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Alternating Hammer Strength Row?

When I see people use this machine they tend to pull one side at a time alternating. My question is what is the best way to get full advantage of this machine, to pull both sides at the same time or to pull one side at a time?

I notice that as the weight I use gets heavier I have trouble bringing the handles as far back as I should however when I only pull one side at a time I can bring it back fully yet I twist slightly as well, am I cheating myself doing that?

you may have answered your own question, ive found that on similar rowing machines you can get a greater ROM going unilateral.

Call be me crazy, but I often feel these hammer strength machines often have very odd strength curves.

I wouldn’t think there is a “best” way.

I imagine each ways works depending on what you are trying to get out of it.

[quote]JoeGood wrote:
I wouldn’t think there is a “best” way.

I imagine each ways works depending on what you are trying to get out of it.[/quote]

But what does that mean?

From what I can tell no one really has a great answer and either way seems to work just fine. As I already do some movements where I pull together and am hitting the same muscle groups I suppose alternating this one won’t hurt unless I find some reason is does later on.

As it happens I’m an aficionado of this particular machine: so much so that I personally own one (there’s only one other machine besides this that I’ve considered it needful to buy.) So some back workouts get the Iso Row first at home before I head to the gym.

For me it is a quite different exercise two arms at a time versus one arm. There’s also a big difference in what weight I need to use.

It’s also a quite different exercise according to whether one keeps the chest on the pad or allows lean back. This also makes a big difference in weight.

I’d suggest picking the one or two ways of using it that seem best to you, and if you use more than one method then definitely keep independent track of what weight you need.

Myself, I train sides in alternate sets, rather than alternate reps. Alternate reps is an acceptable way to train but it is basically rest/pause which as an overall, all the time way to train, isn’t the best way to train. But that’s not to say that having an exercise that as an exception you do it on is something that should never happen. Anyway, you have a choice of alternating rep to rep, or as separate sets for each side.

It’s probably impossible to tell from verbal description whether your slight twist is hurting the effectiveness of the exercise or not. However I would think that if you are keeping high tension on the muscle and not going into weird postures, what you are doing is probably fine. But if it’s a high degree of twist, that should not be happening.

[quote]Josh Rider wrote:
Call be me crazy, but I often feel these hammer strength machines often have very odd strength curves.[/quote]

They’re designed under the “peak contraction” principles so, supposedly, every inch of ROM for any Hammer Strength Machine or Nautilus Machine should be equally difficult.

[quote]rondastarr wrote:
My question is what is the best way to get full advantage of this machine, to pull both sides at the same time or to pull one side at a time?[/quote]
Eee-ther, eye-ther. Which is better, shoes with laces or sandals? They’re two related options that work towards the same goal, with minor differences.

That’s perfectly normal, but might not be what you want. As weight increases beyond a certain point (whatever you can handle for the full range of motion), the ROM will naturally decrease. It’s the same reason that the stereotypical quarter-squatter in the gym thinks he’s hella-strong while using 315 for a four-inch range of motion.

If you’re doing it consciously and intentionally, that’s fine. But if you don’t realize that your sacrificing ROM for load, you’re fooling yourself. (That’s the general “you”, not “you = Ronda”.)

If you don’t have any other unilateral back exercises in your program, I’d say go for the 1-arm version. You’ll only be “cheating yourself” if you twist so much that it reduces stress on the back. You’ll probably notice this by decreased strength progress and/or possibly less soreness in the back (and maybe more soreness in the abs or shoulder).

And anyhow… why are you doing them? What’s your training goal? If you’re training primarily for strength, a little more body english is fine. If you’re training for hypertrophy, I’d keep it more strict.

It doesn’t seem to me that ROM is affected by leanback nor would it be by twist. Either way you go from full stretch to full contraction.

As for the weight itself, it actually has to move a greater distance if twisting is employed: I’m assuming the twisting is shoulder away from the machine? If it’s shoulder-towards, then that I think is screwed up and should be avoided.