| Article written on July 4th, 2015 at 10:00am | Follow Garrett on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram |
When it comes to upper body strengthening, there are several bodyweight exercises that take the cake. Last month, I wrote an article on ‘Perfecting the Pull-Up,’ and now I want to introduce the inverted row. The inverted row is a fantastic upper back strengthening exercise which places tons of emphasis on core stability as well. It’s nothing new that the upper back plays a huge role in proper posture and shoulder function. And, that is why finding the right exercise to address it and target the core has lots of value.
Traditionally, rowing variations are done with dumbbells, a barbell while standing, or any of the selectorized machines. Adding a variation that uses bodyweight and places you against gravity is safer and more effective. Remember, our body doesn’t work in isolation. That is why incorporating the core with any upper/lower body lift is important.
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How to properly execute this exercise:
- Set-up a bar that is slightly higher than an arms reach while laying on your back
- Hold the bar with grip about shoulders width apart
- With either straight knees (intermediate) or bent knees (beginner), drive the hips up so the body is using the hips and core to stay connected throughout
- Initiate the motion with the muscles of the upper back, while lifting the body up towards the bar (try not to shrug during this movement)
- Once you come in contact with the body, slow the movement and lower back down to the extended arm position
- At the bottom of this position, ensure the hips do not drop but you are still engaging the hips and core
- Repeat for the desired repititions
Notes: Sometimes getting all the way up to the bar is challenging. That is why it may be advantageous in the beginning to place the neck pad used with back squats on to the bar to slightly lower the distance you have to row. Lastly, as you lower back down ensure that you don’t round the shoulders or drop the hips. We need to remain in a solid position at all times until the set is completed.
By: Garrett McLaughlin, MS, ATC, CSCS, ART