Get sculpted this summer.
We’ve covered helpful alternatives to pull-ups and chin-ups, sure, but those of you who incorporate some kind of row in your fitness regimen of choice are still stuck doing the same old thing. This week, though, leave the rowing to the crew team and check out these fitness pros’ suggestions for shaking things up a bit.
Ben Booker: Dumbbell reverse flyes. When performed correctly, this exercise is a great back and rear delt builder that is an effective alternative to the row. It also doesn’t require heavy weight to achieve great results. Sit on the edge of a bench and lean as far forward as you can while maintaining a flat back. Pick up the dumbbells from behind the heels and underneath the legs. With the elbows slightly bent, swing the dumbbells up while squeezing the shoulder blades together.
Robin Arzon Plank to alternating dumbbell row. Begin in plank position with dumbbells in each hand. Alternate your row motion between your right and left arms, stabilizing your body with the planted arm. This exercise isolates your hips and core, in addition to the back.
Jay Cardiello: Wall shoulder blade contractions. Stand tall with your back against the wall. Raise your elbows up until your triceps are parallel to floor with your hands extended in front of body. Walk your heels six inches forward away from the wall, leaving the mid-section of your back and the back of head against wall. Contract your shoulder blades and drive your elbows into the wall, lifting your mid-back and head away from wall. Your elbows should always remain in contact with the wall. Slowly reverse the movement, and repeat.
Idalis Velazquez: TRX inverted row. Try performing a row using the TRX suspension system. By lifting one leg during the motion, you’ll place a greater demand on your core, which will help prevent you from swinging from side to side during the motion.
Gideon Akande: Switch out your equipment. Make your row movement more functional by using a battle rope and a kettlebell. Tie the end of the rope around the handle of a kettlebell, and in an athletic, tug-of-war style stance, pull the rope hand over hand, keeping your core engaged and driving your elbows back. This will engage the legs as your stabilize, your core as you rotate, and your arm and back as you pull.
Alexia Clark: Inverted reach. Starting in an inverted row position—that’s the one that uses the squat cage—grab the bar with one hand and position it in the center of your chest. Keep your core tight to prevent your hips from dropping. Pull yourself up, and then reach over across your body with the hand that is not gripping the bar, like this. (The closer your feet are to your body and/or the more your knees are bent, the easier the exercise will be.) Slowly lower and repeat. This exercise isolates each side and simultaneously engages your core.
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