Last updated on May 19th, 2021 at 04:51 pm
Have you ever asked, “Should You Do Deadlifts and Bent Over Rows on the Same Day?”
Both exercises are fantastic compound movements in their own right.
They both work a number of muscle groups and are a great way to pack on strength and size.
However, there is the worry of lower back issues or one exercise interfering with the other.
So, should you really be doing both deadlifts and bent over rows in the same workout?
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Should You Do Deadlifts and Bent Over Rows on the Same Day?
There’s nothing wrong with doing deadlifts and bent over rows on the same day. However, lower back pain is commonly associated with both exercises, especially when using incorrect form or poor technique. So, ensure that you perform both exercises with perfect technique and there shouldn’t be a problem. Alternatively, you could substitute bent over rows with Yates rows if you’re worried about potential lower back issues.
Be Careful If You Have a History of Lower Back Injuries
As I say, I see nothing wrong with performing both the deadlift and bent over rows on the same day.
The main problem for many people is that they worry about the impact this may have on the lower back.
In fact, I’ve known a number of people over the years who have complained of lower back pain when performing either exercise.
RELATED====>Why Do Bent Over Rows Hurt My Lower Back?
There are even those who have succumbed to injury while performing one or the other of the movements.
If the truth be told, both exercises will hit the erector spinae muscles fairly hard during the movement.
And this is often why there are complaints of “lower back pain”.
But, if this is the typical soreness we associate with working out then there’s nothing to worry about.
However, if we’re talking actual sharp, stabbing pain then something is definitely wrong.
This may be a technique issue.
You really shouldn’t be feeling any type of uncomfortable pain in your lower back with either exercise.
With that being said, if you are someone who has a history of lower back injuries then you may be better off performing the movements on separate days.
And if you’re worried about the impact doing both exercises on the same day may have the effectiveness of your workout, then once again avoid doing them on the same day.
More on this in a moment.
Check Your Deadlift Form
I’ve previously spoken about not rounding or hyper-extending the lower back when doing bent over rows.
And the same principles apply to the deadlift.
In fact, the deadlift is typically the heaviest weight that you will pull from the floor, so this is even more important.
As soon as you either round or arch the lower back you’re putting a huge amount of strain on the spinal discs.
So, any discomfort you’re feeling could be down to the pressure you have applied to the discs.
If you continue to deadlift (or bent over row for that matter) by not having a neutral lower spine it won’t be long before you succumb to injury.
The deadlift is without doubt one of the greatest exercises ever.
However, it also happens to be one of the most massacred in terms of form.
Another issue to be wary of if you are rounding or arching the lower back is potentially tight hamstrings or hip flexors.
So, it could be very worthwhile to stretch these muscles prior to deadlifting.
RELATED====>Unlock Your Hip Flexors
How to Deadlift: 5-Step Deadlift
Try The Yates Row Instead of Bent Over Rows
If you are going to deadlift and row on the same day, and you’re worried about your lower back, then you could try an alternative row variation.
My recommendation would be the Yates row.
The Yates row was popularized by multiple Mr. Olympia winner, Dorian Yates.
In essence, this is a reverse grip bent over row with a slightly more upright stance.
The traditional bent over row incorporates a double overhand grip and a hip-hinge position similar to how you’d start the Romanian deadlift.
This movement will target the upper back far more, and potentially place more stress on the erector spinae and lower back.
However, the Yates row focuses far more of the lats, and the reverse grip ensures there is a lot more involvement from the long-head of the bicep.
Plus, the more upright stance takes a great deal of stress off the lower back.
So, realistically the lower back gets far less “work” if you deadlift and Yates row on the same day.
Additionally, the change in grip for the Yates row will generally mean that one exercise is far less likely to interfere with the other.
The Yates Row
Doing Both on the Same Day May Interfere when Strength Training
I have alluded to this a few times already, but doing both exercises on the same day could have an impact on how effectively you perform them.
This is especially true if you are strength training, i.e. heavy loads with low reps.
Regardless, of which way round you choose to perform the exercises, you may find that you’re pretty fatigued by the time you get to the second movement.
A Quick Example
Let’s say for example you choose to deadlift first.
You decide on 6 sets of 3 heavy reps.
So, basically you are potentially pulling 90-95% of your one-rep max.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels pretty fried after a heavy deadlift workout.
RELATED====>Why Am I So Tired After Deadlifts?
So, by the time I get to performing bent over rows I may not have much left in the tank.
The Central Nervous System has taken a serious hit.
Most of the largest muscles in the body have also taken a pretty big hit.
Plus, my forearms, upper back, and grip won’t have much more to give.
The result may simply be that I choose to “back off” a little in terms of weight and intensity when it comes to bent over rows.
This is obviously not something that any of us wants to do.
It’s a Personal Choice
Now, I see nothing wrong with perhaps shooting for more reps and a higher volume with bent over rows.
Obviously this means reducing the weight on the bar and it will become more of a hypertrophy workout.
However, if my aim for the day was strength, and I wanted to go as heavy as possible for low reps, well then I’m stuffed.
I do know many people who choose to perform deadlifts as the final exercise in their workout.
This is simply because they have nothing left to give afterwards.
For some of you this may work well, whereas for others this could mean lighter weights and less intensity.
RELATED====>Can You Replace Deadlifts With Rack Pulls?
In reality, this is totally a personal choice.
If you find that one exercise is interfering with the other, you would probably be better off performing the movements on different days.
I hope that you’re a little clearer on whether you should perform deadlifts and bent over rows on the same day.
For me, the main “worries” will be whether you’re placing too much stress on the lower back or if one exercise interferes with the other.
That being said, if this isn’t a problem for you, then I see no reason not to perform both movements in the same workout.
The best solution is try it both ways on separate weeks and see which way you prefer.
So, week one will involve performing both the exercises in the same workout.
And the following week try both exercises on separate days.
You’ll soon discover what works best for you.
This is the perfect opportunity for you to try the Off The Floor workout program.
Dave Dellanave has created four different 8-12 week workouts to improve and increase your deadlift.
You’ll be introduced to 30 deadlift variations and plenty of accessory work too.
You can check out what I thought of Dave’s program in my Off The Floor Review.
Hi, I’m Partha, owner and founder of My Bodyweight Exercises. I am a Level 3 Personal Trainer and Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist through the Register of Exercise Professionals, United Kingdom. I have been a regular gym-goer since 2000 and coaching clients since 2012. My aim is to help you achieve your body composition goals.