Exercise Library
Bent Row

AKA Bent-over row, bent forward row
The bent row is a basic back exercise for building horizontal pulling and upper back strength.
Hold the bar with a clean-width grip, arch your back tightly, unlock your knees, and hinge at your hips to bend forward until your trunk is nearing horizontal. Keeping the bar close to your legs, pull the shoulder blades back and down and pull your elbows up to row the bar into your abdomen. Squeeze your entire back tightly at the top of each rep, arching the length of your spine and pulling the shoulder blades back and down. Lower the bar under control to full elbow extension without losing your arched back position.
The bent row can be performed strictly with a controlled tempo, or with a little body English to put some speed on the bar and then reach the trunk into the bar at the top of the row.
The bent row is a basic back strength exercise that helps develop the upper and middle back, and even the lower back through its role in holding the body in position throughout the movement. It will also strengthen the shoulders and arms. It can serve to help develop postural strength, shoulder stability, back arch strength, upper back arch strength in particular, and arm strength for the pull under the bar in the clean and snatch.
Sets of 5-10 reps are usually appropriate with weight that allows a full range of motion with proper posture.  
The bent row can be done with a snatch grip, with hands supinated (palms facing forward), and with different trunk angles. It can also be done as a Pendlay row, in which each rep starts with the bar on the floor and the upper back rounded, and then the athlete extends the upper back during the rowing motion.

Please log in to post a comment

Pepito Sevilla
November 25 2016
Good day, catalyst athletics.

If i do a variation of this movement that calls for a pause on the floor after each rep, should i keep my shoulder blades retracted throughout the whole movement or only at the top of each rep (until the end of the concentric)?

Thank you.