Jackie Wright: Two Great Inverted Row Exercises (A stepping stone to pull ups)
June 28, 2011
Second in a two-part series
As we discussed in last week’s column, inverted rows are an excellent method of strengthening your latissimus dorsi (i.e. the wide, superficial muscle of the lower part of your back that extends, adducts, and internally rotates the arm), the deltoids (i.e. the shoulders, anterior/medial/posterior), and the biceps (i.e. the anterior part of the upper arm; major elbow flexors).
Also mentioned was the fact that inverted rows may be a stepping stone enabling the individual to eventually perform assisted or full pull ups. We featured the Smith Machine Inverted Row exercise last week and this week we will highlight the inverted row performed from a TRX Suspension System. Since the inverted row performed on the Smith Machine was a relatively stable position due to your body being supported by a bench, the TRX Suspension System will present a further challenge as the body is “suspended” requiring significantly greater core engagement. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
TRX Suspension System Inverted Row
-Begin lying supine underneath the anchor point of the TRX. The TRX anchor is securely affixed to a horizontal beam directly above you with the straps shortened enough so that when you are lying underneath the anchor point, your arms are fully extended, the palms are facing each other and your torso is not touching the floor (i.e. the torso appears to be on an “incline” with the buttocks on the floor).
-Your chest is parallel to the anchor point and the buttocks and the soles of the feet are on the floor with the knees pointing toward the ceiling in a comfortable position.
– The hands are shoulder distance apart so that when you row or “pull up” toward the anchor point (i.e. you won’t get there, but you are headed in that direction), the arms drive straight back into shoulder extension and then return to the fully extended beginning position with control.
-Rotate the shoulders back and down, lift the rib cage up, pull the navel toward the spine and pull up your pelvic floor muscles. All core muscles remain engaged throughout the exercise preventing any compromise of the lumbar spine and avoiding any “swinging” action of the TRX straps as you lift.
-Initiate the movement from the scapula, pulling both scapula toward the center of the spine, keeping your feet on the floor, as you lift the rest of the body off of the floor, “cracking an egg” between the shoulder blades.
-Row upward until your chest is at the same level as the hands on the handles of the TRX, and then lower the body back toward the floor, fully extending the arms at the elbow joint without locking the joint, maintaining engagement of the lats throughout (i.e. do not “drop” out of the row, round your spine or hang from the TRX as you return toward the floor).
-Avoid touching the floor with the buttocks until the exercise is completed.
-Perform one-three sets of 8-12 repetitions; to a point of momentary muscle failure by the final two reps of each set, two to three times per week.
Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Never Summer Fitness, LLC. She may be reached at her website at http://www.neversummerfitness.com, her email at NSFGL@comcast.net, her blog at http://www.skyhidailynews.com and her Facebook page at Never Summer Fitness.
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