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Felt stiffness in my lower back during a week or so(during bent over barbell rows and squats mainly), but didn't pay much attention to it. Yesterday however I couldn't finish my 4x12 bent over barbell row, because of it. So, I skipped it and did the following exercises fine (lat pull-down, seated row, seated cable row etc). A guy in the gym told me that it is typical and that I should wear belt during bent over barbell rows. Is he right? Should I do some special exercises to strengthen lower back (hyperextension f. e.)? Is it okay to do squats tomorrow? (with stiff lower back)

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    12 sets? I think that's excessive. Also, the guy is wrong; wearing a belt isn't a panacea for pain caused by bad form. Wearing belt is usually recommended when going for personal best AFTER your form is already accurate. – Kneel-Before-ZOD Sep 11 '15 at 4:06
  • 4 sets of 12 reps – Herokiller Sep 11 '15 at 4:11
  • Shouldn't that be 4x12 ? – Kneel-Before-ZOD Sep 11 '15 at 4:13
  • @Kneel-Before-ZOD fixed it – Herokiller Sep 11 '15 at 4:15
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    Let us continue this discussion in chat. – Herokiller Sep 11 '15 at 4:22
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In case barbell rows are one of your main lifts for overall body strength reinforcing your weak links is always a good choice.

When the barbell rows are seen as mere accessory lifts they are quite useless for various reason:

  1. Simple dumbbell rows allow for more shoulder freedom and more weight, above of that cheating on dumbbell rows is perfectly safe while cheating on barbell rows will break your spine. Tho good form is recomended anyway.
  2. Bench pulls overload the the back better

  3. There are better lower back exercises

Just another reason why simple dumbbell rows are superior

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