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Thread: Barbell Rows: Overhand vs. Underhand Grip

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Vapour Trails's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    Winnipeg, Canada

    Barbell Rows: Overhand vs. Underhand Grip

    When doing barebell rows, which grip do you use, over or underhand. I know the traditional way is overhand, but my friend commented that he had also used underhand, so I gave it a try.

    First thing I noticed is you can use more weight with underhand, it seems to involve less bicep and I can feel more work being done by my lats. I have actually come to prefer this way, although I plan to switch back and forth bwtween the two every couple weeks.

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  2. #2
    Journalist galileo's Avatar
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    Jul 2002
    I've done underhanded rows as they're more comfortable for me. As a result, I believe I've taken some of the rear-delt work out of them, which poses an imbalance on my physique. Overall though, I like the range and work that underhand provides.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Mar 2003
    I've tried both and personally, I get a better feel from overhand grip.

  4. #4
    . rpffly's Avatar
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    Aug 2003
    Manhattan Beach, CA.
    I warm up with a Yates style (slight bend at the waist) underhand row which allows me to use significantly heavier weight while my worksets are overhand row at 45 deg.
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  5. #5
    En botella whey! Max-Mex's Avatar
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    Sep 2002
    Dorchester, MA
    Underhand. More weight. Better grip.
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  6. #6
    Strength & Protection Kiaran's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    Littleton, CO
    I definitely prefer overhand. I use wrist straps to help out. I also do the exercise standing with my torso bent parallel to the floor. Most people i see do it at about a 45 degree (or worse) angle to the floor. Doing underhand at this angle would definitely be better, but if you are parallel to the floor (like you should be), then overhand works out pretty good.
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  7. #7
    David Hasselhoff wannabe Eddan's Avatar
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    May 2004
    I usually use both, and add "mixed" grips. By mixed grip I mean like a regular deadlift grip (one hand over, one hand under), then "reverse" the mixed grip (the hand that was previously under is now over, and vice versa. (English isn’t my first language, but I hope you get the picture.)

    The following would be one way to use this:

    First set: overhand grip
    Second: underhand
    Third: mixed grip
    Fourth: "reversed" mixed grip

    Another way to use this is to superset the grips.

    I really feel mixing grips like this help a lot with getting more reps and/or higher weight. For example: if the first set is done to failure (and by that I mean real, actual, failure), then it might be a better idea to mix things up a little, rather than doing another set with just lower weight, or just be able to a few with the same weight. (Of course, the best thing might actually be to go for a completely different exercise, but of well...
    Anyway, by mixing grips you bring in slightly different muscles, and that is (usually) a good thing.
    Last edited by Eddan; 10-04-2004 at 02:25 PM.


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