Building a strong, healthy back in your 50s and 60s is just as vital as it was when you were younger, if not more so. That’s especially true if you’re not as mobile as you once were—and you may need to change up your training routine to get the most out of it.
The standard barbell row has long been a favorite of most lifters, often executed with your back at a 45-degree inclination to the floor. However, you may find yourself lifting heavy things off the ground from a variety of postures, and some people (particularly older men with mobility limitations) may struggle to get into the appropriate hip hinge and hold the position until the object is lifted.
In those unforeseen moments, you need rock-solid form and a strong foundation. The Sumo Pendlay Row helps you to build back strength from a little different angle.
To begin, you’ll need a barbell. As though you were about to execute a deadlift, stand above the barbell with your shins near to it. Your feet would be shoulder-width apart if you were performing the regular Pendlay row, but the Sumo stance spreads and turns your feet outward. Bend your knees slightly, push your buttocks back, and bend at the waist until you can reach the barbell effortlessly. At this point, your shoulders should be slightly higher than your hips, with your arms swinging between your knees. Maintain a flat back and an overhand grasp on the bar. Squeeze as hard as you can your abs, shoulder blades, and glutes.
Engage your back to draw the barbell as powerfully as possible up to your chest, squeeze at the peak for a second, and then lower it to a resting posture on the floor. It’s crucial not to yank the barbell up by changing your back and hip angle—you want as minimal hip and back movement as possible during rowing. Reposition your legs, hips, and back to prepare for the next rep after the barbell has returned to its resting position on the floor.