Tip: Do Chest-Supported Rows

It's impossible to cheat on this back exercise, and it builds muscle like crazy. Check it out.

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This is my favorite movement to strengthen the back in a pulling/rowing motion. It's a staple of the Chinese Olympic lifters.

Chest-Supported Row

This exercise will take the lower back out of the movement, and you can't really cheat. By focusing only on your back you'll develop more contractile strength and a superior mind-muscle connection.

Coaching Notes

  1. Always hold a slight squeeze at the top.
  2. Don't rely on momentum to get the weight from point A to point B. Focus on a quality contraction of the back muscles.
  3. You can do the movement with kettlebells, dumbbells or a barbell. They all work and you should rotate through all of them. Become strong in all types of rowing motions. The pulling angle with a bar will be different than the one with a dumbbell, especially if you use a neutral grip.
  4. Perform sets of 6 to 8 reps for a few weeks, then add weight and drop down to 4 to 6 reps, but only when you've built a solid mind-muscle connection with the back.
Christian Thibaudeau specializes in building bodies that perform as well as they look. He is one of the most sought-after coaches by the world's top athletes and bodybuilders. Check out the Christian Thibaudeau Coaching Forum.