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Best Back Exercise Ever!

Bigger & Thicker Lats!

Posted by Scott_Herman - August 11th, 2018

Today I want to share with you a tip that’s going to take your back workouts to the next level, and that tip has to do with the barbell bent-over row.

Now that I’m in a new gym, it gets pretty packed around 5pm-6pm at night, so I’ve had to adjust my workouts a little. After doing a really heavy set of deadlifts, the next exercise for me typically is a barbell bent-over row with an underhand-grip, because an underhand-grip allows me to focus on hitting my lats as hard as possible. Remember, an overhand-grip still targets the back, but places more emphasis on the upper back, traps and rear delts.

Lower Back Fatigue

When you do deadlifts, obviously it’s not a lower back exercise, but you do get fatigue in your lower back. If you go from deadlifts directly into a barbell bent-over row, then the position you’re in for a barbell bent-over row is a static bent-over position to pull the weight up and down. Obviously that’s going to put some tension in your lower back, and your lower back is going to fatigue. You can use a weight belt to help with lower back fatigue, but you can still minimize lower back fatigue without one as well.

Barbell Bent-Over Row Made Better!

For me, because the gym gets packed, I’m not always able to use a standard barbell, and I’m sometimes forced to use a short barbell instead. What I noticed is, when using the short barbell even with the exact same amount of weight, is that my lower back wasn’t fatiguing as quick. So I thought about it, and came to the conclusion that my lower back wasn’t getting fatigued because even though I’m bending over and my hands are in the exact same position, and I’m pulling to the same place (belly button), one thing has changed: the barbell. Because the barbell is shorter, the weights are much closer to the body, which can prevent any sort of swaying from side-to-side.

What happens when you have a long barbell is the plates aren’t close to you, they’re way out to either side, so it’s almost like the lever is longer. When the lever is longer, when you’re pulling the weight, you have to put more focus on controlling any swaying movement from side-to-side, and you have to fight that while moving the weight up and down. As soon as you switch to a short barbell, and the weight is closer to your body, you no longer have to fight the side-to-side movement. This means you can put all of your energy and focus just on pulling up, and controlling the weight on the way down. If you’re doing that, you’re going to be able to overload with more weight because your lower back won’t fatigue as quick.


If you want to give this a shot on your next workout, all you’re going to do is about 6-8 sets of 8-10 repetitions, and that’s half of your back workout right there! After that, you can go into whatever you want (e.g. T-Bar rows or single-arm rows), I don’t care, just make sure you hit the barbell bent-over row as hard as possible first!

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