As athletes watch someone perform the Pendlay row, they may question if it would be a good replacement for the barbell row, or if it is simply a worthwhile accessory lift.
The Pendlay Row vs. The Barbell Row — Form Differences
The first difference is in form. The second is in the amount of weight you can lift.
The Pendlay Row is a barbell row variation in which the bar is lifted and lowered to the ground between each rep. This is also known as a JS Row or Speed Deadlift. This means that you keep the weight constant throughout the lift. In order to do this exercise, you must pull the bar up from the floor to your lower chest, hinged at the waist with your back parallel to the ground, and then immediately return it back down in one fluid motion.
The Barbell Row differs from other exercises in that you have to lower the bar in a 3-4 second count. Lower the weight until your arms are almost fully extended, pausing before initiating the next pull. Instead of an explosive movement, think of it as a pulsing one.
How to Do the Pendlay Row
The barbell row is an effective exercise for building size and strength in the back, shoulders, and arms. The Pendlay row uses specific techniques to help you generate more power and force your target muscles to work harder.
Step 1 — Get Into the Starting Position
Start by putting a loaded barbell on the floor in front of your toes. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width. To do a proper squat, start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing slightly outward. Then, keeping your back straight and your core engaged, lower yourself into a squat position by bending your knees and Pushing your hips back until your upper body is parallel to the ground.
Bend your knees and hips to lower your torso and shins until they’re just past perpendicular to the floor. arch your lower back, and grab the bar with an overhand grip. Bend your knees and hips to lower your torso and shins until they are just past perpendicular to the floor. The width of your grip will be determined by the length of your arms. Maintaining a parallel torso is the priority, so you should grab the bar wider than shoulder-width.
The ideal position for your upper body while working out your hamstrings should cause some tightness, but no discomfort. If you want to avoid pain, make sure to warm up your hips, hamstrings, glutes, and lower back before trying to achieve the position.
Step 2 — Perform an Explosive Pull
To create tension and stability, flex your abs and squeeze the bar. To perform this exercise, start by pinching your shoulder blades together. Then, quickly drive your elbows up while pulling the bar to your lower chest. Your torso should not lift from the parallel position.
The bar should touch your lower chest or upper abdomen before you allow it to quickly return to the ground. Do not try to slow down the barbell on purpose during the descent. Wait until the bar is completely still on the ground before starting the next repetition.
If your body is moving around a lot while you are lifting weights, put less weight on the bar and focus on keeping a straight posture. The position of your upper body is more important than how much weight you’re lifting when you’re trying to lift explosively.
Pendlay Row Mistakes to Avoid
The Pendlay row is a type of barbell row that is used to avoid technical issues that are more common with traditional barbell rows. Avoid these problems to ensure you are performing the task correctly.
Moving Your Upper Body
The Pendlay row is a significantly bent-over position exercise where the upper body is kept parallel to the ground. The weight is moved solely by the muscles in the upper back and lat, rather than by any lower body muscles. This allows for more stress to be placed on those specific muscles.
If your torso shifts while you are lifting the weight, you are not using the target muscles efficiently and therefore will not gain as much strength or size from the exercise.
Remember to bend your body forward to get the best results. Be conscious of maintaining a strict parallel position. Never trade technique for more weight on the bar.
Bouncing Off the Floor
Perform each repetition of the Pendlay row by starting with the bar on the floor. To generate the maximum force on each individual rep, your body cannot rely on the stretch-shortening cycle. This technique is sometimes referred to as “dead-stop training.”
If you don’t take a full rest at the bottom, you build momentum, which reduces the body’s force production and makes the exercise less effective.
You should avoid allowing the bar to come to a complete stop on the ground after each rep. Between each repetition, letting go of the bar and resetting your grip can help to ensure that you completely stop. When starting a set, think of each individual rep as a new set. This will help you mentally prepare for and execute each rep with maximal effort. Instead of “a set of five reps”, think of performing “five single reps” with one second between each. This will help you focus on each rep and ensure that you are using the proper form.
Muscles Worked by Pendlay Row
The Pendlay row is an exercise that uses multiple joints and muscles to lift the weight. This exercise targets nearly every muscle on the back half of the body.
The muscles in the upper back work mainly to control the shoulder blades. Each repetition of the Pendlay row activates the muscles in the upper back, which helps to lift the bar from the ground and pull it into the top position.
The latissimus dorsi (lats) are large muscles that run near your ribs and from under your arms to your lower back. The biceps work to bring the arm in towards the body from an extended position. This makes them the primary mover during any rowing exercise.
Their primary role is to maintain your upright posture The spinal erectors are a pair of muscular columns located along your spine. Their primary function is to help you maintain an upright posture. The muscles in your core work to control your torso position at the waist, including bending forwards or sideways, and rotating. The spinal erectors work to keep the upper body still during the Pendlay row.
The biceps brachii muscle is responsible for controlling the movement of the elbow, allowing the arm to bend into a closed position. The biceps muscles do not fully contract during a Pendlay row, but they still help to pull the weight towards the body and finish the lift in the top position.
The forearm muscles are split into two groups – the flexors on the underside of the forearm, and the extensors on the top side. You will heavily activate your flexors while maintaining a secure grip on the barbell during Pendlay rows. You will also recruit your extensors while controlling the bar during the upwards lift.
Pendlay Row Variations
Although the Pendlay row provides many advantages, not all weightlifters may feel confident enough to try this difficult exercise. Here are some methods you can use to gradually work your way up to Pendlay rows.
The chest-supported row is an exercise that allows you to train your back without requiring any lower body stabilization. This is perfect for lifters who have a lower back issue or mobility restrictions that prevent them from reaching the parallel torso position needed for Pendlay rows.
Many chest-supported row machines have a variety of handles that can be used to emphasize different muscles in the back.
Neutral-Grip Two Dumbbell Row
The single-arm dumbbell row is a common movement, but performing the movement with two dumbbells at once is an excellent way to transition to barbell rowing. If you evenly distribute the load among both sides of the body, it will be easier to spot any discrepancies in strength between the muscles on either side.
A neutral grip means holding the weight in the middle of the Dumbbell rather than at the end. This grip style also reduces strain on the shoulder joint and allows increased muscular stress on the biceps and upper back.
How to do Barbell Rows
The difference between a Barbell row and a regular row is the pace and the amount of control used when lifting. The Barbell row is a 3-4 second count movement. The movement is slow and controlled and makes the muscles go from being contracted to being fully lengthened. This movement is a great alternative to Pendlay Row. Here’s how to do it in perfect form.
Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart, and a loaded barbell on the ground in front of you. To begin the exercise, bend over at the hips and grasp the bar using an overhand or underhand grip. Next, You will need to grab the bar and lift it until it is 2-3 inches off the floor. This is your starting position.
Make sure your shoulders are stacked directly above or even past the bar so you won’t have to work as hard to lift it. To improve your posture, you should tense the muscles in your upper back and core.
Ensure that your arms are almost fully extended before using your back to pull the barbell off the floor. Stop at the top of the movement with the barbell under your chest.
Lower the bar slowly back to your starting position. You do not lower it to the ground.
What are the differences between the Pendlay row and the Barbell row?
Glenn Pendlay was an Olympic coach who specialized in Olympic-style lifting.
The key difference between the Pendlay Row and the Barbell Row is that Pendlay Row is focused more on developing strength, while the Barbell Row emphasizes muscle growth. That’s not the only one though.
The Range of motion
The Pendlay Row is performed by lifting the bar off the ground from a dead-stop position. To do this move, grip the barbell and lift it off the floor, bring it up to your chest, and then lower it back down to the floor.
The range of motion for the muscles involved is much higher. The Barbell Row requires you to lower the bar to almost fully extended arms, and then return it back up to the chest. This means you have a limited range of motion. Your arms are never fully extended.
Pendlay Rows allow you to lift more weight than barbell rows because the movement is explosive and continuous. The catch is that you will have to do fewer repetitions.
The Pendlay row is a compound exercise that allows you to lift heavy weights, whereas the Barbell row is better for doing more reps because you don’t generally lift as heavy.
Time under tension
The Pendlay row is designed to help you produce more force. There is no momentum involved when you are lifting the barbell off of the floor. This means that you have to use more muscle fibers with each repetition, using explosive force.
This means that you will put the bar back on the floor after each repetition, which will reduce the amount of strain on the muscles and the amount of time that they are under tension.
You can use a lighter weight when you do the Barbell Row. But your time under tension is more because of the pause at the top position and the fact that you don’t deload the bar ever. The barbell row is preferable to the Pendlay if your main goal is to increase muscle size.
Carry Over to other compounds
Pendlay believes that Olympic-style weightlifting exercises have a positive effect on other compound moves. If you do Pendlay Rows correctly, you will be able to do other weightlifting exercises, like the deadlift or the squat, more explosively.
Although the Barbell row offers fewer carry-over benefits, it is still a good exercise. While this move is not as popular as it once was, it is still a great way to build muscle mass. The Pendlay Row is superior to the Barbell Row when it comes to compound movements such as squats or deadlifts.
This makes the Pendlay row a good exercise for people who want to stay in a lower heart rate zone. Because the Pendlay row focuses on explosive lifts, it rarely pushes your body into overdrive, making it a good exercise for people who want to stay in a lower heart rate zone. You cannot do these things every day. You are doing weightlifting in an explosive way. You will need to allow for enough time to recover between each workout that includes the Pendlay Row. But it will still be easier to recover from.
The Barbell row will make your muscles work harder by increasing the time they are under tension. This means that your muscles will be working harder than they need to, which can lead to injury. The more repetitions you do of an exercise, the greater the likelihood that your muscles will be pushed into overdrive, leading to injury.
This means that you will likely need more time to recover between sets of Barbell rows than Pendlay rows.
Which Exercise Is Harder for Beginners?
That’s subjective. However, because the Pendlay row is heavier and requires a greater range of motion, it may be more difficult for beginners to perform than barbell rows.
The Barbell Row is a good choice for beginners who want to lift weights because you can start with lighter weights. Its range of motion is restricted, which makes it a good choice for beginners. Although it is not necessary, it is important that you learn the form for each move. Try mixing up your routine by doing some different exercises to build your upper body strength, like seated rows, close grip bench presses, dumbbell presses, or barbell presses. You can also try negative pull-ups or assisted pull-ups to get a stronger upper body.
You are constantly lying down with your back parallel to the ground. The Barbell row is an exercise that requires you to be in a loaded position for as long as you perform the exercise. That can be taxing on your lower back. You should practice the move with a lighter weight so you can do it without getting hurt.