Today’s Workout column: Rowing exercise strengthens back
As the seasons change, so do our choices in clothing, and our fitness regime starts to alter as well.
Our move today is a bent-over double (close) row. This exercise will be working your whole back, from top to bottom, and also toning the shoulders and triceps. You will need a set of light to medium hand weights for this exercise.
Begin this movement by standing tall and gripping your hand weights in both hands. Roll your shoulders back and down, and place your feet about hip-width apart. Proceed to bend in the hips, and lower your upper body slightly forward. Keeping your chest tall and your neck neutral, proceed to let both arms hang straight down. Keep your gripped palms facing inward.
Now, it is time to start rowing. Proceed to start bending in both elbows, drawing them in to your body. Keeping the arms tucked close to your torso, continue to pull upward through the elbows.
As you do this, you will fill your back starting to contract. The idea is to get a full contraction before you release the move back to the start. A good way to do this is to focus on squeezing the center of your back as you row the elbows upward.
Once you reach your fullest contraction, release your row back to the starting position. Continue this motion for at least 10 repetitions.
Take a small break, stand up, maybe twist in your torso, then reposition and continue into your next set.
Give yourself at least three sets of 10 repetitions.
If you need intensity, you can always increase your hand weight or increase your repetitions. If you find that the weight is too heavy, just reduce it to a smaller amount, and continue into your next set.
This double row will not only give your back an appealing look, it will also build strength, helping you stand taller and reduce back fatigue.
Marlo Alleva, an instructor at Gold’s Gym and group fitness coordinator at Fontaine-Gills YMCA in Lakeland, Florida, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.