T Nation

F*ck Dumbell Rows

straps

Try flexing your lats when you do them.

[quote]ebomb5522 wrote:
Try flexing your lats when you do them.

[/quote]

THANKS FOR THE INSIGHT

GAWD

Thanks for the help, I’ll play around with the exercise and I’ll get it sooner or later.

[quote]kalani2226 wrote:

[quote]Jack Bauer wrote:
I had the same exact issue with DB rows. Read that Meadows article linked by Kooopa, helped me a lot. Basically, instead of “squaring off” your feet, try putting the foot on your working side back a bit. That’ll elevate that hip and activate the lat quite a bit more. Don’t be surprised if you’re sore the next day too. I now love DB rows after doing them this way, give it a shot.[/quote]

What kind of weirdo are you? Old reg date, level 4 and almost no posts?! I bet you don’t even lift bro.[/quote]
you meet practically the same classification

A lot of it has to do with your foot placement as well as your angle. Try to ditch the traditional way and experiment with an angle that gives your lat the most stretch at the bottom (while keeping the movement safe of course).

I was experimenting with it today and I found a way that works, that method of keeping your ‘hip up’ and lowing row to your stomach, I think part of the problem may have been that I was doing it on two milk crates before, along with rowing to my chest and twisting my torso which most likely made the exercise totally ineffective.

I still don’t fully understand the concept of keeping your hip up and tilting your booty in the air to allow more weight to be ‘used by your back’. I would appreciate if someone could explain this concept to me it still seems a bit confusing.

[quote]watermelon29 wrote:

I still don’t fully understand the concept of keeping your hip up and tilting your booty in the air to allow more weight to be ‘used by your back’. I would appreciate if someone could explain this concept to me it still seems a bit confusing.[/quote]

Hip up simply allows more room to stretch the lats at the bottom of the rep. You can also use more weight analogous to a Yates Row (45 deg angle) vs a strict row (90 deg Row)

On a personal note, I don’t feel DB rows until after I crush my lats on the SMITH with BoRs AND my DB rows have to be heavy, high-rep and with straps.

Your problem sounds like an activation/patterning one.

One of the best tricks I found was to do really light rows, like 30 lbs., but do 25 - 30 reps. Pretty much to failure. Watch the tempo and form like a hawk. This was a trick a trainer showed me. The idea is that you can do the motion fine, but as fatigue sets in, you learn in a big hurry how your lats feel and how you are activating them. He had me try this for a couple of weeks until I was sure I could just activate them right off the bat.

All my poundages jumped up in a big hurry and have improved nicely since. Now my problem is my gym only has 105 lb. DBs… Not sure what to do next for upping the load.

– jj

Where are you pulling the DB into? If it’s coming into your chest or even your gut, you’re going to have a hard time activating the lats. I started feeling my lats light up when I start pulling it into the crease right at my hip.

Ok just to clear a few things up I meant could anyone explain to me how to ‘prop the hip up’ I still don’t totally understand the idea because if I raise my hip then my leg HAS to be closer to my torso and it makes it harder because the dumbell would possibly bump into my hip because my leg is closer when rowing.

The other problem is if I put my leg further away (back) then I have a harder time raising the hip.

@jskrabac I am pulling to dumbell in as close as possible, roughly at the adonis belt/oblique area

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:
One of the things I’ve discovered is completely the opposite of what we’re told, but it works so well for me.

Instead of the knowledge that the row (no matter what type of row) is a PULLING exercise, I had to think of it as a PUSHING exercise - only here my focus is on my elbows. I visualize that my elbows are pushing upward against the weight (like a backwards bench press), and not my lats pulling. Imagine as you pull upward that someone is pushing your elbows down and you’re pushing against this.

I know it sounds weird (and I’m probably not explaining it accurately), but it works for me.[/quote]

This is pretty much how i see it too.

I don’t use a bench or anything to lean on either. I brace my free forearm against my thigh in a kind of static lunge position. (if you get what i mean…)

I like to pre-pump my lats with different types of light straight arm band pulls.I will also layer them in between sets of the lift im doing.Band pull,one arm row,band pull etc.

[quote]pete-r wrote:

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:
One of the things I’ve discovered is completely the opposite of what we’re told, but it works so well for me.

Instead of the knowledge that the row (no matter what type of row) is a PULLING exercise, I had to think of it as a PUSHING exercise - only here my focus is on my elbows. I visualize that my elbows are pushing upward against the weight (like a backwards bench press), and not my lats pulling. Imagine as you pull upward that someone is pushing your elbows down and you’re pushing against this.

I know it sounds weird (and I’m probably not explaining it accurately), but it works for me.[/quote]

This is pretty much how i see it too.

I don’t use a bench or anything to lean on either. I brace my free forearm against my thigh in a kind of static lunge position. (if you get what i mean…)[/quote]

I do them the same way when doing single-arm lat work.

Leaning on a bench or other support seems to spread out my center of gravity too much and it throws me off. I feel it a solid base resting on my thigh.

bump can someone please help:

Ok just to clear a few things up I meant could anyone explain to me how to ‘prop the hip up’ I still don’t totally understand the idea because if I raise my hip then my leg HAS to be closer to my torso and it makes it harder because the dumbell would possibly bump into my hip because my leg is closer when rowing.

Try Meadow rows.

Meadows is the new face of bodybuilding. CT has some work to do. But Charles Glass still has the best steroids and GH in the biz.

Thanks for the video Jo but looking at it I still don’t understand it, could anyone explain it?

on a side note just to mention I originally came up with Meadow’s rows myself a few workouts ago while experimenting with rowing motions, nice to know that an exercise I came up with is the new trend! (please don’t take this in an offensive way or be angered by it, I don’t mean it in that way)

[quote]jskrabac wrote:
Where are you pulling the DB into? If it’s coming into your chest or even your gut, you’re going to have a hard time activating the lats. I started feeling my lats light up when I start pulling it into the crease right at my hip. [/quote]

X2

I could never ever feel my lats at all during a dumbbell row until I started performing “arc” rows. Set up with a split stance and your rear leg well out of the way on the side that is holding the dumbbell. Balance yourself on the db rack in front of you or a bench. The row will start in the normal position below the chest then you pull the weight backwards into the hip. This absolutely roasts your lats.

Another option is to simply perform a one arm db row with a supinated grip. This forces you to pull the weight lower, therefore increasing your lat ROM. Any horizontal rowing variation that you do just pull with the elbows low towards the stomach and you should feel the lats over the rest of your back muscles.

If it is your entire back that you are having trouble feeling and not just the lats, hold each contraction for a 2 second count or try pre-exhausting the lats/traps like others have mentioned.

Try to really overly emphasize the stretch in the bottom position and go higher in reps (20-25). I always have a have time feeling my back, a pre exhaust like, cable pull over and pull apart SS, seems to help.