barbell rows:
-Dumbbell Rows
-Chest Supported Rows
-Seated Cable Rows with a regular bar, or Parallel Bar Handles
-T-Bar Rows (you can actually do these without a T-Bar, using the Parallel Bar Handles which most gyms have)

Decent alternatives:
-Pull Ups (if you mainly rowed for back WIDTH)
-Lat Pulldowns (same as pull ups)
-Rack Pulls (if you cared more about back THICKNESS)
-a combo of Rack Pulls and Pull Ups, to get everything covered

But, I agree with the poster that said that you might be bending over too low on your barbell rows. If you are going to bend over to the point where your back almost parallel with the floor, then don't bother using maximal weights, just go lighter and focus on contraction. Otherwise, that's a little too stressful on the back IMO. Try them with a more upright stance, and see if they are better then. Or you could do the dumbbell rows, where that angle of the back is normal.
05-09-2012 01:55 PM
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dulst Offline
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RE: Alternative to Barbell rows? too much lower back pain
Pull ups or weighted pull ups.

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05-09-2012 01:57 PM
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MikeCF Offline
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RE: Alternative to Barbell rows? too much lower back pain
Pull-ups work an entirely different set of the back muscles than t-bar rows. Pull ups give you good back wideness but not back thickness.

A good back workout has a "pulling up" movement - think chins, pull-ups, and the unfairly-maligned lat pulldowns; and a "pulling towards" movement - think dumb bell rows, t-bar rows, bent over rows.
05-09-2012 02:32 PM
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flyfreshandyoung Offline
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RE: Alternative to Barbell rows? too much lower back pain
Are you rounding your back? You may need to lower your weight until you can do it without back pain.

Also, young gunner is entirely correct.

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05-09-2012 05:21 PM
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SamBellamy Offline
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RE: Alternative to Barbell rows? too much lower back pain
I never got anything out of doing barbell rows; except the occasional injury. If you want to do heavy barbell work, then just stick to deadlifts and rackpulls. Dumbbells, cables and even machines are superior in my opinion for working the back (lats, mid-back).

- If your gym doesn't have too many fancy equipments you can try these:
Set up a bench on a high incline. Face the bench grabbing two dumbbells in each hand and row. You can go pretty heavy on these and it is almost impossible to cheat on these unlike other variations.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nl2MnK1i504

- If you have any chest supported rowing machines in your gym however I would advantage of those.

Hope this helps.
05-13-2012 03:31 PM
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Thomas the Rhymer Offline
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RE: Alternative to Barbell rows? too much lower back pain
(05-09-2012 05:21 PM)flyfreshandyoung Wrote:  Are you rounding your back? You may need to lower your weight until you can do it without back pain.

I agree with lowering the weight. I kept hurting myself on barbell rows, so as one point I had to deload by 20%. After slowly building back up to the weight I had been training at, my back didn't hurt anymore. Sometimes you have to accept a temporary defeat to achieve ultimate victory.
05-14-2012 02:18 PM
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Hades Offline
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RE: Alternative to Barbell rows? too much lower back pain
I agree with Thomas the Rhymer. You probably have to cycle aggressively to avoid destroying your back.
05-14-2012 04:51 PM
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velkrum Offline
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RE: Alternative to Barbell rows? too much lower back pain
BB Rows are not a strength exercise. Your not supposed to lift heavy with them.
05-14-2012 06:53 PM
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RE: Alternative to Barbell rows? too much lower back pain
Moar Kroc Rows.

I've got a lower back like an oak tree so these never bother me, even when I do them heavy. I actually prefer kroc rows though, but my gym doesn't have big enough dumbbells #firstworldswoleproblems

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05-14-2012 07:46 PM
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RexImperator Offline
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RE: Alternative to Barbell rows? too much lower back pain
Anyone have a link to a good video showing proper barbell row form?

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04-08-2014 10:20 AM
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The Beast1 Offline
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RE: Alternative to Barbell rows? too much lower back pain
This is how I do my bent over rows. Scroll down till you see it:

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/wotw46.htm

That guy is way too bent over for that to be comfortable. I do my bent over rows at roughly at 45* angle. It's almost like I am setting up for a deadlift with a lot less bend in my knees.
04-08-2014 11:28 AM
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