One Arm Elbow Out Row

This week I would like to show you a variation of the dumbbell row for the Home Exercise of the Week.  It’s called the One Arm Elbow Out Row and this exercise will target your upper and middle back as well as your rear shoulders.  If you sit at a desk for most of the day there is a tendency over time to hunch your shoulders forward and your posture goes out the window.  Adding this exercise to your routine will go a long way in helping you recover your posture by bringing those shoulders back to a natural position.

Let’s take a look at how to do the One Arm Elbow Out Row properly.  Arm position is everything in this exercise as a simple shift in arm position will change which muscles you are working.

  • step your right foot back and lean forward resting your elbow on your left knee
  • keep your back straight and your torso as parallel to the floor as you can (don’t round your lower back)
  • let the dumbbell hang at your side with your palm facing behind you
  • as you pull the dumbbell up, flare your elbow out to the side keeping it in line with your upper back
  • make sure you are retracting your shoulder blade first then following through with the rest of your arm.  This will ensure that you are engaging your back muscles properly for optimal contraction.
  • exhale as your pull the weight up and inhale as you lower it back down
  • perform 8 to 15 repetitions depending on your goals then switch arms and foot position to complete the set

So there you have the One Arm Elbow Out Row.  This is a great upper back/rear shoulder exercise to add in to your upper body or full body routine and having a strong back helps your posture, it helps prevent debilitating back injuries, and generally makes life a lot easier and more enjoyable.  So take care of your back with good strengthening exercises and proper form!

Plank Back Row

Is it just me or do the weeks fly by faster and faster?  It seems like I just posted a Home Exercise of the Week and now it’s that time again!

This week I would like you to try a Plank Back Row!  I know I named the exercise differently in the video but a One Arm Back Row from a Pushup Position is just way too long and not very catchy!

There are a lot of muscles being used in this exercise so the metabolic effect is very high.  The more muscles you use, the more calories you burn.  The primary muscles targeted are your lattisimus dorsi, teres major, posterior deltoids, and trapezius. (if the latin words are confusing you, you’re not alone…basically they are your back muscles, rear shoulder muscles and your neck muscles)  With the Plank Back Row, you will also be working your core as well!

Some key tips to remember when doing the Plank Back Row:

  • keep your body as straight as possible (no butts sticking up in the air)
  • pull your belly button in towards your spine to keep your abdominals flexed
  • raise your arm forward and pull your elbow back keeping it in line with your upper body
  • if the full plank position is too challenging at first, try performing this exercise from your knees instead of your toes until you get stronger

So there you have the Plank Back Row!  This is a great back and core exercise that requires no equipment whatsoever…just a small amount of room and you’re good to go!