Many of you have no doubt gotten started on the 2017 version of you. I hope some of that includes strength training with weights for all of the myriad benefits is has, such as increased muscle mass, increased metabolism, bone density, etc.
I was recently experimenting with variations of the bent over dumbbell row, which is an all-time great back exercise. This is a perfect exercise for those looking to strengthen their upper back. This is important for those that might spend a lot of time sitting at a desk, runners or bikers who can have a hard time maintaining posture when fatigued, or
anyone who is looking to add muscle and get stronger. The variation I am going to demonstrate will hit not only the latissimus dorsi but also some of the smaller muscles of the back that can get overlooked with the standard bent over row.
The standard elbow passing by the ribcage hits the lats more and allows you to use more weight so I will perform them first. Now the lats will be fatigued so I will do a drop set (dropping the weight lower to allow for more reps to be done) with a lighter dumbbell that will target some of the smaller muscles of the upper back mentioned previously.
I prefer having clients use their non-dominant side first and then make sure to keep the repetitions equal on both sides to help prevent creating muscle imbalances. This variation while not a prefect substitute for chin-ups and pull-ups can give those without a way to perform them a different stimulus.