This week we are going to continue our focus on some foundational movements. We will be working on The Row this week with a few important areas of attention.
The row is an exercise that targets the lat muscle. The lat is a large flat muscle that stretches to your sides on the back and behind the arm. It's an important muscle for movement of the shoulder and also involved in respiration.
When doing a row we want to make sure that we're actually exercising the lats. Our focus as of late is to avoid squeezing the shoulder blades together. This creates unnecessary tension in the middle back and can lead to discomfort, and ultimately doesn't engage the lat muscle in an effective way. We have also been focusing on not over rowing / driving the elbow too far past the torso, because when we do this we lose the connection to the lat and lose the benefits associated with the exercise.
When doing an excellent row our shoulder blades should remain flat. They should not be "chicken winging", which happens when we over row or squeeze our shoulder blades together.
Success in a row is all in the set up. During this week we are going to focus on protracting our shoulder blades, a fancy way of saying that we are going to start of intentionally rounding our shoulders, and then pushing our chest forward to lengthen through the spine into great posture. From there we will focus on keeping the chest and ribs elevated and the spine long while rowing to the point where our elbows come into line with our shoulders. We will also work on feeling the connection to our lats so that we can elevate the types of movements that we use for rowing with success by creating strong brain body connections.
5/16 The Row - Movement of the Week Explainer by Allison Hopkins
Here's your checklist:
1) With arms straight, protract the shoulder blades
2) Bring the chest forward to create length through the spine and flatten the back.
3) Elevate the ribs off of the hips and make sure shoulders are down and away from the ears.
4) Bend through the elbows, pulling into the row until your elbow is in line with your shoulders, being careful to not over row.
5) Listen to your body and try to feel the sensation of your lats contracting.
6) Straighten the arms to release the row and reset as needed.
7) Have fun!
Hi! My name is Allison Hopkins and I am the owner of Wilcox Wellness & Fitness in Brunswick, ME. I am excited to bring WILCOX to Brunswick and share in my passion for living a great life through health and fitness.