There’s not a bigger advertisement to the world that you are a strong and capable mofo than a thick, wide as a barn door back. Lots of guys in skinny jeans have decent size biceps and pecs, but are flat as a pancake all the way down the backside. These are the pretenders who look strong to the untrained individual, but if you’ve spent any real time under the bar, you know the truth. Keeping a steady dose of rows and chin ups, squats and deadlifts in your program is a sure fire way to keep building that posterior chain and separating yourself from this fraudulent crew.
Obviously aesthetics aren’t the only reason to hammer the backside. Posture, healthy shoulders, and improved total body strength are all huge benefits as well.
But getting jacked is important AF too.
One of my favorite rowing variations comes from my buddy Kyle Holland. Kyle has trained division 1 athletes, professional athletes from every sport, UFC fighters, regular Joes’s, and is currently training military special forces for EXOS. He’s a guy I have learned a ton from over the years and I really appreciate his creativity to just throw a subtle tweak into a staple movement to keep it feeling fresh without losing it’s effectiveness.
- One of the best things about this variation is that it keeps you from excessively rotating and swinging. Working to keep your knees wide will lock in your position.
- Think about pushing your chest to the ground and rip the dumbbell aggressively, while maintaining square to the floor.
- Make sure to find your balance in your set up. You don’t want all of your weight back on your feet but you don’t want it all on your hand on the bench either. You’re looking for an even distribution where you feel strong and stable.
- Come to a complete stop on each rep at the bottom. This variation is like a deadlift in this regard-you’re overcoming inertia on each rep.
These can be used for heavy sets of 5 or so, or all the way up to higher 10-15 rep sets. I use it in both ways. Since there aren’t as many different ways to row as there are to press, I tend to do more sets and fewer exercises, so anywhere between 3-6 sets is really the norm for me and my clients.
Mix in a little variation to start 2018, and let me know what you think!