BARBELL ROW TECHNIQUE
Correct initial position is of much importance in row. It significantly contributes to rational use of physical capabilities of the athlete and successful performance of the exercise.
In powerlifting, the barbell raw is performed in three styles: “classic” (“weightlifting”) style, “sumo” style and “intermediate” style.
The initial position should be taken before the first approach to the barbell before stepping onto the canvas. The key task of the start is to take a posture ensuring the most effective use of physical abilities in the process of barbell row.
If the “classic” (“weightlifting”) style is chosen, the feet pelvis width apart or slightly narrower, as weight lifters do (photo 1). Athletes choosing the “sumo” style, place feet as wide apart as possible (photo 2), and if the “intermediate” style is chosen, the feet are placed wider than in the “classic” (weightlifter) style, but narrower than in the “sumo” style (photo 3).
The breadth of stance is defined by the position of the athlete’s feet at the start position. The wider the stance, the less the height of row and, as a consequence, the less the movement amplitude. The wider the stance, the closer the athlete’s spine should be to the vertical position.
At all types of start, knees should be set sideward in the same direction with toes.
Taking the start position the athlete bends his legs, lowers his torso forward and grips the bar.
Bar grip with hands
The distance between the hands is called grip width. If the “sumo” or “intermediate” style is used, hands grip the bar passing between the knees (photo 4).
If “classic style” is chosen, hands grip the bar sideways of the knees (photo 5).
The way of holding the bar with hands while lifting the barbell is called a grip. In most cases, athletes use two types of bar grip – combined grip (photo 6) with palms directed in different sides and one way (photo 7) when four fingers are placed on the one side of the bar and the thumb is placed on the other side.
The athlete’s head at the start must be slightly lifted, the look should be directed straight ahead (Photo 4, 5). The tone of trunk extensors is increased at such head position under effects of neck-tonic reflexes.
The position of trunk and shoulder joints
Athletes using the “classic” style at the start usually keep their back slightly rounded, and seldom keep it straight. Conversely, in the “sumo” style row, athletes usually keep their back straight, as in the “intermediate” style.
At the start, hands must be straight. Shoulders must be lowered (elongated) and placed under the bar or slightly put ahead by 3-5 cm.
The midpoint of the shoulder joints at the moment of lifting the barbell (MLB) should be exactly along the vertical line passing through the center of the bar.
MLB starts from the moment the force is applied to the barbell and ends with the moment the barbell separates from the canvas. Before the barbell is lifted from the canvas a short vigorous breath in must be made and breath should be held.
The barbell lifting from the canvas is performed by extension of both knee and hip joints. The pelvis and shoulders lift at an equivalent rate, long muscles of back maintain the spastic strain. The bar is moved as close as possible to the surface of the thigh bone and the front surface of the hip (photo 8, 9).
The row lasts from the moment the barbell leaves the canvas until full straightening of legs and back. The barbell should leave the canvas easily, but its further movement must be uniformly accelerated, i.e. the row should be performed at a gradually increasing effort. The barbell at no event should be torn from the canvas. The barbell must be lifted powerfully applying the maximum effort along the whole duration of row (Photo 10, 11).
Straightening of legs and trunk to the end position
In the last third of lifting the barbell, trapezoid muscles are involved, pulling the athlete’s shoulders back. The head is lifted, the upper part of the back is also pulled back. The main efforts are used to hold maintain the barbell in its position.
Lock in the final position
Lock in the final position starts from the moment of maximum straightening of legs and back and ends with locking the barbell in a fixed position until the judge commands “down”.
Assuming a stationary position
Lock in the final position begins with the motion of shoulder blades one towards another (shoulder abduction over the bar vertical) and with a motion of the pelvis forward and ends at the moment the athlete assumes an immobile position for a short moment (Photo 12, 13).
Putting the barbell back on the racks
Putting the barbell back on the rack is performed from the moment of the start of downward motion of the barbell to the moment it touches the canvas. Putting down the barbells is performed in the reverse order to the lifting effort, but somewhat quicker, mainly due to the conceding efforts of muscles of legs. The grip of bar according to the rules of competitions is maintained till the moment the barbell touches the canvas.