T Nation

Rowing Substitution

Hi all,
just wondering if the high pull is a good substitution for t bar rowing since it hits upper traps and rear delts too

High pulls are a good exercise, but not a replacement for horizontal rows IMO. Keep a rowing movement in your routine. I personally like Dumbbell rows.

I wouldn’t say that t-bar rows are intended to hit the rear delts and upper traps. I suppose you’re hitting them some, but t-bar rows hit more lats, mid/low traps, erectors, and rhomboids.

[quote]Silyak wrote:
I wouldn’t say that t-bar rows are intended to hit the rear delts and upper traps. I suppose you’re hitting them some, but t-bar rows hit more lats, mid/low traps, erectors, and rhomboids. [/quote]
your are right.
true.

[quote]MightyMouse17 wrote:
High pulls are a good exercise, but not a replacement for horizontal rows IMO. Keep a rowing movement in your routine. I personally like Dumbbell rows.[/quote]

This. DB Rows, Barbell Rows, Chest supported rows, whatever. Make sure you row.

For what it’s worth, I scrapped chins and pulls to double down on rows and have seen great benefits. The last thing I’d do is substitute rowing with some type of vertical pulling.

[quote]MightyMouse17 wrote:
High pulls are a good exercise, but not a replacement for horizontal rows IMO. Keep a rowing movement in your routine. I personally like Dumbbell rows.[/quote]

This. DB Rows, Barbell Rows, Chest supported rows, whatever. Make sure you row.

For what it’s worth, I scrapped chins and pulls to double down on rows and have seen great benefits. The last thing I’d do is substitute rowing with some type of vertical pulling.

You should be doing some kind of rowing movement on almost every workout.

I find chest-supported rows really good for traps and rear delts. Also Pendlay rows with strict form, but I unfortunately have a crappy anatomy for this.

HEAVY vertical pulling with good technique can work your lower-lower traps. Especially neutral grip. And if you can do Gironda Sternum Pull Up then you have the exercise for width and thickness of whole lats and traps. However you won’t find proper technique videos on youtube etc. even if they say “gironda sternum pull up/chin up”. And you have to be VERY strong on standard pull ups to do gironda’s.

If you do heavy pull ups and don’t want to row, then you should be doing rack pulls. I personally love them and prefer it over rowing movements.

If you want to add some mass to rear delts and rear-medial delts in multi-joint exercise then rowing to lower chest with wide grip is great.

And, of course there are inverted rows! They are even more efficient than barbell rows but you have to have opportunity to add heavy weights.

[quote]tonaryzu wrote:
HEAVY vertical pulling with good technique can work your lower-lower traps. Especially neutral grip. And if you can do Gironda Sternum Pull Up then you have the exercise for width and thickness of whole lats and traps. However you won’t find proper technique videos on youtube etc. even if they say “gironda sternum pull up/chin up”. And you have to be VERY strong on standard pull ups to do gironda’s.

If you do heavy pull ups and don’t want to row, then you should be doing rack pulls. I personally love them and prefer it over rowing movements.

If you want to add some mass to rear delts and rear-medial delts in multi-joint exercise then rowing to lower chest with wide grip is great.

And, of course there are inverted rows! They are even more efficient than barbell rows but you have to have opportunity to add heavy weights.

[/quote]

You wouldn’t happen to have any tips for preventing impingement for the top of a chin up would you? I’ve always found that if I don’t stop where before my eyes go above the bar my rear shoulder gets irritated from what feels kind of like a grinding sensation.

[quote]kgildner wrote:
I find chest-supported rows really good for traps and rear delts. Also Pendlay rows with strict form, but I unfortunately have a crappy anatomy for this.[/quote]

Try doing them from blocks just below the knee. It’s easier than from the floor–easier on crappy leverages to get into a good starting position and still keeps most of the benefits of the exercise.

[quote]Fletch1986 wrote:

You wouldn’t happen to have any tips for preventing impingement for the top of a chin up would you? I’ve always found that if I don’t stop where before my eyes go above the bar my rear shoulder gets irritated from what feels kind of like a grinding sensation. [/quote]

Well, quick question–does it happen at the top of strict lat pulldowns as well?

Second question–does it happen at the top of rack chins?

Because if not, it probably points to a difference in form and a rounding of the upper back instead of keeping the shoulders back, chest up, and squeezing the scaps together.

I have to angle my back on a lat pull down to avoid the problem. If I do a lat pull down with my back perpendicular to the floor I get the same problem. I’ve nearly forgotten about rack chins, I’ll have to give them a go again but I’ve never had problems with those either.

I have paid dearly for not understanding what I’ve summarized in this link.

I feel it’s imperative as a lifter to understand this.

[quote]Aragorn wrote:

[quote]kgildner wrote:
I find chest-supported rows really good for traps and rear delts. Also Pendlay rows with strict form, but I unfortunately have a crappy anatomy for this.[/quote]

Try doing them from blocks just below the knee. It’s easier than from the floor–easier on crappy leverages to get into a good starting position and still keeps most of the benefits of the exercise.[/quote]

Great tip, thanks, I’ll try that out!

[quote]Aragorn wrote:

[quote]Fletch1986 wrote:

You wouldn’t happen to have any tips for preventing impingement for the top of a chin up would you? I’ve always found that if I don’t stop where before my eyes go above the bar my rear shoulder gets irritated from what feels kind of like a grinding sensation. [/quote]

Well, quick question–does it happen at the top of strict lat pulldowns as well?

Second question–does it happen at the top of rack chins?

Because if not, it probably points to a difference in form and a rounding of the upper back instead of keeping the shoulders back, chest up, and squeezing the scaps together.[/quote]

As you probably know, pull ups should be finished with chest touching the bar - it’s way more efficient and keeps your strength in balance.

Last portion of this movement is squeezing scapula movement - it is the moment where most people are too weak and round their back and loosen shoulder blades. The elbow flexors and forearm are in most difficult position. It could be a problem too.

It would be best if you put a video with your pull ups to analyze your problem.

I included Presses b/c I have the same problem if I don’t put my back into extension and get the same problem if I stand straight up and down.

In press, I see hyperextension of the back - do you contract ab muscles?
Head is moving - you can’t use your shoulders effectively and break your technique

I think, you have limited range of motion in your shoulder joints

Check your range of motion doing press but without a bar:
Push the chest up - not only to the front
Abs tight - as hard as you can but keeping neutral curve in the back - do not crunch
Squeeze the glutes
Retract the head - do not lift it up - move it back, only in the horizontal plane - you should make something like a double chin
HEAD IS NOT MOVING TROUGH THE WHOLE LIFT - focus on that
Push your shoulders back

Now, Press until the rear 1/3 part of your head will be between the shoulders.

Pull up - arms should be perpendicular to the floor on the bottom position - you should lower yourself to the dead hang - without it, lats have great loss. On the second movie of pull ups is noticeable that you loosen the shoulder blades and round your back, which works your terres major, not lats.
Head - double chin, do not move it
Glutes, Abs, Shoulders - like in press. You start pull up with raising the chest, push shoulders blades down and back - focus point

Important thing is that the pull up bar should be on the height that allows you to straighten your legs.

What to do?
-check another grips that maybe allow your chest touching the bar. Neutral grips with shoulders or narrower width should be best.
-record your pull ups and press again, with proper technique
-Check how to do these rehab exercises: Prone Y, Prone W, Prone L, Prone T, Scapular Wall Slide, upright shoulder external rotation.
I think, you can find some great descriptions on Nick Tuminello’s site.
-Do these rehab exercises.