Many people are often unaware of the role that resistance bands play and how they can be put into proper use when it comes to exercise and fitness. Resistance bands can be extremely effective tools to achieve particular goals from working out, particularly if you travel a lot and want to add variety to your usual exercise routine. There are many exercises you can perform with resistance bands that will build strength and increase flexibility over targeted areas of the body. For example, bent over rows are great for the middle back, upper back, rear shoulders and biceps. In many cases, resistance bands are a better alternative to barbell rows because they cause less stress on the lower back which results in fewer unintended injuries.
Muscles Targeted: The specific muscles that are targeted with bent over rows are the latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, middle trapezius, rear deltoids and the biceps.
Exercise Instructions: While standing, grasp one handle of the exercise band with your left hand and the other handle with your right hand with each arm hanging straight down at your sides. Next, standing with both feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your legs straight, firmly step on the rubber tubing of the resistance band with each foot (this should make the rubber tubing tight enough to execute an effective bent over row).
While keeping your legs straight and your arms hanging straight down at your sides, slowly bend forward at the waist as if you are going to touch your knuckles to your toes and your torso to your thighs. Pull both of your hands up towards your body while keeping your elbows close to your sides. If you flare out your elbows during the rowing motion, you will bring more of your rear deltoids into play. By keeping your elbows tucked into your sides, you’re able to place maximum tension on the back muscles. Pause at the top of the movement for a brief moment to get a full contraction and then slowly lower your hands back down to the bottom position.
Things To Avoid: Always execute each exercise with a slow and controlled tempo, avoiding abrupt or jerking movements at all times throughout the entire exercise. Always remember to control your breathing throughout each exercise by slowing inhaling on the way down and slowly exhaling on the way up (during exertion). Keep your back straight at all times throughout the exercise to ensure spinal alignment, proper posture and optimum effectiveness of the exercise. If needed, workout with an experienced person who can spot you to make sure your technique is correct. People with back problems are advised to consult with their physician before attempting to perform this exercise.
Reps and Sets: The number of repetitions and sets a person should perform depends on that respective individual’s strength, endurance, flexibility and level of training experience. For beginners, it is recommended to start with 2 sets of 12 repetitions per set, increasing the number of sets and moving to thicker resistance bands over time, according to your personal progress and ability. For intermediate and experienced people, it is recommended to do 8 to 10 reps per set up to 5 total sets, if possible.
Other Exercises To Use: Another great resistance bands exercise you can add to your back workout includes the standing back rows and you can also use bodyweight pullups to really target the back muscles. For weight training exercises, try dumbbell bent over rows, Smith machine bent over rows and T-bar rows.