Problem: You Want To Develop Your Back But
There's Not Enough Resistance in the Normal Inverted
Rows are a GREAT bodyweight exercise and should
be a staple of a good bodyweight routine. However,
the main problem with Inverted Rows is that you
can't use your entire bodyweight to perform them,
limiting their effectiveness for building muscle
and strength once you max out what you can do
with your feet elevated.
are generally the go-to option in that case, but
chins only work in the VERTICAL movement pattern.
For complete back development, you also need to
perform movements in the HORIZONTAL (i.e. rowing)
Upside Down Bodyweight Rows
exercise is a great alternative to chins, especially
if you don't have the equipment to do free weight
rowing exercises or CAN'T do free weight rowing
exercises because of back issues.
exercise is a heavy bodyweight row with ZERO back
stress...because you'll be hanging from a bar
with no direct load on the lower back!
the bar with your hands a little wider than shoulder
width...you want them a bit wider because of how
your legs are going to be held during this movement
(you'll see). This can be an underhand or overhand
grip (use underhand if you want to target the
lower lats and biceps, overhand if you want to
target the upper back and the brachialis muscles
of the upper arm).
your legs up.
bring your left leg underneath the bar.
your right leg.
now hanging from the bar with both thighs tucked
up into your chest and your legs all the way through
like halfway through a "skin the cat"
gymnastics maneuver. We won't be going all the
way around into a full 360 degrees, though, because
your shoulders tend to function better when the
ligaments are still attached...
bottom position gives you a nice stretch on the
muscles of the upper back, so let your bodyweight
pull you down into the bottom position and hold
there for a few seconds on each rep.
keeping that position, row yourself up until your
hamstrings contact the bar. Try and pull your
shoulder blades back behind your body as you row
up, maximizing the contraction, then repeat.
as that! It's a pull-up/inverted row done with
ALL your bodyweight.
The Bottom Line:
the Upside Down Bodyweight Row is a GREAT way
to dramatically increase the muscle-building potential
of the Inverted Row family of exercises. By ramping
up the resistance and using your entire bodyweight
with this exercise, you'll build a well-muscled,
strong back with more complete development than
you can achieve with Chin-Ups or regular Inverted
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this exercise now...