The key to any strength move is a strong setup. For the bent-over row, the key is a strong hinge.
The hinge involves maximal hip flexion (bending) and minimal knee flexion. That is, you push your butt as far back as you can while keeping your entire back flat as a board. If you do this right, you will feel the back part of your thighs i.e. hamstrings. If you don't, you will put undue pressure on your lower back and probably 'feel your lower back'. See the picture - The one on the left is wrong because it doesn't allow for activation or strengthening of the right muscles. The one on the right is correct because it does. - - -
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