How To: Pendlay Row

What’s going on Nation? Today I’m going to demonstrate for you guys how to form a pendlay row which is an exercise that was invented by Glen Pendlay Now what this exercise is is actually a very strict version of the barbell bent over row If you guys haven’t seen that you can check it out over here now this exercise is going to be working your lats primarily But you’re also going to be targeting your forearms biceps shoulders traps rhomboids and lower back You’re also going to be using your glutes hamstrings and abductors as stabilizers throughout the exercise approach the barbell with your feet about shoulder width apart keeping your knees slightly bent and grab the barbell with a wide grip just outside of shoulder width as You hold the barbell Adjust your body so that you can comfortably perform the exercise with your torso Parallel to the floor while making sure your lower back doesn’t fall into flexion or hunched over once in place pull the barbell up so that it touches your body close to your sternum as Soon as you pull the barbell all the way up lower it back down to the ground in a controlled manner For the Pendlay row you’re going to bring the barbell back to the ground after each repetition The goal is to have an explosive movement on the way up and a slower controlled movement on the way down Use the time the barbell is on the ground to also reset your stance and take in a breath Just like with deadlifts and squats you want to take in and hold your breath to create an internal belt in your core this will help you keep them going into flexion during each repetition if You perform this exercise properly. You should see a substantial increase in the overall strength and power of your back so make every rep count So there you guys have it. That’s how you preform a pendlay row. If you have any more questions about this exercise Your routine or maybe you need some help with your meal plan Be sure to join us in the forum section of and as always more good stuff coming soon. See you guys If you’re looking for a quick way to switch things up log into your SHF profile and go to the workout section of the website Once there click on the muscles you want to train then you’ll be brought to a page where you can further filter down your search Now you have a complete list of all the routines that target your chest and utilize only a barbell or dumbbell From here you can rate the routine add it to your routines in your profile, and if you scroll down You can see a write-up of the entire routine as well as photos of all the exercises You can also download a printable PDF just by clicking on it

100 Replies to “How To: Pendlay Row”

  1. I have the exact amount of experience that means that I have not heard of this but that I can see from looking at it that doing it properly is very difficult and will shock a lot of people who improperly use momentum and other mechanisms of poor form.

  2. So what would be the difference from this and a barbell row? A neutral straight spine, pronated grip, and allow the weight to hit the floor? Do you pull back with your elbows and hold the contraction at the peak?

  3. Nice video sir. I am curious.. Why does this exercise require you to pull the bar more towards the sternum as opposed to the belly?

  4. Always, Love the videos. Ignore the haters. Any recommendations for someone with a lower back injury? My back workouts have been suffering since it kills when I try dead lifts or anything where you use those spinal erectors for support.

  5. The key to not snapping your shit up is to activate your glutes and hammies and sit back with your weight on your heels.. Brace your core with a big belly of air and tight abs.

  6. Hey man if you like dragon ball z theres a new series on youtube, where goku turns into super sayian 5. Its called dragon ball absalon

  7. I recently stopped doing these because I couldn't get stronger on it. Almost 2 months, I was stuck on the same weight, and it was the only exercise that didn't go up in strength, annoying! So back to BB bent over row now

  8. This reminds me that I need to stretch my Hamstrings more. No way I could do this right now. I can't bend over that far. My Hammies are so damn tight!

  9. Hi Scott, is inverted back rows can be considered equivalent to this? I only do body weight exercises. Thanks bro

  10. Is this exercise good for developing a thick back? Im thinking in adding this to my routine. Thanks for the vids and good tips! 🙂

  11. And this whole time I thought I've been doing bent over barbell rows hahaha. This is how I learned to row when I first find out about the stronglift 5×5 program

  12. Love these! But Glen Pendalay did not "invent" this exsersize. This is the Basic Barbell Row. Thats what mr Pendalay says, anyways.

  13. ive been doing these for 3 months now and havent gone above 140 pounds. everyone says that this is a great exercise, but i dont see no results.

  14. This is not proper form.

    arch your lower back and squeeze your scapula. You can see from the video your shoulders are doing more of the work.

  15. not to nitpick but this is NOT a pendlay row – when you lower the weight slowly. Still a great exercise but just dont call it a pendlay row

  16. There does not seem any reference anywhere on other instuctional videos (and also yours) regarding correct leg width stance…can you explain further please?

  17. I'd just like to make a small correction to this video Scott. The pendlay row fom is spot on here, but it is an explosive movement. You PULL that bitch from the floor and let it drop back down.

  18. not sure if anyone asked this yet but what if you're a beginner and can't pull that much weight? if i were to use a 45lb bar like you are but with say 25lb plate each side, will my back be compromised because it won't be high enough vs if i were to use 45lb plates each side. or should i start with BB bent rows and work my way up to where i can start from the ground.
    hope this makes sense! 

  19. The pendlay row was designed to be explosive and concentric only. Do not lower it in a slow and controlled manner. Allow it to fall as if dropping it but without letting go and let it hit the ground and stop completely before the next
    Rep (no bouncing).

    Not doing this fatigues the lower back to quickly and limits the weight used.

  20. Good form scott.. when i bring the bar near my shin like deadlift, my back tend to round. Please advise how to get my back straight. I have long legs & height 5'11". Thanks!

  21. Okay so I'm really confused.   I'm a newbie to lifting and I'm doing the 5×5 "starting strength" program, which includes these.  When I dont know.. I look for trustworthy folks to assist on the way, however I'm also finding some really huge differences in those arenas as well.  Juggernaught does this totally differently, and I've tended to consider him a trustworthy source.   So with that, how can I tell what's right, what's wrong, or what might be acceptable in both scenarios?  Have any suggestions?

  22. Haha. This from the ground row wasn't invented by Pendlay, people have been doing these ever since the barbell was invented. I was doing these in the late 90's because I liked starting from the ground and pausing each rep I've seen other people do them in my gym as well over the years and this was just "one"normal gym. Just think about how many thousands of people do this simple movement that never heard of Pendlay. I wonder how many people did barbell rows from the ground before Pendlay was even born?

  23. That's not a Pendlay row. Watch Pendlay describe the row. It is an explosive movement with minimal eccentric and a pause, then a explosive concentric where you try to smash the bar into your chest.

    This is a row where you put the bar on the floor between reps and patently refuse to arch.

  24. You say feet shoulder width apart but in the video you have them about hip width and 10 degrees like in a deadlift?

  25. i know it might sound lame but do you need supps (i only use whey) to get that kind of body? i train for  almost 6 years and i feel like im doing something wrong when it coms to my nuitrition….

  26. As this is an explosive movement such as the snatch and clean, in this i only use the concentric portion of the lift, then an isometric hold of 1/2 sec at the wery top then let go. by doing this way i can do more reps /or weight and i dont as much DOMS for my other back work witch i do both concentric and ecentric. You think this movenment is more suitable for "power" aswell in comparison to ordinary rows?

  27. As a minimum, I think you should know the form of the lift you are demonstrating. You do not lower the bar in a controlled manner. The PR has an explosive concentric phase and no resistance on the descent. The PR targets the upper back and explosiveness, whereas other bent row variants, with more accent to the upper body , better target the lats. The PR is also very good for ending fixed contract gym memberships because the gym staff will happily waive any contractual obligations to get rid of you. At least, that's been my experience. Usually your lifting tutorials are fairly sound but this one is a bit off. Qualification: At the very low weight you demonstrate, you can control the eccentric for more time under tension and muscle growth but this cannot be applied at heavier weights. More than this, explosiveness and a strict oppositional movement to the bench press are the primary virtues of the PR so it makes sense to go as heavy as you can without form corruption, and to do it as a PR rather than some hybrid that will not optimise the lifts key training effect. On another, less important point, Glen Pendlay promoted this form of row and has become associated with it. I call them Pendlay Rows like most people (who know what they are) but they existed before Pendlay did and he talks about this. The research required to know this stuff is negligible and would enhance the credibility of your site.

  28. Make sure to keep the lumbar spine in the proper lordotic curve. In the video, you can see that his lumbar spine is flexed (rounded). And when you make an exercise demo video, you MUST have your shirt off to impress all of the viewers!

  29. Great demo, tutorial, and great camera angles. Concise, short, easy to reference. Thanks much Scott! I have no idea how you hold your patience with the haters, sarcasm, and cynicism on here but more power to you brotha! #StrenghtRxHonor

  30. I always thought this was the normal bent over row anyway … then I watched Ed Coan (famous powerlifter) do his rows and I went for the power in low reps pulling lower in the abdomen area.

  31. This is fucking stupid. And, any unsupported compound movement you do, almost every muscle is going to get engaged, except the antagonists. Primary function is to train the latissimus Dorsi. Biceps, yeah – of course, they are gonna work. The elbow flexor group – Bicep brachii, Brachialis and Brachioradialis – their sole function is flexion of the elbow joint. Traps, rhomboid – yes, cuz they hold the spine and keep it neutral. Posterior deltoid- yes! Cuz the shoulder movement is shoulder horizontal abduction which is the function of the posterior deltoid. So, why not do the BB or DB bendover Rows instead. I find no sense in Deloading after each rep.

  32. Do you have to act buff and do these rows with your shirt off, or is it OK to be a normal dude and just lift with your shirt on?

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