Yates Barbell Rows vs. Regular Barbell Rows Is this even a serious question?

| May 3, 2014 by Truth Seeker |

The Yates barbell row is an ego exercise that allows you to lift a lot of weight because the range of motion (ROM) is reduced. In a sense, the movement is an equivalent of the partial bench press. Since the goal of exercising is not to lift the most weight over the shortest ROM, this exercise is simply ineffective and incomplete.

The Yates Row Can Tear Your Biceps

The original Yates row is performed with an underhand grip (palms facing away). It worked nicely until Dorian tore his biceps. When you do Yates rows with an underhand grip, the biceps tendon is placed under a lot of stress. The weight added to the bar as a result of the smaller ROM increases the risk and so does the cheating common for most people doing Yates rows. The result could be a biceps tear.

The Yates Row Is Mechanically Inefficient

Due to the short ROM and the upright torso, most of the stress is placed on the traps rather than the whole back. The motion is usually jerky, and it’s not uncommon to see lifters use this variation just to put more weight on the bar. From the sides, it looks like the athlete is having a sexual intercourse with the bar in a standing pose.


Why are Yates barbell rows popular?

The Yates row owes its popularity to Dorian’s insane back development. It may surprise you, but the fact that Dorian had a good back does not mean that his way of training is the best. This is hard to explain to the uneducated and inexperienced crowd, but once you get a little deeper into the iron game, it will all make sense to you. Until then, stick to the classics and don’t do partial, jerky and inefficient movements like the Yates row.

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4 comments

  1. gayracistbodybuilder

    Yates row gives bigger range of motion not smaller, and it puts the biceps in a mechanically stronger position than overhand (which lets you do more weight, which is why Yates tore his bicep).

    Your understanding of biomechanics is as nonexistent as your understanding of gear.

  2. Kam

    Wow im not sure if I should even take this site seriously anymore after this “article”.
    If you think yates only rowed like this to boost his ego you are deluded. You don’t win the olympia by stroking your ego, you do it by finding out what works to build mass the best. Also he has always advocated strict form not bar humping, theres a video of him rowing 5 plates with perfect form. As for the underhand grip tearing the biceps, is there any actual evidence for this? Does that mean chinups and supine grip pulldowns/cable rows are going to tear your biceps as well? Haven’t seen any evidence for that, it might cause wrist strain, in which case just use an ezbar.
    And yes dorian was known for his great back development which you put down to genetics. This is going to blow your mind but everyone at the olympia has great genetics, you don’t even get there unless you are the best of the best, and obviously, everyone is using drugs so one cannot simply chalk it up to genes or drugs.
    Yates actually has a rationale for rowing this way, you can read up on it if you want. Fact of the matter is, one is better off learning from people who have achieved something rather than from internet pseudo experts

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