The 3 best rowing exercises for a strong back

rowing exercises for a strong back

Rowing is not only fun to do, but it also strengthens – among other things – your back muscles. Your back muscle acts as a stabilizer & supporting muscle: your back is the central point of your body and requires special attention during training.

In this article, we’ll show you the 3 best rowing exercises for a strong back!

Rowing exercise # 1: barbell rowing

1. Hold the barbell shoulder-width apart with your palms facing down, your knees slightly bent. Now bend your upper body forward and keep your lower back straight until your back is almost parallel to the floor – this is your starting position.

2. Pull the barbell from the starting position with a rowing motion towards your body, up to your pelvis (exhaling). At the end of the rowing motion, contract your shoulder blades – keep the motion short.

3. Then slowly bring the barbell back to the starting position (inhale). Now repeat the sequence again.

Tip: You can also perform the exercise with an overhead grip (with your palms facing up). Discover for yourself with which grip variant you can “feel” your back muscles better. This is important for targeted muscle building.

Sportsman on a rowing machine
© iStock.com / RyanJLane

Rowing exercise # 2: one-arm dumbbell row

1. For this back exercise you will need a flat weight bench and two dumbbells with an appropriate weight.

2. Place your right knee on the weight bench and lean forward with your upper body. Your upper body should be parallel to the sofa and the floor.

3. Place your right hand on the weight bench for extra stability. With your left hand, lift the barbell off the floor – tighten your back muscles.

4. Make a rowing motion and pull the dumbbell straight up along your body to your chest (while exhaling). Keep your upper body stable.

5. Slowly lower the dumbbell and move it down in the opposite direction to finish the exercise (while inhaling).

Tip: feel the rowing motion in your back and not in your biceps. Try to get the strength from your back muscles only and only use your arm for support!

Rowing exercise # 3: Rowing with a drawstring

1. For this workout you need a pull rope and a dumbbell with a V-grip. Sit on the flat bench and place your feet on the appropriate supports. Make sure your knees are slightly bent and not fully extended.

2. Now take the V-grip and, with your upper body stretched, move it backwards in a rowing motion until you reach a 90 ° angle (while exhaling). Your chest muscle is stretched here, you should feel good tension in your back.

3. Keep your arms close to your sides as you move them back. At the end of the movement you consciously tighten your back muscles – hold this position briefly for optimal muscle building.

4. Start the backward movement by pushing your upper body forward again and slowly return the barbell to the machine (while inhaling).

Tip: Use a wider grip in this exercise to put more stress on your broad back muscle (latissimus dorsi).

These are the benefits of rowing exercises

Rowing exercises should not be missing in any training plan and should be a regular part of any back training. Are you not completely convinced yet? Then take a good look at the benefits of good rowing and you no longer want to miss the rowing exercise in your training session.

  • Better coordination and functionality in lifting and carrying in your daily life
  • You train the interaction of the major muscle groups (execution of complex exercises)
  • You correct your posture, because rowing also strengthens your core
  • Your back will get a better shape.

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