Hanging or horizontal rows.
Description: This is a rowing exercise, also called a 'lat pull'.
Motions trained: This trains two motions. Pulling towards the chest
and lowering the arms. This last motion is almost done ismoetrically.
Main muscles used: Latissimus dorsi, biceps
Other muscles: deltoids, abdominals, hip extensors (if the legs are extended).
How to do it: Do a lever and while remaining in
that position, pull yourself to the bar, staying tucked in a nice ball.
How to work up to it: Rowing machines are an ok start. Find a low bar someplace
that you can almost reach while lying on your back. Use that to support your lower body.
Start first by just moving your upper body, then progress by keeping your body straight,
forcing your abdomenals to work. When you can do a good 10 of these in a row with your
body straight, consider trying the hanging version.
You should also do levers and hanging
leg lifts to get the other components down. When you feel that you are more or less ready, have
a friend give you a helping hand on the tailbone. You should try to lift yourself off his hand,
but he should help if you are wobbly. Have him help you up, then do negatives. Once these feel
fairly solid, add in positives.
Ramping it up: Gradually work on extending your legs. To do this, splay them
out in the chinese splits first, since this gets the hip muscles involved, but does not
too drastically alter your center of gravity, which would vastly tax the deltoids.
Now over the course of a few months, bring your legs together.
There is not a one-handed version of this – there can't be. But you can use a towel
looped over the bar. The hand that grabs that can be made to contribute less by grabbing lower.
You can also use two towels if you want lots of fun (?!) trying to stabilize.
Do's and don'ts: Don't get your hips too high, try to keep your back
parallel to the floor. Don't underestimate the straing on your lats and deltoids to
Comments: This is a grand exercise and if you get the legs extended, looks
impossible to observers. You will note that there will seem to be some motion
back and forth as you do these, all on the axis your spine is on.
That is natural and your body is just following the
path it must: It is rowing machines that force an unnatural path. I find that if
I use a rowing machine with my bodyweight piled on it, I get elbow pain, but have never experienced
it in a hanging row.