Tip: The Back Exercise Every Lifter Needs

Make this one a staple. Bonus: You can do it just about anywhere.


You know how important pulling strength is. You can't neglect upper-body pulling exercises and expect to perform on the platform or on the field.

Everyone respects the pull-up because it's a solid demonstration of upper-body strength. But for whatever reason, no one seems to care about the horizontal version of the pull-up or chin-up.

Using a TRX or a set of rings to row is similarly difficult, just in a different plane and no less important. Most have tried an inverted row with a bar in the squat rack, but that can be uncomfortable on the wrists and elbows, adjusting the J-hooks to get the desired positions can be tedious and... well, the squat rack is for squatting.

Why is the TRX or "suspension trainer" horizontal row so effective? For those with a higher bodyweight, it's easy to quickly change the difficulty level.

For athletes who have cranky shoulders, the row tends to be a more friendly option than the pull-up. First, it's horizontal instead of vertical. Second, the handles can rotate independently, making it much less stressful on the shoulder and elbow joints.

Finally, the ease with which you can adjust the difficulty allows for sets done at high reps, low reps, paused reps, eccentrics, iso-holds, plus the addition of external load via a weighted vest or chains.

Experiment and adopt the single most versatile upper-body pulling exercise available.

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