This exercise is all about putting continuous tension on the upper back, using basically your entire bodyweight.
The name comes from the movement you do to achieve that continuous tension while shifting your body from side to side (you'll see). You can a GREAT pump in your entire back with this exercise, which is useful if you have a hard time building your back (better blood flow to a muscle = better results).
I like to do this exercise in the power rack to make it easier to get into position on the bar, but it's not necessary. Really, all you need is a chin-up bar and you're good to go.
To perform this exercise, you'll need to be comfortable putting yourself into a bit of a strange position on the chin-up bar...you'll be upside-down with your legs tucked around underneath the bar and held into your chest.
First, grab the bar with a fairly wide grip...about what you'd use for a wide-grip pull-up.
Now swing your legs up (or if you're in the rack, just step your legs up and onto the crossbeam). Get one leg under the bar.
Then the other. Notice in this pic below how my arms are straight and I'm hanging down. Now pull your body up, using an inverted row movement. Pull until the back of your thighs is near the bar.
Now the fun begins...holding that top row position and keeping tension in your back, shift your body to the left as far as you can. Then shift your body to the right as far as you can.
Continue shifting back and forth like this until either your grip starts to give out or your back or arms fatigue and you can no longer hold that rowed position. It looks a lot like a typewriter (if you've ever seen one before, depending on how old you are!).
What this shift accomplishes is throwing more of your bodyweight onto one side then the other. When you move to the left, your left arm and left side of your back bear most of the load. Then when you move to the right, your right side does.
This one definitely does look strange...no argument from me there. And you can see exactly why I gave it the name that I did.
But it's actually VERY effective for working the back with continuous tension, which those muscle thrive on. By keeping the tension on, you keep the blood in the muscles, which delivers an excellent pump to the upper back area. If you have a hard time building back, it's a very effective way to go.
It's very low impact and really hits the back nicely with that strong continuous tension that's missing from a lot of back exercise (like when you do a row, chin-up or pulldown, the stretch position always releases much of the tension from the back muscles). If you're strong enough to do this exercise (and ready to have some fun in the gym), it's definitely worth a try.
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