Tip: The Back Burner

Finish off your back workout with a few rounds of this. Bonus: It'll wake up your rhomboids too, which will help improve your crappy posture.


Not only with this finisher light up your back, it'll help "wake up" your rhomboids, making it an excellent tool for improving posture.

How To Do It

  1. Set up in a good stiff-legged deadlift position. Make sure you're "aware" of your hamstrings and you're not putting strain on your lower back.
  2. Use two moderately heavy dumbbells that you can hold at the top position of a dumbbell row at maximum range of motion. This is your isometric hold position.
  3. Maintaining the full height of one arm/dumbbell, reach the other slightly forward and down to get a nice lat stretch, then row up and back to the retracted position. Repeat on the other side.
  4. Keep alternating and perform 5 reps with each arm (10 total) while maintaining the full retraction of the "resting" arm.
  5. Once you've completed 5 reps per arm, do 10 reps with both arms moving together, making sure you fully pull your elbows and shoulders back at the top and add a slight pause between reps.

If you find yourself using any momentum or losing range of motion, drop the weight. There's really no point in cheating by doing "bro-rep" dumbbell rows. Focus on retraction and recruiting the right muscles – the burn will come quickly.

The full set will be:

  • 5 rounds:
  • 10 Alternating Single-Arm Rows (holding iso retraction)
  • 10 Double-Arm Rows (pause between reps in retraction)

Write down the weight you use your first time and try to increase the weight over time.

Tom Morrison is a British weightlifting coach, martial artist, and CrossFit trainer and competitor. Tom works with athletes on prerequisite movement capabilities for optimal strength, performance, and reduced risk of injury.  Follow Tom Morrison on Facebook