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Struggling to Feel Lats with Rowing Movements

Hi guys.

I’m wondering if you could help me out. Is there any cues that help with the mind muscle connection when doing rows? My favourite rowing variation is dumbbell rows with one hand and knee on a bench. I mainly feel them in my arms when doing them.

Also should I let my scapula stretch at the bottom of the movement? I’m not sure if it takes the stress off the muscle when I do that and of I would be better keeping a slightly shorter rom.

Try rowing the dumbbell more towards your hip, and less towards your shoulder.

As far as relaxing the scapula, it’s kind of a personal preference. Do it if you want, it won’t make a big difference either way.

If you haven’t been lifting that long, then don’t worry about not being able to feel your lats that much. It generally takes a while to establish that feeling with the lats, for whatever reason.

[quote]Chris87 wrote:
Try rowing the dumbbell more towards your hip, and less towards your shoulder.

As far as relaxing the scapula, it’s kind of a personal preference. Do it if you want, it won’t make a big difference either way.

If you haven’t been lifting that long, then don’t worry about not being able to feel your lats that much. It generally takes a while to establish that feeling with the lats, for whatever reason.[/quote]
x2 to all of these.

If the 'bell end up closer to your shoulder than your hip, you’re using more arm flexion to lift the weight.

Check this article for more general tips to make sure your form is on point:
http://www.T-Nation.com/readArticle.do?id=4781263

Also, consider straight-arm pulldowns 1-2 x 8-10, pausing at the peak contraction for a sec, right before your db rows to turn your brain onto "oh, okay, so these are lats.’ Nothing tough enough to fatigue them too much, just to get some activation.

EDIT:

[quote]law8 wrote:
My favourite rowing variation is dumbbell rows with one hand and knee on a bench. I mainly feel them in my arms when doing them.[/quote]
If you mainly feel them in your arms, what makes them your favorite row variation? Just wondering.

Thank you very much for the replies. Just from looking at the link that posted I’ve realised my main problem is that I’m pulling the dumbbell pretty much straight up to my armpit. Thanks for clearing it up for me and thanks again Chris for posting that link!

EDIT:

[quote]law8 wrote:
My favourite rowing variation is dumbbell rows with one hand and knee on a bench. I mainly feel them in my arms when doing them.[/quote]
If you mainly feel them in your arms, what makes them your favorite row variation? Just wondering.[/quote]

I like them in comparison to barbbell rows because my back feels in a precarious position bent over while I’m rowing the weight whereas I can brace myself against the bench with these ones. Fair question btw. I re-read that last sentence and it did sound pretty illogical ha.

Using straps really helped me focus on the MMC for my back exercises.

I have the same problem of feeling rows in my arms if I don’t use straps. The false grip for rows works good if you can hold on and squeeze with the pinky. But ultimately don’t be afraid of trying straps and a false grip. See how they feel.

Try these:

http://www.flexcart.com/members/elitefts/default.asp?m=PD&cid=482&pid=4616

I like a good stretch for the lats and thinking of my arms like ropes with hooks on them.

Pull to hips like Chris said. Same with cable rows. That and initiate it by pulling with your elbows with pullups and rows.