The Best Barbell Row for Strength & Power
Want to build brute strength and power? Make the dead-stop barbell row a staple.
Strongman competitors and powerlifters commonly do this variation. It was also a favorite lift of the greatest powerlifter of all time, Ed Coan, and six-time Mr. Olympia, Dorian Yates. This “power row” variation develops explosive pulling strength that carries over to the deadlift.
I don’t train solely for hypertrophy, but this row is an incredibly effective back-builder for thickness and density when performed consistently with a challenging weight.
A little body English is not only acceptable but encouraged for this variation. The small addition of momentum will allow you to train the full range of motion to better develop the back.
When’s the Best Time to Do These?
I like to use these as accessory work after deadlifts. Performing bent-over rows immediately after heavy deadlifts is beneficial since it allows you to take advantage of the post-activation potentiation effect. Basically, this allows seemingly heavy weights to feel lighter than usual.
This is also an excellent compound exercise and can be programmed as a stand-alone exercise. Work up to a heavy weight using 3-5 sets of 5-8 reps.