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Bent-Over Row VS Pendlay Row (Which is Better For Conventional Deadlifts?)

Bent-Over Row VS Pendlay Row (Which is Better For Conventional Deadlifts?)

Weight-lifting is one of the most popular sports in the world. It has many benefits, including improving overall strength and endurance, building muscle, and burning calories.

However, weight-lifting can also be dangerous if not done correctly. If you’re unsure what weight-lifting routine to follow, consider consulting a trainer or coach who knows what they are doing!

There’re many weight-lifting techniques, including dumbbells, barbells, and kettlebells. You can choose any of them according to your ease. Pendlay row and bent-over row (barbell row) are two techniques weight lifters use to strengthen their back muscles.

The main difference between the Pendlay and Bent-over Row is their starting position. In the Pendlay Row, you start your exercise by lifting weights from the ground for each repetition. In contrast, in a Bent-over Row, you must hold the weight in the suspended position for each repetition.

Moreover, a Bent-over Row uses more of your back, while the Pendlay row uses more of your legs.

Let’s discuss these two exercises in detail.

What Is Meant By A Bent-Over Row?

A Bent-over Row is a strength exercise that uses your back and shoulders to lift a weight. It’s performed by bending over at the waist, with your hands touching the floor behind you, and then lifting the weight off the ground by straightening your arms.

Image explaining the working of muscles during bent-over row exercise.
Bent-over row strengthens your lower back muscles.

It’s a compound exercise, which means it involves multiple muscles working in unison. The most prominent strength that helps you achieve this is the biceps, but other muscles are also involved. This exercise helps build up the back and shoulders. It also strengthens and tightens your core muscles, which are vital for overall health.

To perform the exercise:

  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, and back straight.
  • Grab the barbell with an overhand grip (palms facing away from you), keeping your elbows close to your sides throughout the movement.
  • Bend at the waist, so your torso is almost parallel with the floor (imagine someone sitting on their bottom with their legs extended out behind them).
  • Keep your head up throughout this movement!
  • Slowly pull the bar off the floor until it’s above eye level. Hold for a second or two before slowly returning down under control.

What Is Meant By A Pendlay Row?

A Pendlay Row is a deadlift exercise involving lifting weights from the floor to just above your hips. It’s also known as a squat row, but it can be done with barbells or dumbbells.

Image of a person doing pendlay row exercise.
The starting point for the Pendlay Row is zero (ground level).

The Pendlay Row is one of the most popular exercises for building strength and muscle. The Pendlay Row works your back, chest, shoulders, core, and legs. It also helps you build power in your upper body and prevent injuries due to overuse of your lower back muscles.

You can perform this exercise with or without weights. To do it without weights;

  • Hold your hands shoulder-width apart and put them on the floor before you.
  • Then raise yourself on your toes while keeping your elbows locked out to the side until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings and lower back muscles.
  • Then lower yourself back down until your arms are at shoulder width again.
  • To do it with weights, hold one dumbbell between each hand with palms facing up, so they don’t touch each other or anything else when lifted off the ground—this will give a better workout while still being safe.

Know The Difference; Pendlay Row VS Bent-Over Row

A person picking up weights
The Pendlay Row and the Bent-over Row are beneficial for your muscles in their own ways.

You can think of a Pendlay Row and a Bent-over Row as two sides of the same coin. They both work to strengthen your back muscles, but they do it in very different ways.

The main difference between these two forms of rows is the angle at which your torso is brought forward. The most common form for a Bent-over Row is to bring your torso forward at about 45 degrees from the horizontal plane (front of the body). In contrast, a Pendlay Row involves bringing your torso forward at an angle of 90 degrees from the horizontal plane (back of the body).

Apart from that;

  • The Bent-over Row also has less of a forward lean, while the Pendlay Row has more of a forward lean.
  • Moreover, the Pendlay Row emphasizes the upper back muscles, whereas the Bent-over Row focuses on the lower back.
  • The Pendlay Rows are performed with a straight bar, whereas Bent-over Rows can be performed with an EZ bar.
  • The Pendlay Row also uses lighter weights than the Bent-over Row, so you don’t need to go as heavy with your weights or use as much resistance for this exercise.
  • A Bent-over Row uses your palms facing up, while a Pendlay Row uses your palms facing down.

Here is a table of differences between a Pendlay Row and a Bent-over Row.

Pendlay RowBent-Over Row
You need to lean your body 90 degrees forward in this exercise.You need to lean your body 45 degrees forward in this exercise.
Weight lifting is not a compulsory part of the Pendlay Row exercise.Heavy weights are an essential part of Bent-over Row training.
It is performed mainly with a straight bar.It is often performed with an EZ bar.
Every repetition of the Pendlay Row begins with lifting weights from the ground.Each repetition of a Bent-over Row requires holding the weight suspended in the air.
Differences between Pendlay Row and Bent-over Row.

Here is a short video clip about Pendlay and Bent-over Row exercises.

A practical guide to performing different types of barbell row exercises.

What Are Conventional Deadlifts?

Conventional deadlifts are the most common form of the deadlift in the gym, and it’s probably the one you’re most familiar with.

It’s a sumo-style deadlift, and it involves standing on a box or platform with your feet spread apart and your hands placed outside your shoulders. You bend over as far as possible, grab the barbell, and lift it off the ground.

The conventional deadlift is excellent for developing strong hip flexors, glutes, and hamstrings—all involved in lifting heavy weights.

Pendlay Row VS Bent-Over Row; Which Is Better For Conventional Deadlift?

The Pendlay Row and Bent-over Row are great exercises for improving athletic performance. They’re both compound movements that require a lot of effort and will increase your overall strength levels.

Image of weights on a barbell.
Weightlifting helps you to strengthen your muscles.

However, the Pendlay Row is better for deadlifting than the Bent-over Row. This is because it has more carryover to conventional deadlifting than the Bent-over Row does.

The Bent-over Row is an excellent exercise to use when working on your grip strength, but it’s not as good at increasing your deadlift as other exercises like Sumo or conventional deadlifts.

What Are The Benefits Of Bent-Over Rows?

The Bent-over Row is an excellent exercise for your back. It is one of the best exercises to strengthen your pectorals and triceps, the two muscle groups directly impacting your back. The Bent-over Row also targets your lats, a vital part of any upper-body workout routine.

The Bent-over Row is also one of the most challenging exercises you can do. It will challenge your balance and coordination at higher reps, so you need to use proper form during each rep to avoid injuries.

Why Are Pendlay Rows Better?

Pendlay Rows are better because they have broader motions and work your entire body. They also give you a great workout that works your whole body and helps you develop strength and muscle mass. This can significantly benefit working out in the gym or at home.

Pendlay Rows are also very beneficial for lifters who may not properly use a barbell or dumbbell at home. They can easily adjust their weights and perform the same exact movement with little-to-no trouble.

Bottom Line

  • Pendlay and Bent-over row are muscle-strengthening exercises to build your back muscles.
  • In the Bent-over row, the starting position of the row differs from that of the Pendlay row.
  • The Pendlay Row involves lifting weights from the ground for each repetition.
  • A Bent-over Row, on the other hand, requires holding the weight in the suspended position.
  • When performing Pendlay Rows, you use a straight bar; when performing Bent-over Rows, you use an EZ bar.

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