Horizontal Rows for Better Posture

12.11.2018 | Forge Performance

Horizontal Rows for Better Posture

Have tension in your shoulders, upper back, and neck? We thought you might! That’s why we put together a list of rowing exercises that can strengthen up the muscles of your back that contribute to better posture.

We’ve broken these exercises down into categories so you can choose the one best for you. Depending on the exercise you choose, rows not only train the muscles of the back, but can target the core and hips as well. But before we do that, check out this quick video on the proper way to initiate the rowing movement:

Stability and Balance

If you find yourself struggling with keeping your balance during daily activities, yoga poses, or athletic movements, these exercises will a long way in providing your body with stability from head to toe.

Single Arm Row from Half Kneeling

 

  1. Keep 90% of your weight on the back knee (You should be able to life your front foot off the ground)
  2. Stack the shoulder, hip, and knee on top of one another
  3. Drive the elbow down and back toward the hip

Single Arm Row from Single Leg Supported

  1. Keep 90% of Weight on back leg, front leg elevated on box (bottom toe straight ahead)
  2. Stack the shoulder, hips, and knee on top of one another
  3. Drive the elbow down and back toward the hip

Standing Single Arm Cable Row

  1. Stand with the shoulders, hips, and toes square to the cable attachment
  2. Brace the core by pulling in the belly button
  3. Drive the elbow down and back toward the hip

Detraining Momentum

Are you one of those people that performs a row like you’re out on the Chesapeake? Try these variations to eliminate the momentum and get more out of less weight.

Alternating Chest Supported Row

(this exercise doubles for rotary stability as well)

  1. Chest supported, sternum up
  2. Legs straight and locked
  3. Drive elbow down and back toward the hips

Chest Supported DB Row (identical to previous one, but easier to load up on)

  1. Chest supported, sternum up
  2. Legs straight and locked
  3. Drive elbow down and back toward the hips
  4. *to change the difficulty of this exercise, rotate the palms down and drive the elbows out and back

Chest Supported Barbell Row

(Strength specific movement)

  1. Chest supported, sternum up
  2. Legs straight and locked
  3. Drive elbow out and back behind you
  4. *Can be performed using a swiss bar or with a supinated grip (palms up)

Blast the Core

The core isn’t just about the six-pack. It’s an excellent stabilizer for the health of virtually all joints. We broke down our favorite exercises for this in our article Six Pack Abs You Can Count On. Here are some killer core engaging row variations.

Single Arm Dumbbell Real Row

(Knees Bent – can be done with extended legs for greater emphasis on core and less emphasis on the row)

  1. Brace the upper body over a bench, stacking the shoulders with the feet about hip width
  2. Grab the dumbbell in one hand while keeping the shoulders and hips square (if this is too difficult, lower the weight, or try the Single Arm Cable Row
  3. Drive the elbow down and back toward the hip

Alternating Bent Over Dumbbell Row

(can also be performed with kettlebells)

  1. Grab two dumbbells and hinge through the hips, keeping the hips back, knees slightly bent, and back perfectly straight
  2. Keeping the shoulders square, drive one elbow down and back toward the hips
  3. Return to start position, and then alternate arms

Split Stance Bent Over Kettlebell Row

(can also be performed with dumbbells)

  1. Grab one kettlebell and hinge through the hips (like previous exercise)
  2. Lift one leg and reach is straight back so the ankle, knee, hip, shoulder, and ear are in a straight line
  3. Keep majority of weight on front leg
  4. Drive the elbow down and back toward the hip

Spice it Up

Below are variations of exercises listed above, with a little spice. Once you’ve mastered the above exercises, you can give these a try for added difficulty.

Single Arm Row Single Leg Supported with Rotation

  1. Keep 90% of Weight on back leg, front leg elevated on box (bottom toe straight ahead)
  2. Stack the shoulder, hips, and knee on top of one another
  3. Rotate through the upper back toward the machine, keeping the hips square and toes straight
  4. Rotate away from the machine, and drive the elbow down and back toward the hip

Single Arm Suspended Row with Kettlebell

(ask a fitness professional to set-up the strap for you)

  1. Hold one kettlebell in a front rack position, grabbing the suspension strap with the opposite arm
  2. Stand with the feet wider than hip-width apart
  3. Keeping the shoulders, hips, and feet straight ahead, brace the core and squeeze the butt
  4. Drive the elbow down and back toward the hips
  5. *Keep tension on the strap at all times

Pendlay Row

(Advanced strength movement)

  1. Hinge through the hips, keeping the hips back, knees slightly bent, and back perfectly straight (you can elevated the bar from the floor if flexibility is limited
  2. Brace the core
  3. Drive the elbow out and back, pulling the bar between the ribs and belly button (return to floor each time)

BONUS

As an added bonus, check out this video for Pro-tips on how to better engage your lats and drive tension out of your ears

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