Muscles Targeted: Standing back rows primarily target the larger back muscles of the latissimus dorsi and also focus attention on the secondary muscles of the biceps and forearms. Your grip position will also affect the area of the arm that is targeted. If you use a grip with your palms up, then the biceps will be more activated. Keeping a neutral grip will engage more of the forearm muscles. This an excellent exercise for the upper body when using elastic exercise bands because you can perform this movement virtually anywhere. It’s also a very functional exercise which is used in everyday tasks such as pulling items off of shelves and starting a lawn mower, so it’s extremely useful to incorporate this type of exercise into your overall fitness routine.
Exercise Instructions: Begin by wrapping the exercise band around a sturdy post or something similar. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart while facing the post. Hold the handles in each hand with your arms extended out in front of your body with your thumbs pointed up toward the ceiling. Next, pull or “row” the handles in towards your body near your stomach. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat for several repetitions. Be sure to keep your back straight and perpendicular to the floor throughout this entire movement.
Things To Avoid: Do not hunch your shoulders or round your back when performing this exercise. It’s important to keep your back straight with your chest out while performing standing back rows in order to focus all of the attention on your back muscles. Keep a wide stance to provide stability and a solid foundation during the entire range of motion. Keep your head up and your eyes looking forward and avoid dropping your head down. Proper posture is very important with this movement for safety and effectiveness. Avoid wrapping the bands around an insecure base which may lead to injury. Test out the surface to make sure it’s solid and secure before doing a full repetition.
Reps and Sets: Depending on the resistance level with the exercise bands you’re using, repetitions will range from 10-15 per set when performing standing back rows. Include 3-4 sets of this exercise and add a few additional back exercises to cover the large area of the back (lower, middle, upper). Most exercise bands do not provide as much resistance as free weights, so higher repetitions are typically used.
Other Exercises To Use: An excellent bodyweight exercise to add to your back workout is pull-ups. This movement pairs very well with standing back rows using the exercise bands since it’s an all-around mass builder for the upper body. Another great exercise is bent over rows using exercise bands because it targets the muscles of the lower back. A great workout routine using these 3 exercises would include 2-3 sets of pull-ups (as many repetitions as possible) followed by 3-4 sets of standing back rows (12-15 reps) and finish up this back workout with 3-4 sets of bent over rows (12-15 reps). Make sure to rest for 1-3 minutes between sets for optimal recovery.