I noticed that when I start going heavier on the barbell rows, that the motion starts turning into the romanian deadlift after the first rep or so. This involves unfolding of pivotted hip into a straight line on the concentric. Are the rows supposed to be done at a lower weight range to avoid this, or is this some general form mistake from my part?

1 Answer 1


It's too heavy for a strict row if you have to hip hinge.

If you find yourself using a hip hinge to help you get the weight up in a row, then it means you have too much weight on the bar. Your body is compensating for your insufficient lat strength by engaging the hip extensors. If you want to stop, you need to lower the weight.

Now, this isn't "wrong", it's just different. Personally, I don't do rows for hypertrophy or rowing strength, I do it as an accessory for my deadlift, so heavier rows with a bit of hip hinge may even be more specific to the deadlift than "strict" rows.

  • I thought rows were for upper back, so how would that help for DL? May 22, 2023 at 15:04
  • What would be the opposite of a strict barbell row? Non strict one? I searched this term and can't find hits May 22, 2023 at 15:04
  • @HopefulWhitepiller Deadlifts load across the spine and shoulder, just like standing barbell rows do. Upper back stability is crucial for a good deadlift (especially if you lilft with some thoracic rounding like I do), and rows a great candidate for training that without the fatigue of deadlifting.
    – Thomas Markov
    May 22, 2023 at 15:06
  • @HopefulWhitepiller "Strict" here just means "without any body movement".
    – Thomas Markov
    May 22, 2023 at 15:06

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