The seated row is a must exercise in just about any training program. But an exercise that seems to be pretty simple and straightforward can actually be done pretty wrong. Here are some mistakes I see people making that are actually killing the effectiveness of this exercise:
- Too much flexing and extending at the lumbar spine. This is not a race down the Charles River. This an upper back exercise. It’s a postural exercise. Stay in a tall seated position throughout the duration of the set.
- Shrugging of the shoulders. As you’re pulling that handle in, focus on bringing the shoulders back and down, not up.
- Curling of the wrists. As that handle nears your torso, avoid flexing your wrists just to bring the handle all the way in. This will take the emphasis off the muscles that should be working and transfer the force to the wrist. Bring that handle all the way in by getting a maximum retraction of the shoulder blades.
- Jutting the head forward. Handle comes in, head goes forward. I see a lot of this. The last thing most people need to emphasize is a head forward posture. Think about keeping that head back and try to line up your ears with your shoulders.
Most of these problems are occurring because people are so focused on how much weight they’re using. I personally don’t care how much weight you’re using if you’re not executing the movement properly. So forget about the weight for awhile and focus on technique.