Built By Science Daily Trainer: Day 24, Back

Don't learn to row by mimicking people in the gym. Listen to Coach Mike Robertson and get stronger with science at your back!

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You've been doing a lot of single-arm rowing over the last three weeks. But from now on, we're going to focus on bilateral back movements like cable rows, T-bar rows, and face-pulls. If you've been doing your chin-ups the way I recommend, what I'm about to say won't be any surprise: the focus is going to be on achieving a full range of motion.

What does that mean for rows? First and foremost, it means pulling through your elbows and actively squeezing your shoulder blades back and together on each and every rep. Don't try to curl the weight, and avoid leaning back. If you're struggling to get a full squeeze or stay upright, the weight is too heavy.

As you return back to the starting position, think about allowing your shoulder blades to glide around your rib cage. Done properly, rows teach more than scapular retraction—or pulling back. They also teach scapular protraction, stretching the rhomboids, lats, and trapezius. The result is a stronger, more mobile back overall.

Everything I've said in previous weeks about chin-ups applies to this week's pull-ups as well. The only thing that has changed is the grip. Remember to start from a dead hang and get that chest up to the bar!



3 sets of as many reps as possible. Tempo: 2-1-1. Rest: 120-150 seconds
Pullups Pullups


Seated Cable Rows

4-5 sets of 8 reps. Tempo: 2-1-1. Rest: 90-120 seconds
Seated Cable Rows Seated Cable Rows


T-Bar Row with Handle

3-4 sets of 8 reps. Tempo: 2-1-1. Rest: 90-120 seconds
T-Bar Row with Handle T-Bar Row with Handle


Face Pull

3-4 sets of 12 reps. Tempo: 2-1-1. Rest: 60 seconds
Face Pull Face Pull

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