Are traditional barbell bent-over rows causing back pain for you?

Do you still try to push through the pain because you know how important it is to have a strong back?

You’re not the only one who will often trade pain for strength gains but it doesn’t have to be like that.

Traditional barbell bent-over rows can be intimidating for anyone dealing with chronic low back issues. They are tough to get right and most people don’t know how to make corrections.

It goes without saying, the bent-over row is an excellent posterior chain exercise but needs to be respected and mastered if you ever want to be able to do them without underlying back pain.

What should I do if Bent-Over Rows cause me back pain?

There are a few things you can check and adjust when it comes to bent-over rows causing back pain. Here is a small cheat sheet of changes you could make that will bring about less pain and more gains.

  • Drop weight until you can find a manageable load then scale up slowly from there.
  • Adjust the angle of your back. For some being completely parallel or close to it with the ground puts too much load on the low back.
  • Are you bracing properly? For some it’s not enough bracing to support the low back for others it’s too much bracing. Learn to tune the brace to fit the demand. Bonus tip: Most need to brace less
  • Stop using barbells to do bent-over rows. Switch up to dumbbells and see how that changes things.
  • How much jerking and momentum do you use? Stop.

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