Stretch Rows for Maximum Gains
Increased Range of Motion + Loaded Stretch = More Muscle Growth
Rows or pulls are one of those staple movement to have in your training programs. Plus they’re versatile in that you can use just about any tool in the gym to do them.
The key to getting more out of them is to allow the shoulder blade to move through its full range of motion and spread as far as possible. When we do this, we get a big stretch of the back muscles, which gets a better contraction during the pull at the end
Using your muscle's full range of motion makes for better gains. So why not try a few different rows to maximize the benefits.
In these row variations, that’s exactly what we’re going to do. Maximize the range of motion of the row by letting the scapula glide forward under control and increasing the loaded stretch.
Single Arm Cable Stretch Row
These allow for full movement of the shoulder blade, letting it glide forward and up under control as you lean forward
Get that stretch of the upper back, then rock back and pull hard, squeezing the shoulder blade back.
Dumbbell Stretch Row
Typically you’ll see rows done with dumbbells in a variety of stances. For this one, we’re going to use a split stance, and let gravity do its thing.
Control the dumbbell down towards the floor, letting the shoulder blade glide forward and the T-Spine rotate a bit. Once you hit that stretched position, drive back up.
This row variation comes from Lee Boyce as a way to spare the hips and low back. By keeping both knees on the bench, you're better able to keep better positioning, making for a "friendlier" exercise.
What it does do is give room to reach for the ground, leading to more core involvement, specifically the obliques.
The Meadows Row is as simple as sticking a barbell in a corner and going to work. We probably can handle rowing a good amount of weight, so we're tempted to throw on a 45 and go. However, since we're looking to get a stretch at the bottom of the row, we must use smaller plates to create that increased range of motion.
Bilateral Cable Stretch Row
Just like the single-arm version above, we're still aiming to get that stretch when we lean forward. As we rock back, we can get a big squeeze on the shoulder blades, with a little T-spine extension on top of it.