Lifts series: Barbell row
Barbell row and pull-up are my main back workouts. They are two exercises that don’t give me much trouble in terms of injuries. Today I don’t feel so well (maybe an imminent cold) but doing rows with light weights feels good.
The setup starts with holding the bar down in front of you with outstretched arms. Grip width should be slightly wider than shoulder width. For myself, thumbless grip feels natural and reduce the torsion in the forearms and wrists. Keep your back straight. Head neutral. As with any other compound movement, it’s crucial to keep the core tight. Bend knees slightly.
Begin rowing by pulling the bar straight up toward your abs. Squeeze your shoulder blades back. There should not be any wrist or forearm action during the movement. The hands act as the hooks. Make your back muscles work by feeling the squeeze. Lower the bar with controlled motion, and rep out the set.
Vary strict row with light weights (smooth, controlled motion) with cheating row with heavy weights (use momentum to help throw the weight up) to give the body different stimuli.