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Lunar Effect
10-16-2008, 11:08 AM
In the past I have always done barbell rows from the floor with an overhand grip, however any time that I hit a plateau I would flip to an underhand grip, and then after 2-3 weeks I would revert back to the overhand grip. I am now at another road block at the 275 mark, however I am a bit nervous about going with an underhand grip at ths weight. The last time I did it was around 195. My obvious concern at this weight is that would tear a bicep.

Do any of you row primarily with an underhand grip? If so, is it near or above 275 pounds? If not, then I'll probably just allow myself to cheat for a week or two by allowing my back to rise above 30-45 degrees, and then returning to strict form once I get past this road block.

anonymous1
10-16-2008, 11:15 AM
Underhand grip is mechanically better because it puts your biceps in the strongest possible position, which mitigates them as a weak link. Basically they will fail later in the set, allowing the back to get more stimulation. I don't row over 275, so i'm not sure if you care what I say but maybe someone does.

hellagrant
10-16-2008, 11:24 AM
I am no where near 275. My rows are at 175. We are talking about bent over barbell rows right?

My perfered method is overhand. But I do switch it up every few weeks.

Which gym do you go to? I go to Miekos in Seattle.

Lunar Effect
10-16-2008, 11:49 AM
I am no where near 275. My rows are at 175. We are talking about bent over barbell rows right?

My perfered method is overhand. But I do switch it up every few weeks.

Which gym do you go to? I go to Miekos in Seattle.

Yes, I am referring to the bent-over barbell rows (Pendlay style).

I go to 2 gyms: I work at the Corps of Engineers and use the gym there more than 90% of the time. They have a power rack, chains, bands, and everything else I need and they don't care when I drop the weights after heavy sets of deads or rows.

A small portion of the time I will go to Columbia Fitness in Sammamish where I live. This is your typical health club atmosphere and I only go there if I decide to do some cardio on the weekends or if I'm taking it easy during a deload week. The positives about going there are that they have a true hyperextension bench, a better selection of dumbbell weights, and it's typically pretty quiet. I don't like doing my everyday workouts there because they got mad at me previously for dropping the weights on the floor during my deads. I was like "I'm sorry - I'll just gently set this 405 pounds on the ground."

Ben Moore
10-16-2008, 12:03 PM
In the past I have always done barbell rows from the floor with an overhand grip, however any time that I hit a plateau I would flip to an underhand grip, and then after 2-3 weeks I would revert back to the overhand grip. I am now at another road block at the 275 mark, however I am a bit nervous about going with an underhand grip at ths weight. The last time I did it was around 195. My obvious concern at this weight is that would tear a bicep.

Do any of you row primarily with an underhand grip? If so, is it near or above 275 pounds? If not, then I'll probably just allow myself to cheat for a week or two by allowing my back to rise above 30-45 degrees, and then returning to strict form once I get past this road block.

Why not just alternate grips in the same workout? I've done this in the past with good success. I've rowed over 350lbs with an underhand grip. You'll be fine.

Lunar Effect
10-16-2008, 12:13 PM
Underhand grip is mechanically better because it puts your biceps in the strongest possible position, which mitigates them as a weak link. Basically they will fail later in the set, allowing the back to get more stimulation. I don't row over 275, so i'm not sure if you care what I say but maybe someone does.

I welcome all advice. You're the first person I've heard though who felt that an underhand grip was superior to an overhand grip (not saying if that's right or wrong). My experience has always been that the underhand grip was more arm pulling while an overhand grip was more back pulling (biceps vs rear delts).

anonymous1
10-16-2008, 12:32 PM
That's weird that I'm alone on this one. It just makes sense that putting your weak link in a stronger position will lead to it being less of a weak link, and therefore allowing for more back work. The difference in poundages backs this up. I don't think how an exercise "feels" should be determining factor of its effectiveness. Leg extensions "feel" effective as can be, but aren;t.

Lunar Effect
10-16-2008, 12:33 PM
I've rowed over 350lbs with an underhand grip.

Now that is an impressive lift. What's your form like? I'm having a hard time keeping my back from going above 35-40 degrees at this stage. I don't want to end up doing the bodybuilder style where you're standing almost completely upright by the end of the lift. Are you able to keep your back somewhere between parallel to the floor and 45 degrees at that weight?

OGROK
10-16-2008, 01:09 PM
IMO use an underhand grip and only bend over until the bar ends around your knees every rep. I hate Pendlay Rows because they are done from the floor and they are done dynamically which means the muscle isn't under tension for very long, especially on the negative. Also, it's a ****ty way to try to isolate your lats, when I do rows I let my traps come in which lets me hit my lats harder than if I tried to isolate them IMO.

Lunar Effect
10-16-2008, 01:13 PM
IMO use an underhand grip and only bend over until the bar ends around your knees every rep. I hate Pendlay Rows because they are done from the floor and they are done dynamically which means the muscle isn't under tension for very long, especially on the negative. Also, it's a ****ty way to try to isolate your lats, when I do rows I let my traps come in which lets me hit my lats harder than if I tried to isolate them IMO.

It sounds like we have some different goals, which is fine. I only do Pendlay Rows because they are dynamic which builds power and explosiveness. Hypertrophy is a distant secondary consideration when I lift.

OGROK
10-16-2008, 01:21 PM
It sounds like we have some different goals, which is fine. I only do Pendlay Rows because they are dynamic which builds power and explosiveness. Hypertrophy is a distant secondary consideration when I lift.

Unless you are into olympic weightlifting I think the way I do it would be better just because hypertrophy is so important to strength -- a bigger muscle is a muscle that can become stronger and a stronger muscle is a muscle that can become bigger. Personally I never do any olympic lifts so Pendlay Rows don't help me.

Also the only reason not to do them underhand is because it places more stress on the biceps and some people have torn them doing that. But that's probably more of a genetics and bad luck thing.

borracho
10-16-2008, 01:46 PM
When I was doing rows on a regular basis...I would switch off between over hand and underhand ever other work out that I did them...seemed to work for me..though I never got over the 240s.

I love it when I see people doing BO rows on the smith machine. Where is the fun in that?!?!!!

MPB
10-16-2008, 02:12 PM
Well I'll just give you my opinion and say Pendlay Rows >>> BB Rows

I only use underhand when I row because I can move more weight and it seems to hit my back harder. For pull ups, I only use overhand grip (palms facing away), though.

Ben Moore
10-16-2008, 04:00 PM
I don't think any one trumps another but I've seen my pull go up from doing more bent rows so that's a good thing.

As for my form on the 350 - I'd say it was semi strict. You're always going to have some movement, but I definitely wasn't putting my whole body into it ;)