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Rowing is an important resistance training exercise for many reasons. This week’s Focus Point will discuss the value of the row and teach you hot to perform it correctly.

Why are rows important?

Rows strengthen the muscles of the upper back and shoulders, critical to correcting the rounded shoulder posture associated with too much sitting.

Different variations of the row slightly changes the emphasis of the exercise. For maximum strength gains, seated rows might be best as they allow you to be anchored and place added focus on the movement itself. For total body engagement, TRX Rows are the ticket, while single arm rows promote rotational stability.

How to row.

No matter what row variation you are performing, keep in mind the following tips:

  • Start with the arms extended.
  • Initiate the pull with the shoulder blades coming together, not the elbows pulling back.
  • Do not arch the low back at any time.
  • Maintain a neutral neck position; do not allow your head to drop or “gooseneck”.
  • Pinch the shoulder blades together at the top of the pull.
  • As you return back to the starting position, be sure to control the weight down… do not let it drop.

The row is an important component to any fitness program. Talk with your trainer about which rowing variety is appropriate for you.