Pendlay Row

Pendlay Row

 

How to: Walk up to a loaded bar and position your feet about shoulder-width apart, with your toes pointed slightly outward. Bend over and grab the bar with a slightly wider than shoulder-width grip with your palms facing toward you. Straighten your back and raise your hips until your back is roughly parallel to the floor. 

Pull the barbell to your upper body, touching it anywhere between your lower chest and belly button. Once the bar touches your body, reverse the movement and return it to the floor. 

Why: The Pendlay row is similar to the barbell row, except you don’t use your lower body to help hoist the bar off the floor. This means you probably won’t be able to lift as much weight as you do with other row variations, but it also means your lats, traps, and rhomboids do more of the work and you aren’t limited by your lower-body strength.

Bent-Over Row

 

How to: Grab a loaded barbell with an underhand grip (your palms facing away from you) and hold it just below your knees. Without using your legs to build momentum, pull the barbell to your torso, touching it anywhere between the bottom of your rib cage and your belly button. Once the bar touches your body, reverse the movement and return to the starting position. 

Why: Many bodybuilders—including Dorian Yates, the inventor of the exercise and six-time Olympia winner—believe the Yates row is superior to the barbell row at training the biceps, traps, and upper back. Many people also find it more comfortable as well.

Dumbbell Row

 

Dumbbell Row

 

How to: Hold a dumbbell in your right hand. Bend over and put your left hand and left knee on a bench, chair, windowsill, etc. that’s about knee height off the ground. Keep your right foot planted on the floor and let your right arm (the one holding the dumbbell) extend toward the floor. 

Keeping your back straight, pull the dumbbell upward until it touches your torso. Return the dumbbell to the starting position. Once you’ve completed the desired number of reps, repeat the process with your left arm.

Why: The main benefits of the one-arm dumbbell row are that it trains each side of your body independently and that you can lift slightly more weight with each arm than you can when doing the barbell row. (That is, if you can lift 200 pounds with both arms during the barbell row, you’ll probably be able to lift 105 pounds or so with one arm during the dumbbell row).