Back Exercises

Muscle Up Your Row with Strength Bands

Add extra resistance to your barbell rows to get huge, wide lats.

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The bent-over barbell row is one of the best exercises for lat development, but if it seems as if you’re working twice as hard during the last few inches of the movement, you’re not alone.

Virtually every muscle in the human body suffers a significant drop-off in force production near the end of any given range of motion. For barbell rows, this means your lats and biceps will be at their weakest as you draw the bar into your sternum.

There is a way, however, to train for a better finish without loading up the bar with more plates. Using strength bands, you can teach your lats and biceps to work even harder near the top of each movement. After a few sessions, ditch them and return to the standard lift. You should have more pop as you finish, and be able to bang out a few more.

The Workout

READY - Load a barbell on the floor, then strap a Velcro loop outside the collar on each side of the bar. Clip one end of the band onto each loop, stretching it the length of the bar.

SET - Take a normal, shoulder-width stance as you would for a barbell row—but stand directly on top of the outstretched band, placing it under the arches of your feet.

GO - Bend at the waist and grasp the bar with an overhand grip. Use your lats and biceps to pull the bar to the base of your sternum, then slowly lower the weight back to the start.

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