- Target Muscle Group
- Exercise TypeStrength
- Equipment RequiredBarbell
- Force TypePull (Bilateral)
- Experience LevelIntermediate
- Secondary Muscles
Abs, Biceps, Lats, Lower Back, Shoulders
Pendlay Row Overview
The Pendlay row is a variation of the bent over row and an exercise used to build strength in the muscles of the upper back.
The main difference between a Pendlay row and other rowing variations is the Pendlay row involves coming to a complete dead stop during the movement. This dead stop allows the lifter to train power and explosiveness as s/he contracts the back to bring the weight to their body.
Pendlay Row Instructions
- Position the bar directly in front of your shins and hinge forward until your torso is roughly parallel with the floor (or slightly above).
- Grasp the bar with a double overhand grip and begin the movement by driving the elbows explosively behind the body while retracting the shoulder blades.
- Pull the bar towards your belly button until it touches your body and then slowly lower the bar back to the starting position under control.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Pendlay Row Tips
- Experiment with head position and see which option (looking forward vs. packing the neck) works better for you.
- Keep some tone through your abdominals as you pull the bar into your body to ensure you don’t arch excessively through your spine.
- Focus on bar speed, the idea is to be as explosive as possible.
- If you aren’t able to use 45lb plates on either side of the bar when performing this exercise, utilize the deadstop rack row.
- Don’t allow the head to jut forward as you pull.
- Similarly, ensure the shoulder blade moves on the rib cage. Don’t lock the shoulder blade down and just move through the glenohumeral joint.