Pendlay Row Benefits & Limitations
The Pendlay row does have some advantages over standard barbell rows. Mainly that you can’t cheat by using momentum. And this puts more emphasis on the target muscles of the back.
Although eliminating momentum means you should use lighter weight. So there’s a trade-off between isolation and load.
Also, your back may start to round if you’re tall or using small plates since you have to reach down further towards the floor.
- Significantly reduces momentum (cheating)
- Reduces involvement of the legs and lower back
- Works more of the upper lats and shoulder blades
- Increases explosive power at the start of the movement
- Puts you in a less athletic body position
- Not the best for lifting heavy weight to overload the lats
- Difficult to maintain flat back for taller people or when using small plates
At the end of the day, Pendlay rows are not better than bent over rows. They are simply an alternative exercise you can use for specific goals or changing up your workouts.
How To Do A Pendlay Row
Before beginning the lift, step up to the bar with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Now bend forward and grab the bar just outside shoulder-width.
In the starting position, your knees should be slightly bent. And your back should be relatively straight with your eyes looking straight down at the floor.
From here, quickly pull the bar straight up from the floor towards your sternum. As you pull, your elbows should flare out to your sides at about a 45-degree angle to your body.
- Step up to the bar with feet about shoulder-width apart
- Grab the bar with an overhand grip just outside shoulder-width
- Bend your knees slightly so your back is parallel to the floor
- Pull the bar straight up towards your sternum
- Lower the bar back to the floor and let it stop before the next rep
- Repeat for the desired number of reps