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Thread: Is horizontal pulling really necessary (compared to vertical pulling)

  1. #1
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    Is vertical pulling really necessary (compared to horizontal pulling)

    TITLE SHOULD BE
    "Is vertical pulling really necessary (compared to horizontal pulling)"
    (got confused with horizontal and vertical pulls, so I got them mixed up)

    Day 1:
    -DE BP
    -Shoulders
    -Lats

    Day 2:
    -ME DL/SQ
    -Low back/Hamstrings
    -Quads

    Day 4:
    -ME BP
    -Triceps
    -Lats

    Day 5:
    -DE SQ/DL
    -Low back/Hamstrings
    -Quads

    This is a template I've been using for a few months, and all of lifts are going up steadily except bb rows. I've been doing weighted pull ups on DE BP day, and rows on ME BP.

    My question is, it seems like westside really emphasizes on lots of heavy rows and even in Mark Rippetoe's and Bill Starr's routines, pull ups and lat pulldowns are nowhere to be seen (only recommended as optional exercises). This makes me wonder, is vertical pulling really necessary if my concern is being a good bencher/deadlifter/squatter (and military press). Is vertical pulling as important as horizontal pulling? Do you guys put any emphasis on vertical pulling, or just purely focus on heavy rows all the time?
    Last edited by MPB; 08-15-2008 at 02:58 PM.

  2. #2
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    Both - the heavy rows help more with deadlifting and building up the entire back. The pulldowns and pullups are for lats and upperback work, essential for pressing. You might try Pendlay Rows if you want to switch it up.

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    I think I've heard Mr. Mason saying he doesn't pay that much attention to pull ups, just rows (I could be wrong though), and his back & deadlift are freaky as hell.

    Barbell rows being one of my worst lift, is the reason why I want to focus more. Once a week doesn't seem to be enough, and if I rowed hard on both bench days, I wouldn't be able to go as heavy on the pull ups. I just would like to hear what people have to say about vertical pulling exercises and their effectiveness compared to horizontal pulls.
    Last edited by MPB; 08-15-2008 at 02:44 PM.

  4. #4
    Bad Attitude Gym AdamBAG's Avatar
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    Well, if your competition lifts are going up then I wouldn't worry too much about the rows not going up. Just keep rowing, they must be doing some good if your bench and pull are moving.

    Normally I do chins/pullups on DE day and some type of row on max effort day. I just rotate things around to keep it interesting.

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    Just giving my opinion. I don't believe in neglecting a movement, so I include both.

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    i thought rowing was horizontal pulling...unless upright row which would be vertical pulling

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    Me too, but I got the gist of what he was saying

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    I could've sworn horizontal pushing/pulling meant things like pull ups and oh press
    maybe I'm wrong then

    EDIT: okay I'm wrong! sorry for the confusion guys, I'll edit my posts.
    Last edited by MPB; 08-15-2008 at 02:43 PM.

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    one of us is backwards.....doesnt matter though.....we know what you mean.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamBAG View Post
    Normally I do chins/pullups on DE day and some type of row on max effort day. I just rotate things around to keep it interesting.
    This is what I do as well but sometimes I feel like once a week approach is not the best solution if I want to get better at certain things.

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    I've heard that your horizontal presses and pulls should be roughly in balance (strength & volume) to protect your shoulders. Vertical and horizontal pulls seem to improve shoulder stability, strength, and health.

  12. #12
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    I like chins. You can get a good back without them, but no reason not to include them for variety.


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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    I like chins. You can get a good back without them, but no reason not to include them for variety.
    What do you think of taking out pull ups and do rows twice a week for a short while (on both DE/ME bench days) to bring up my weakness, or would you say pull ups and rows once a week (which is what I've been doing) is the best way (for me)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MightyPitbull View Post
    What do you think of taking out pull ups and do rows twice a week for a short while (on both DE/ME bench days) to bring up my weakness, or would you say pull ups and rows once a week (which is what I've been doing) is the best way (for me)?
    I think you'll end up taxing your lower back

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    The problem is by the time I'm done with ME bench, I'm too exhausted to do rows and I suspect this might be what's holding back my progress. Moving rows to DE bp, and pull ups to ME bp might make things better. What do you think?
    Last edited by MPB; 08-15-2008 at 04:53 PM.

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    Matt Wright
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    Maybe don't just do barbell rows. Try pendlay, or DB rows for a while. I bet your BB row will go up if you do that. I think the verdict seems to be that you should do vertical and horizontal movements. But if you are experienced enough to really know your body that well, you can go with your instincts.
    Quote Originally Posted by MightyPitbull View Post
    The problem is by the time I'm done with ME bench, I'm too exhausted to do rows and I suspect this might be what's holding back my progress. Moving rows to DE bp, and pull ups to ME bp might make things better. What do you think?
    Looks like you might have answered your own question.
    Last edited by Beefcaker; 04-24-2009 at 09:55 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad08 View Post
    I've heard that your horizontal presses and pulls should be roughly in balance (strength & volume) to protect your shoulders. Vertical and horizontal pulls seem to improve shoulder stability, strength, and health.
    I think roughly is the key word here. Comparing a BB row to a bench would be tough I think.

  18. #18
    Matt Wright
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    Yeah, there is no way I could BB row what I can bench. I've never seen somebody who could, to be honest.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reko View Post
    I think roughly is the key word here. Comparing a BB row to a bench would be tough I think.
    Do you mean in terms of poundage?

    I was just talking about balancing the volume between the stresses on the shoulder girdle applied in a horizontal press (e.g., flat bench), and the stresses applied in a horizontal pull (e.g., BB rows with a relatively flat back). I've read, and heard from experienced lifters, that some amount of balance in volume helps protect their shoulders.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad08 View Post
    Do you mean in terms of poundage?

    I was just talking about balancing the volume between the stresses on the shoulder girdle applied in a horizontal press (e.g., flat bench), and the stresses applied in a horizontal pull (e.g., BB rows with a relatively flat back). I've read, and heard from experienced lifters, that some amount of balance in volume helps protect their shoulders.
    Ah.
    I was referring to a BB row vs an arhced back, low touched, leg driven bench. A flat back style benching would likely be real close for me. I think all the extras change the two lifts to the point they would be difficult to compare.

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    and i have heard similar things with athletes like pitchers who need to develop the "brakes" more or less by bringing up the imbalances or the opposite of their throwing muscles, etc.

  22. #22
    Habingus
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    Do your rows before you bench.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dingus View Post
    Do your rows before you bench.
    they are generally done on separate days for me, due to time constraints.

  24. #24
    Senior Member endymion88's Avatar
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    why don't you just try doing a heavy barbell row on ME day and then kroc rows on DE day that way you wont overtax your lowback like someone said and then just add in a few extra workouts of pullups to maintain your verticle strength nothing gut busting just a few easy sets spread out during the week. just my two cents and it's what i'd do. but remember are you rowing to improve a movement or make a muscle stronger i wouldn't worry too much if the row itself isn't going up in leaps and bounds as long as my back wasn't holding me back and my core movements were going up.

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    I realized I was just worrying too much about something I don't need to, and I've already figured everything out a while ago but thanks for the answers.

    I have really really long torso and really short legs so anything I do with normal/close stance taxes the hell out of my lower back. I now do rows with a sumo stance and that works better for me.

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