EXERCISE BREAKDOWN: DB BENT OVER ROW
HOW TO DO IT
GRAB THE BELLS AND STAND TALL – Pick them up carefully. Flex your knees like a deadlift. Get a tall spine and good posture at the top. If you don’t start in good posture, you’re going to struggle to find it throughout. Then bad things will become of you. Palms face your thighs.
FEET HIP WIDTH- Whatever that means! …just feel comfortable and balanced. Not too wide, not too narrow. Don’t overthink this.
FLEX YOUR KNEES, THEN HINGE – A small flex only, this isn’t a squat. Then push your bum back, hinge without losing the spine angle and feel your Hamstrings stretch.
INITIATE PULL WITH THE SHOULDER BLADES – Draw them back and towards each other – just like in our Protraction drill.
PULL YOUR ELBOWS HIGH – the weights all the way up to your sides and pull your elbows as high as you can. Allow your hands to rotate so your palms face each other.
SQUEEZE SHOULDER BLADES TOGETHER AT THE TOP – you should feel your chest drive out and the muscles of your upper back and rear shoulders working.
THEN DO MORE – otherwise it will be a bit lame.
HOW IT GOES WRONG AND HOW TO FIX IT
This can got wrong in a whole host of ways, but it usually stems to just a few root causes:
Poor posture – You allow your spine to round as you hinge over. Use the ‘Iron Spine’ cue and the cat/camel drills to improve your awareness otherwise you’ll be putting your disks at risk.
YOU Shrug – If the weights too heavy or you haven’t learned to Row properly you may shrug the shoulders rather than squeeze the shoulder blades back and together at the top. Naughty. The fix is to go down in weight, practice consciously and work on your shoulder blade control. You must get the upper back working at the top and maintain space between the ears and the shoulders. You must.
Short Range – The dumbbells need to travel all the way up until they hit your ribs. If you can’t reach – the are too heavy and you aren’t getting the shoulder blades through the proper motion. Go light, practice, build back up.
You flex your T Spine – Often when you shrug – sometimes not – you’ll find your upper back will round. This makes it difficult to complete the move properly. This exercise is equally focused on both the muscles doing the movement and the stabilisers. If you can’t hold your spine still, either your stabilisers aren’t ready fort the weight your heaving around, or you haven’t learned properly. Practice with lighter weights until you can hold your ‘Iron Spine’ position and then only go back up in weight when you can hold perfect shape. If you can’t, your risking injury and the move won’t do what its supposed to. That would be crap right? If you’re going to do these – which you should… learn it well!
DRIVE YOUR CHEST OUT TOWARDS THE FLOOR – People who flex their t spine will often benefit from focusing ohm pushing the chest out towards the floor. Helps encourage the right mechanics.
SHOULDER BLADES TOUCH – If you can feel it, you’re probably doing it good.
ELBOWS HIGH AND TOWARDS EACH OTHER – The final move.
SQUEEZE INTO THE IRON SPINE – if your spine doesn’t budge an inch, your chances of success are good.
HIP HINGE TO GLUTE LOCK
WHY DO IT??
BACK STRENGTH – These are a classic compound back strength exercise. They will work the lower back and trunk extensors to hold your position, they will stretch your Hamstrings and then the Rhomboids, Lower Trap muscles and Rear Delts have to do some serious work to move the weight. Your Biceps also have a heavy involvement.
POSTURE – Being a shoulder blade retracting move – they are great for encouraging good posture. If you’re worried about too much time at the desk, these will help! If you do too much bench press – these will help balance it out.
FUN – they are tough, a lot going on – they will make you focus and are good fun to do! If you disagree, you’re wrong and I’m right.