replacement exercise for bent over rows

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I recently started doing the strong lifts 5x5 workout and have been really enjoying it. I wanted to start with something beginner as I've never really done heavy weights before. I suffer from a bad lower back (a year ago I had an MRI and was told that I have a bulging disc in my lower spine). I was ok'd by the doctor and physiotherapist to go ahead with a lifting program but I'm struggling with the bent over rows. Basically anything in a bent over position is really hard for me, and I struggle to stand upright afterwards. I've now done three workouts where I have had to do the bent over rows and I am not progressing in any way with them. I've tried lowering the weight but still struggle with the exercise.

So my question is: is there an exercise that I can do that will work the same muscle group as a bent over row that I can put in its place in my current workout routine? I'd prefer a barbell or free weight exercise, not a machine if possible.

Replies

  • skinnyinnotime
    skinnyinnotime Posts: 4,141 Member
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    I have the same problem and have switched to dumb bell rows, as suggested above.
  • lindsayvernon
    lindsayvernon Posts: 56 Member
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    thanks for the suggestions, I'll give them a try the next time I have bent over rows in my workout.
  • SideSteel
    SideSteel Posts: 11,068 Member
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    I recently started doing the strong lifts 5x5 workout and have been really enjoying it. I wanted to start with something beginner as I've never really done heavy weights before. I suffer from a bad lower back (a year ago I had an MRI and was told that I have a bulging disc in my lower spine). I was ok'd by the doctor and physiotherapist to go ahead with a lifting program but I'm struggling with the bent over rows. Basically anything in a bent over position is really hard for me, and I struggle to stand upright afterwards. I've now done three workouts where I have had to do the bent over rows and I am not progressing in any way with them. I've tried lowering the weight but still struggle with the exercise.

    So my question is: is there an exercise that I can do that will work the same muscle group as a bent over row that I can put in its place in my current workout routine? I'd prefer a barbell or free weight exercise, not a machine if possible.

    I'd go with incline DB rows since the added support of the bench may further alleviate potential back issues. Bent DB rows are great too but depending on the back issue they may still cause issues since you're bent over during that lift.
  • cicisiam
    cicisiam Posts: 491 Member
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    I have a similar problem, and have a thera band attached to the top of the door that I need to get back to using in pull downs and rows while standing. Thera bands are real cheap at your local gym or physical therapy place.
  • lindsayvernon
    lindsayvernon Posts: 56 Member
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    With the incline DB row, can I increase the weight the same way I do with all my other lifts (2.5kg each time I do the workout)?
  • _John_
    _John_ Posts: 8,642 Member
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    I recently started doing the strong lifts 5x5 workout and have been really enjoying it. I wanted to start with something beginner as I've never really done heavy weights before. I suffer from a bad lower back (a year ago I had an MRI and was told that I have a bulging disc in my lower spine). I was ok'd by the doctor and physiotherapist to go ahead with a lifting program but I'm struggling with the bent over rows. Basically anything in a bent over position is really hard for me, and I struggle to stand upright afterwards. I've now done three workouts where I have had to do the bent over rows and I am not progressing in any way with them. I've tried lowering the weight but still struggle with the exercise.

    So my question is: is there an exercise that I can do that will work the same muscle group as a bent over row that I can put in its place in my current workout routine? I'd prefer a barbell or free weight exercise, not a machine if possible.

    I'd go with incline DB rows since the added support of the bench may further alleviate potential back issues. Bent DB rows are great too but depending on the back issue they may still cause issues since you're bent over during that lift.

    I have intermittent lower back issues, and seated cable rows are my favorite sub for bent over barbell rows when I have a flair up. One arm rows can make my back ache just as badly as barbell rows and deadlifts.

    That said, barbell rows are a great exercise. I do them with my back a litte more upright than you see on exrx.net or the stronglift guides I've seen fwiw.
  • jacksonpt
    jacksonpt Posts: 10,413 Member
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    I really like inverted rows when my back is bothering me.
  • SideSteel
    SideSteel Posts: 11,068 Member
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    With the incline DB row, can I increase the weight the same way I do with all my other lifts (2.5kg each time I do the workout)?

    You can and should increase it but you won't be able to increase in the same increment. You may need to do something where you start at a given set and rep range and try to add reps each week followed by a weight increase. So for example starting at 3x8 and working to 3x12 and going up in weight when you reach 3x12.