The Inverted Row is an exercise I use regularly in my Strength & Conditioning and Youth Athletic Development sessions. The Inverted Row is a great exercise for developing horizontal pulling strength and developing the upper back muscles (lower/mid trapezius, rhomboids, lat dorsi, posterior deltoid). The Inverted Row is also a good exercise to use in progressing to the chin / pull up. Below are six varieties of the Inverted Row for you to start to include in your training programs.
1. Inverted Row with Knees Bent – This is the easiest variation of the Inverted Row. Make sure the bar is at a fixed height that allows full extension of the arms and grasp the bar with a overhand grip. Place the feet on the floor so there is an approximate 90 degree bend at the knees and keep the body straight throughout pulling the chest to the bar.
2. Inverted Row with Legs Straight – This exercise progresses on from the knees bent variation as the distance of the lever (the feet) is increased meaning the load is greater to pull. The body should be straight throughout with the chest pulled to the bar with full extension of the arms on each rep.
3. Single Leg Inverted Row – This exercise is similar to the straight leg variation except one foot is lifted from the floor. This results in the body being in single leg bridge position and therefore utilises the glute and hamstring of the supporting leg. This means your getting more bang for your buck and working pulling strength with glute activation.
4. Inverted Row with Feet Up - This exercise involves raising the feet by placing them on a box or bench. This increases the load of the body and makes the exercise more difficult. Form should be maintained as described in the previous variations.
5. Loaded Inverted Row – This is the same as in number 4 but added weight is included to increase the difficulty of the exercise. A plate can be placed on the stomach (don’t place it on the chest as this limits the range of movement of the exercise when the plate hits the bar) or a weighted vest can be used.
6. Inverted Row with Swiss Ball Hamstring Curl – An elevated inverted row can be performed on a swiss ball that then requires more control. This can be progressed to include an inverted row followed by a swiss ball hamstring curl after each rep. This again incorporates the pulling action with the recruitment of the hamstring and glute muscles. This exercise is a great functional full body exercise.
So there you go, 6 Inverted Row exercise progressions to start using in your training. Remember, pulling actions should form a major part of your weekly resistance sessions (see developing a balanced upper body program) so start using the Inverted Row now. As always feel free to Contact Us if you want further information or have any questions.