Rowing is one of my foundational movements for almost all of my clients. In order for it to be a staple it needs to be performed correctly. There are a lot of things that can go wrong with the row motion.
A common example includes: shrugging the shoulders and using the trapezius to perform the movement rather than the lats and rhomboids (among others). Then there is the example I’m highlighting here; excessive extension of the arms through the end range of motion needed for good row technique (essentially pulling the arms too far back while performing the row).
Excessive extension in the row motion causes a couple of things to happen: it causes unnecessary stress to the anterior capsule and biceps tendon of the shoulder and also redirects the work to other muscles in the back other than the lats and rhomboids.
Below is a video of a good row technique. Notice the upper arm stops just beyond the midline of the body. Any more than that and you risk what I mentioned above. To clean up your technique you may need to use video or a mirror to check your endpoint before you can get a real good feel for your form
Ben is the former owner of Fortitude Fitness Systems, INC (Bens Bootcamps) for 12 years. Ben graduated from the University of Maine at Presque Isle with a degree in Athletic Training in 2001. Expanding his Sports Medicine skill at Amherst College for 2 years working with 40 varsity athletic teams, Ben moved more into the strength and conditioning field but has always pulled on his athletic training background. He enjoys seeing his clients realize their potential and break through previously thought barriers in their movement and abilities.
Ben, originally from Maine, moved to Vermont in 2005 and lives in Lyndonville with his 4 children, and wife Nedah. In his free time Ben enjoys furniture refurbishing, spending time with his family, and tending to his chickens.