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Progress the Row!

It’s time to row your way to optimal posture symmetry!

When it comes to rows, it is more than just targeting the back muscles for superior strength. Let’s take a look at the surrounding areas other than just “muscles” and optimize the positions for joint integrity, specifically within the shoulder joint (glenohumeral joint). When discussing the row movement, it's more than just a simple row! A variety of joints are integrated for row stability… glenohumeral joint, scapulothoracic joint, sternoclavicular joint, humeroulnar joint, and humeroradial joint.

Scapular movement is key for rowing strength and performance. The scapulothoracic joint dynamically owns a list of movements such as anterior/posterior tilt, internal/external rotation, and upward/downward rotation (Riek, Tome, Ludewig, & Nawoczenski, 2015). When it comes to standard centration of the glenohumeral joint, specific ratios of the surrounding musculature need to be balanced so the scapula and spine can stabilize with appropriate recruitment (Youdas Jw Pt et al., 2018). The imbalances of centration of these areas can produce impingements such as subacromial impingement syndrome (Youdas Jw Pt et al., 2018). Therefore, the optimal joint position is key when performing movements like a row!

As with many different movements, there needs to be a system set in place for appropriate progressions and the row has this system. Below is a list of a few movements that Linked Fit recommends to perform for a row.

Just remember, joint centration is key! Optimize joint balance and optimize movement performance!

DB Supported Incline Bench Row

RB Seated Row - Strength Band

DB Bent Over (1 Arm, Support)

DB Bent Over Row

TRX Low Row

TRX Low Row w/ RB Accommodating Resistance

Bench Low Pillar Bridge w/ DB Row (1 Arm)

High Pillar Bridge w/ DB Alt Row

LM Staggered Stance Row - 1 Arm

LM Rope Row - Perpendicular to BB

BB Bent Over Row


  • Riek, L. M., Tome, J., Ludewig, P. M., & Nawoczenski, D. A. (2015). Improving Shoulder Kinematics in Individuals With Paraplegia: A Comparison Across Circuit Resistance Training Exercises and Modifications in Hand Position.

  • Youdas Jw Pt, M. S., Hubble Jw Pt, D. P. T., Johnson Pg Pt, D. P. T., McCarthy Mm Pt, D. P. T., Saenz Mm Pt, D. P. T., & Hollman Jh Pt, P. (2018). Scapular muscle balance and spinal stabilizer recruitment during an inverted row. Physiother Theory Pract, 1-12.



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