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  1. #1
    Registered User JamesLittle80's Avatar
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    Bent over row alternates with bad Lower back

    Hello everyone. Just got back into lifting after a 15 year hiatus. I’m a 41 year old male. I’m 6’-1” and I’m pretty good shape. I’ve been following the Allpro routine for 12 weeks to date.

    My starting weight was 175lbs and I am now at 185.8, adding about 1lb a week on average. The past two weeks or so I started having a sore lower back but continued to do my weekly routine. I did however lower the weight for straight leg deadlifts as I was afraid I would blow my back out. I work heavy highway construction and have had lower back injuries in the past. So today at work my back went out. So now I’m really deflated as I was making good gains.

    The one exercise which kept giving me some soreness in my lower back was the bent over rows. Is there an alternative to this exercise that I can do so I’m not bent over with all that weight and stress on my back? I’m going to be at least 3 weeks off from prior experience and will go to a maintenance diet for now. TIA
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  2. #2
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    You can hurt your back doing any row, but some alternatives you may find less problematic are: chest supported rows, seated cable rows, landmine/Tbar rows & one arm db rows.
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    Registered User JamesLittle80's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    You can hurt your back doing any row, but some alternatives you may find less problematic are: chest supported rows, seated cable rows, landmine/Tbar rows & one arm db rows.
    I will give seated cable rows a try. Thanks
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    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by JamesLittle80 View Post
    I will give seated cable rows a try. Thanks
    Np. Be careful on the initial pull & final putback if your back is already compromised. If you use the center footrest instead of the individual side ones, reach using your back is minimized... as it also is if you do little bunnyhops on your butt backwards initially & forwards once done, using your feet for leverage. Good luck!
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  5. #5
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    a2f also mentioned chest supported rows, and those are my favorite. Lean on incline bench with your chest and row dumbbells (bar won't fit). Haven't seen anybody doing them in our gym other than myself, not very popular exercise. If you squeeze at the top, you will get traps involved nicely.
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    Registered User JamesLittle80's Avatar
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    I’ll look into maybe those as well. I know I’m this Allpro routine that they don’t want you using any alternatives but I just don’t have an option but to try. I know it’s not from my squats as my form is really good doing them and I don’t feel anything in my back from them. Sometime I do also get a little bit of strain from unsupported seated shoulder presses. I may need to use the bench for these as well for a bit.
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    First off, you may want to slow down on the weight gain just a bit. At your age adding 4+ lbs a month you can be sure that around 75% of that (if not more) is going to be fat; try to keep it to around 1-2 pounds per month to avoid excessive fat gain. And to be honest if your bodyfat is anywhere in the vicinity of 20% or more you really don't need to be gaining weight at all, you already have enough stored fat to fuel any potential muscle gains.

    In addition to exercises already mentioned, once your back is feeling better you may want to incorporate a hip-hinge like a Romanian deadlift which would be the foundation for a bent over row or a pendlay row in order to strengthen your posterior chain and ensure your core and back are tight/properly engaged.
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    Registered User JamesLittle80's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by xsquid99 View Post
    First off, you may want to slow down on the weight gain just a bit. At your age adding 4+ lbs a month you can be sure that around 75% of that (if not more) is going to be fat; try to keep it to around 1-2 pounds per month to avoid excessive fat gain. And to be honest if your bodyfat is anywhere in the vicinity of 20% or more you really don't need to be gaining weight at all, you already have enough stored fat to fuel any potential muscle gains.

    In addition to exercises already mentioned, once your back is feeling better you may want to incorporate a hip-hinge like a Romanian deadlift which would be the foundation for a bent over row or a pendlay row in order to strengthen your posterior chain and ensure your core and back are tight/properly engaged.
    What’s the best way to calculate my bf %? I’m currently taking in about 3000 calories a day. Before I started training again, I’ll bet I was only eating something around 1500-2000 Cals a day. I would eat breakfast and maybe just an early dinner but that’s about it. On top of that, I walk all day on my job sites as I’m a general foreman and keep all my crews going. Some days I can be completely exhausted just from the amount I do during a work day especially in the summer when it’s brutally hot.

    I’ve been wondering if my body is just coming up to a normal weight for my height now that I’m actually eating.

    BTW, I’m 41 not 52 like it says I’m profile. It won’t let me edit any of my profile. It just keeps freezing. Wasn’t sure if you were reading the right age.
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    Originally Posted by JamesLittle80 View Post
    What’s the best way to calculate my bf %?
    Post a shirtless photo (with good lighting) here, that will get you a good a number as any machine will give you.

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  10. #10
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    Originally Posted by JamesLittle80 View Post
    Hello everyone. Just got back into lifting after a 15 year hiatus. I’m a 41 year old male. I’m 6’-1” and I’m pretty good shape. I’ve been following the Allpro routine for 12 weeks to date.

    My starting weight was 175lbs and I am now at 185.8, adding about 1lb a week on average. The past two weeks or so I started having a sore lower back but continued to do my weekly routine. I did however lower the weight for straight leg deadlifts as I was afraid I would blow my back out. I work heavy highway construction and have had lower back injuries in the past. So today at work my back went out. So now I’m really deflated as I was making good gains.

    The one exercise which kept giving me some soreness in my lower back was the bent over rows. Is there an alternative to this exercise that I can do so I’m not bent over with all that weight and stress on my back? I’m going to be at least 3 weeks off from prior experience and will go to a maintenance diet for now. TIA
    What did you change in the last two weeks? Maybe it's not from lifting. My wife for example had shoulder pain a few months ago. We figured out it was from opening a door at work a certain way every time multiple times a day. I highly doubt lifting would be the cause because most pain like this is caused from repetitive stress. If you hurt yourself lifting you tend to know right away too. What were you doing when you blew your back out. Is your belt too tight maybe?
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  11. #11
    Registered User JamesLittle80's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lsiberian View Post
    What did you change in the last two weeks? Maybe it's not from lifting. My wife for example had shoulder pain a few months ago. We figured out it was from opening a door at work a certain way every time multiple times a day. I highly doubt lifting would be the cause because most pain like this is caused from repetitive stress. If you hurt yourself lifting you tend to know right away too. What were you doing when you blew your back out. Is your belt too tight maybe?
    I was actually just installing a water meter on a fire hydrant like I do everyday. I got the threads started on the meter and was holding up one end of the meter with my left hand and using a big wrench to screw it on with the right hand and as I turned it the 4th time I just got that lightning bolt shock up my back and knew I wouldn’t be able to move.
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  12. #12
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    Seal rows are a good bent over row alternative and don't put as much pressure on the lower posterior chain. Was just doing some of these last night.
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    You can hurt your back doing any row, but some alternatives you may find less problematic are: chest supported rows, seated cable rows, landmine/Tbar rows & one arm db rows.
    This response here is good and I have personally gone through similar pain. Make sure you don't get down on yourself and don't go and lift, you can always work around and with an injury, just be smart, don't push heavy weight and listen to your body. Also continue to or increase stretching as well as use a massage gun if you got one as this will help you recover, but take your time, you got this.
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