Rows are great. I can’t think of another upper body exercise (other than standing overhead presses) that requires as much muscle recruitment as the Row. Seated rows are one of the few exercises that you can do from a seated position (most others lack core involvement and are therefore pointless). But seated rows actually demand a lot from your core. As you pull in a horizontal motion towards your body your core keeps you from using your hips to jerk (which is the way most people do this exercise). It also prevents your spine from flexing forward and from extending backward. Your Body should remain rigid, with no torso movement at all.
The Same goes for your Scapula. Times of the past have told us to squeeze the shoulder blades together when performing a Row, but not anymore. The Scapula is a Stability joint, therefor it should be used as a stabilizer (meaning little to no movement). When performing the row you should try to make your back as wide as possible, and pull with your arms.
Now take all of those principles and apply them to an asymmetrical exercise called the Single Arm Seated Row. All of those (previously mentioned) actions of your body but with a twist. Well actually without a twist because now you need to use your core to prevent your torso from rotating during the pull. I like to keep my non-working arm on my hip as an indicator to help prevent rotation.
Here is a video of the exercise showing proper form and execution.
Give it a try with 3 sets of 8 reps (on each side). Make sure to use a weight heavy enough that you will feel your core working to prevent that torso from rotating.
The Time has come, only two more days till Cressey Performance’s First Annual Fall Seminar. I am starting to get really pumped, the only bad part is that I have to leave my apartment at 5:30am Sunday morning and make the 2 1/2 to 3 hour trek up to Hudson Ma, but it will be totally worth it. I plan on sharing some of my learnings with all of you Monday morning.
Have a good weekend everyone!