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RULES WITH EXAMPLES (common to all similar exercises types)

ROWING MOVEMENTS

- take a shoulder-width grip
- pull elbows in as close to the body as possible throughout (avoid flaring elbows)
- relax arms and minimize their involvement (push and pull using only the scapula/lats)
- aim to bring the wrists to the hips or to the ribcage depending on how little / how much bicep involvement you want (hip = less bicep); perhaps vary it over time
- pull through elbows (as opposed to the hands) and avoid "shrugging"; pull elbows behind as much as possible at the back (keeping chest up)
- Extend/protract scapula (shoulder blades) on the negative, let shoulders roll forward and allow the chest to drop at the bottom (though keep shoulders square and back flat); retract scapula first when beginning the positive (no movement from the shoulder joint)

BENT OVER BARBELL ROWS:

(overhand grip unless stated otherwise)
(variable hand spacing is acceptable from workout to workout, though keep the same during each workout)
- bend over to about 90º (head looking at the ground) with hips back & knees bent slightly
- shove feet into the floor to avoid hip sway & shove hands outwards throughout (intention)
- while lifting the weight, think about shoving the chest to the ground while pulling the shoulders back to keep the body in the same position


ONE ARM DUMBBELL ROWS:

(always use a neutral grip unless stated otherwise)
(hold the seat of a bench (set upright if possible) to help stop trunk from sliding backward; re-shift weight forward every rep if necessary; weight should be distributed between the supporting arm and opposite standing leg, none on the knee on the bench, shoulder directly over the DB at the bottom)
- the angle of knee and hip on the bench should be greater than 90º (obtuse angle)
- shift all the way "forward and out" so the dumbbell is supported by the lat (not the arm)
- shoulders should remain square with hips and standing leg should be bent slightly
- avoid any rotation of the torso and movement of the hips throughout
- "shove" backward ("intention") to create an extra line of force before then contracting the weight back up (try to hold this tension throughout, including on the way back down)


BENT TWO ARM DUMBBELL ROWS:

(neutral grip unless stated otherwise)
- to get into the starting position, while standing proudly before beginning the movement, Engage the lats by shoving the hands and shoulders behind the torso a little. Hold this tension and bend forward (pivoting from the hips) to 90º ideally with the head looking directly at the ground; shove feet into the floor to avoid hip sway


INCLINE PRONE TWO-ARM DUMBBELL ROWS:

- shove chest (not abs) into the pad while simultaneously bringing the shoulders & elbows back as far as possible in the opposite direction (though avoid leaning back)


SEATED CABLE ROWS:

(overhand or neutral-grip)
(straps recommended for high rep sets)
- torso tall, shoulders in front of hips, keep a little flexion in the hips (no backward lean)
- bend knees slightly
- bring bar right the way into the stomach
- keep cable low and think about 'shoving’ down throughout (intention)
- to change the angle, place something onto the seat to provide an elevation
(around 9” or so)


PULLUP / PULLDOWN MOVEMENTS

- back flat / abs tight, elbows in as close to the body as possible (avoid letting them flare)
- attempt to remain perfectly vertical throughout (avoid leaning / throwing hips back)
- keep wrists, elbows & forearms in a straight line as close to perpendicular to the ground as possible
- relax the arms to minimize their involvement, focus instead on stabilizing from the back
- contract the scapula (shoulder blades) & lats throughout while pulling through the elbows (as opposed to the hands)
- on the concentric, pull the shoulders back, the chest to the bar, & drive the elbows simultaneously towards the floor & towards each other; avoid any "shrugging."
- on the eccentric, extend/protract the scapula & let the shoulders roll forward at the extreme
- "shove" hands outwards throughout (intention)
- when performing with an overhand-grip, don't allow the elbows to come behind the body (drive them towards the lats). When performing with a neutral / underhand-grip, end the concentric with elbows as far behind torso as possible, chest touching the bar

PULL UPS:

(wide-GRIP, neutral, or underhand/REVERSE grip)

- when performing assisted, place knees to the back of the pad to maintain a vertical position

WIDE-GRIP OR REVERSE-GRIP PULLDOWNS:

- position body as appropriate to achieve a vertical plane of movement; slide butt forward if necessary
* if instructed to perform with a backward lean, lean from the hips NOT from the spine (keep the abs tight)


DEADLIFTS (BENT-KNEE) + STRAIGHT-ARM CABLE PULLOVERS

DEADLIFTS:

(straps recommended on working sets if needed, especially any high rep sets)
- drop butt down / bring hips back as far as possible, raise head and depress shoulders
- drive the ground away as well as the chest towards the ceiling, no rounding of the lower back
- if strength training (< 8 reps) come right to the top and attempt to pull the bar though the legs / bring the arms behind the torso
- don't let the body fall forward during the movement (keep chest up and knees behind the toes throughout); concentrate on moving up and down predominantly by moving the hips back and forth


STRAIGHT-ARM CABLE PULLOVERS:

(if using ropes, ideally attach two ropes to the one pulley, one for each hand)
- maintain a soft-grip and keep arms straight and ridged (though not locked out)
- begin bent over to at least 45º with a flat (or very slightly arched) back and maximally stretched lats (arms should be a little higher than the level of the head)
- pull down and out keeping the bar/ropes as far away as possible at all times thus creating a large arc; pivot from the hips (no bending of the legs) and bring them forward at the top
- if using ropes, come back behind the body and lock out the triceps briefly
- if using a bar, drive hands/bar into the thighs at the bottom
- pause "very" briefly upon returning to the stretched position each time and re-contract lats
* focus on "shoving" the shoulders down and hard towards the hips
* add intention by shoving "out" throughout and attempt to sustain a "lat spread."

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