5 Row Variations That Will Make Your Arms and Back Pop
Our fitness editor shows you how to maximize your upper-body gains and strengthen your core all at once
Rows add variety and explosiveness to your training, creating a well-rounded lifting regimen. Implementing this move into your routine is a great way to bulk up your arms and backs, which is essential, because a strong back leads to better posture and a decreased risk of injury from strength imbalances. But not only is it a stellar upper-body workout, it also engages your core, strengthening and toning your abdominal muscles in the process.
Ebenezer Samuel, fitness editor for Men’s Health, demonstrates five row variations you can incorporate immediately to work your way to a stacked upper back.
Dumbbell plank rows don’t require much weight for an impact. Your core and shoulders will be torched from stabilizing as you alternate arms.
Inverted rows are a top back-builder. By using your own bodyweight as resistance, you will make major strength and muscle gains from this classic movement.
Both the batwing and chest-supported row moves allow you to focus on the contraction of your shoulder blades and help you to row more efficiently without the limiting factor of lower-back fatigue that usually comes from bent-over rows.
The dumbbell single-arm row is another move that limits the stress on the lower back by allowing you to place some of your weight against the bench. This allows you to safely pull some heavy weights in the bent-over position, which makes it easier if you lack hamstring flexibility.
Add some of these rows into your next upper-body workout, and you’ll see some serious shoulder and back gains. (For even more muscle-building exercises, check out our Ultimate Upper Body training guide.)