I'm doing Bend Over Barbell Rows with an underhand grip in my routine since like 2-3 weeks. My wrist position always feels a little weird with the straight Barbell, no matter how wide or narrow I place my hands, so I thought about using one of these wavy Curl-Bar for my Rowing. Is there any significant drawback when doing that instead of using the straight Barbell?

I'll try to answer the question myself after trying it out at the gym yesterday. I picked up one of those wavy Curl-Bars, so my wrists would not bend as much compared to using a straight bar. My elbows were pretty close to my body, just as they were when performing an underhand grip with the straight bar.

It's also worth mentioning, as I stated in a comment yesterday, that I used 10kg workload instead of 5kg, because the bar is way shorter and thus weighs less.

I'll continue to work out my Rows with this Curl-Bar since, to me, it felt way better for the wrists without any significant drawback in the muscle attacked by this exercise. But I guess there is some personal preference involved in this topic. If somebody else doesn't have problems with his wrists when performing rows with a straight bar, I guess it does not matter which bar one is using.

  • I can imagine it will feel more like a close grip row rather than a barbell row when you use one of those bars. This might end up working the thickness of your back more than the wideness of your lats. I have nothing to back this up tho so I'm just going to leave it here in the comments. I hope you get a clear answer!
    – MJB
    Aug 6, 2018 at 10:20
  • @MJB Actually sounds like it could be true. As far as I remember these Curl-Bars are waved from end to end (except for the part where the plates go obviously), so I might get a similar wide grip as with the normal bar.
    – Suimon
    Aug 6, 2018 at 10:49
  • I use a curl bar myself for reasons, so I am very interested in this. However I want to point out that one issue I am facing is the maximum weight you can put on those bars which is about 200 pounds for the one I have and the limited space for plates.
    – Raditz_35
    Aug 6, 2018 at 12:29
  • @Raditz_35 Haha, no worries about the weight. I'm only rowing 5kg (in total) atm since I'm fairly skinny and a beginner. Well, let's say 10kg since the Curl-Bar will be way shorter and thus lighter, so I probably will be able to put more weight on.
    – Suimon
    Aug 6, 2018 at 13:36

1 Answer 1


Grip placement in any type of pulling exercise affects which muscles will be most activated.

A breif overview of Grips :

Supinated (palms up)- Biceps will have more activation

Pronated (palms down) - Less Bicep activation, More focus on the Lats

Neutral (palms facing each other) - A middle ground (also your best bet if the other grips are hurting your wrists)

The position of your elbows is also a big factor. Tucked in your lats and lower traps will work more. If they're out to the side your upper traps, Rohmboids, and rear delts will have more activation.

Read this article for some more info on the topic- Wide vs. Narrow Grip

  • So when rowing with an ez-bar its (most) similar to a neutral grip, right?
    – Suimon
    Sep 21, 2018 at 6:38
  • @Suimon Its really in between neutral an either supinated or pronated depending on where your holding it. Should be a good way of getting you comfortable with bent over rows. On the other hand if your just starting weight training I'd suggest seated rows or a lat pull down instead.
    – Chuck
    Sep 21, 2018 at 6:48
  • I'm training since a 3/4 year now. Have done Lat Pulldowns since the beginning but only recently added the Bend Over Rows to my routine. Although I have to say I feel pretty confident in performing them. My back is always straight, I got a good stand and the movement itselfs also feels and looks right.
    – Suimon
    Sep 21, 2018 at 6:52
  • Great. Keep lifting. If this answer helped you please mark it as the answer.
    – Chuck
    Sep 21, 2018 at 8:33

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