Pendlay Row

The Pendlay row, named after the well-known strength coach Glenn Pendlay, is a bent-over row variation where each rep starts with the barbell resting on the ground. This eliminates the stretch reflex and forces the lifter to pull with power and a bent-over spine. The Pendlay row can be performed heavy for low reps, but is usually performed for moderate reps, such as 5-8 per set.


  1. Builds back strength and size
  2. Strengthens the core to keep lower back neutral
  3. Can typically use more weight than a normal bent-over row
  4. Excellent accessory movement for the deadlift

Pendlay Row Images


Pendlay Row Instructions

Pendlay Row muscle diagram
  1. Begin each repetition with the barbell dead on the ground. Take a medium pronated grip on the bar just in front of you. Your torso should be parallel to the ground with your lower back arched and knees partially bent.
  2. Begin with your shoulders protracted and your thoracic spine partially flexed. Your cervical spine should be neutral. This will be your starting position.
  3. Initiate the pull by extending your thoracic spine as you flex the elbow, attempting to pull the weight into your abdomen as quickly as possible. Focus on squeezing your shoulders back as you perform the movement retracting your shoulder blades. There should be no movement at the hips or knees and strict technique should be utilized.
  4. Return the weight to the ground between repetitions.