Standing Bent Over Banded Row
How to Do the Standing Bent Over Banded Row | In-Depth Guide [VISUAL LEARNERS]
Proper Form, Common Mistakes, & Variations | Home Resistance Training
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MAIN MUSCLES WORKED IN Standing Bent Over Banded Rows
The "lats" as they are affectionately called...lol just kidding - anyway, "lats" is short for Latissimus Dorsi which is the widest muscle of the upper body and the largest muscle of the back .
OTHER MUSCLES WORKED:
- Middle and Lower Traps
- Serratus anterior
- Teres major
- Rear deltoid
WHAT & WHY
BENEFITS OF TRAINING THE lats
WHAT WE'RE DOING TODAY
Other names for this exercise: Resistance Band Rows, Band Row Exercise, Row with Resistance Band, Theraband Rows, Bent Over Row with Resistance Bands, Bent Over Row with Band, Elastic Band Rows, Banded Row
ALL WE'RE DOING:
In a bent over position, we're going to pull that band up to our hips.
WORKIN' OUR BACKSIDE
Sometimes we think of our backside as just the bottom half of us don't we! But today, we're working our OTHER backside- the top half.
The bent over row will work the latissimus dorsi muscle - which translates to “widest back”, it is most commonly called the lat muscle. The lat is shaped a little bit like a wing, and it can pull the arms in close to the body. In the movement we are doing today, you will be pulling the upper arm back and in close to the body.
Please note: If you saw the words "widest back" and panicked, let me clarify- you will not get a wide back from these exercises. What you WILL get is more definition in your back along with a healthier walking stride and better posture.
WHY DO WE EVEN CARE?
BIG MUSCLES ARE TYPICALLY IMPORTANT
Bigger isn't always better, but on our bodies, when something is large, it usually means it's either really important, has a lot of different actions it's involved in, is connected to lots of bones and muscles, or all three.
So being that the latissimus dorsi muscle is the largest musce of the entire upper body, it's very important, not only for healthy movement of the shoulder, but also to hold us in an upright position.
CONNECTS WITH A BUNCH OF BONES & MUSCLES
The lat attaches to the spine, the shoulder blade, the pelvis and the arm - it even has a connection to your gluteus maximus - or buttock muscle. That's 5 places!!
Just knowing this tells us something about how important it is to work this muscle.
TEACHES US HOW TO USE THE LAT TO KEEP OUR TORSO DURING ARM MOVEMENTS
Learning how to use the lat to keep the torso still and move the shoulder blade back while you pull your arm back can help prevent future upper back, neck and shoulder pain.
UNLESS YOU'RE A WORKOUT PRO YOU PROBABLY HAVEN'T EXERCISED THIS MUSCLE MUCH
The history that many of us ladies have with exercise, including myself (I only started doing these lat movements about a year ago), is such that we likely haven't done exercises that specifically work this muscle. We've probably done lots of squats. We've probably done some on our knees pushups even though we absolutely hated it. We've probably done some lightweight bicep curls even. But not much back stuff. Not lat stuff.
So, now that we know it's a big important muscle, we can finally give it the attention it deserves and catch it up to speed with the other body parts we HAVE been working on an off for the last twenty years.
EVERYDAY LIFE &
HOW WE USE OUR LATISSIMUS DORSI IN EVERYDAY LIFE
1. PULLING THE ARM DOWN (EXTENSION FROM FLEXION)
- Swimming - it’s called the swimming muscle because it does all 3 motions of the crawl stroke
- Cross country skiing
- Chopping wood
- Golf swing
- Pulling heavy items towards you
- Pulling a door closed
- Pulling weeds
- Hugging someone really hard
2. PUSHING YOUR BODY UP WHILE KEEPING THE ARMS STABLE
- Using crutches
- Pushing down to get out of a chair
- Pushing yourself out of a pool (hands on edge of pool)
3. MOVES AND STABILIZES THE SHOULDER BLADE
- Pulls the shoulder blade down (scapular depression)
- Holds the shoulder blade down to provide a stable base for your arm to work off of
4. HOLDS THE TORSO IN A HEALTHY UPRIGHT POSTURE
5. STABILIZES THE LOW BACK
- When lifting, carrying, heavy arm and leg use
HOW Standing Bent Over Banded Row SHAPE OUR BODY
Building the lat muscles contributes to what they call a “V-taper” - it adds to a more hourglass-ish, slim waist appearance.
Confident and healthy upright posture.
This is the standard version of a bent-over row, using dumbbells and working both arms at the same time. Personally, I feel like working both arms at once for this particular muscle group, the lats, is very challenging to pay attention to keeping proper form while also truly fatiguing the lat muscles well. More often than not, I like to do single arm versions, but depending on timing in your workout, it's always good to have double arm options.
The standing bent over banded row is done in standing with a forward lean of the torso. This position works the back (erector spinae) and muscles on the back of the hip and legs (gluteus maximus, hamstrings, gastroc/soleus) for an extended period of time while using the arms. Both arms are pulling back at the same time - so that is a lot of force that the muscles of the torso will need to stabilize against. Working both arms at the same time is also nice when you are short on time. The use of bands makes it easy to increase or decrease the resistance as needed.
How to Feel What Muscle is Working
Option 1: While standing, take one hand across, and touch near the bra line, just under the armpit. Actively press your shoulders down and elongate the torso/spine up, feel that muscle moving/contracting. That is part of your lat muscle.
If you don’t feel anything you can try it this way:
Option 2: While seated, take one arm across - but just below their breasts, and feel the lat just under the armpit. Take your arm on the side you are activating and push the hand down into the seat of the chair. Like a seated press-up. If your shoulder blade is elevated or in slight protraction you will not be able to get a good lat contraction, so be sure to pull your shoulder blade back and down, THEN push down and in with your upper arm. You will feel a strong lat activation just below your armpit along the side of your body.
PROPER FORM: Standing Bent Over Banded Row
EQUIPMENT, SETS & REPS
Main set (3: Light/Med/Heavy):
X-Heavy Band (I recommend getting this too if you plan to use resistance bands frequently).
SUGGESTED STARTING WEIGHT FOR WOMEN:
Moderate resistance level band.
SETS & REPS:
2 sets of 8 - must fatigue the muscles.
Moderate up - with control and back stability, and lower down for the eccentric component.
BODY POSITION FOR THE Standing Bent Over Banded Row
BAND: Place a resistance band under both feet holding one end in each hand.
The resistance band should be taut when your arms are down in the starting position. It is nice to be able to get resistance through as much of the range of motion as possible, and having a lighter band vs heavier band can sometimes be the better choice for this as it will be more stretchy, even if you can technically pull all the way up with a heavier band. You have to test it out and see what makes it feel like your muscles are working the most during the whole range, not just in the top range.
FEET: Hip width apart, toes forward.
BODY STANCE: Knees slightly bent. Hinge at the hips and bend the torso forward - no further than 90 degrees of forward flexion - should be comfortable but the further you hinge forward the more the muscles will work. The spine is neutral.
HAND/GRIP: Neutral, so palms will face in, this should be a comfortable grip.
ARM: By the sides of your legs. You can have some resistance on the band - taut band.
NECK: Neutral and relaxed.
HOW TO DO
HOW TO DO Standing Bent Over Banded Rows
CUE: Concentrate on the lats pulling your upper arm back, keep the arms close to your body.
Pull your shoulder blades together and down the back.
Lift your upper arms straight back (up) and slightly in (as if your elbows were moving in a bit.
Squeeze at the top. Slowly lower the arms back down to the starting position.
Do not release the tension on the band.
Repeat for the desired number of reps.
HOW TO SAFELY GET OUT OF THE EXERCISE
From the starting position, release the band. Hinge back up to straight standing.
WHAT TO AVOID WITH THE Standing Bent Over Banded Row
Guess what? Good news! Many avoids are the same for most movements. Once you learn the basics, there's really only a few extra avoids for each individual movement.
1. Avoid straightening or locking the knees of standing legs
AVOID: Avoid straightening or locking the knees of standing legs
- This tends to decrease the lumbar curve, pull on the hamstrings and decrease the muscle activity of the legs.
WHAT TO DO:
- The knees should be soft, locking the knees puts stress on the knee joint and can make it more difficult to maintain a neutral spine [n/a seated].
- If you feel pressure or discomfort in the low back or knees - try bending the knees.
2. Avoid rounding/Arching your back
AVOID: Avoid arching(extending) or rounding (flexing) your low back
- Can lead to muscle strain or low back joint injury, it will also decrease the activation of the targeted muscles. Maintain a neutral spine position.
- Pressure or discomfort in your low back.
WHAT TO DO:
- Maintain a neutral spine position to prevent low back joint injury, muscle strain, or damage over time.
- Troubleshooting suggested fixes:
- Poor core strength: activate your abdominal muscles, or do choose a position with more support.
- Poor back extensor strength: choose a position with more support.
3. Avoid using your neck
AVOID: Avoid tensing your neck muscles
- The neck should be neutral and relaxed, space between the earlobe and top of shoulder - this can lead to neck and/or shoulder injury over time and it prevents you from using the correct muscles. This can lead to neck strain, injury, or damage over time.
- You may feel neck discomfort, find that you are pressing down with your head, or gripping with your neck muscles.
WHAT TO DO:
- Gripping neck muscles in an attempt to stabilize the shoulders: relax the neck and activate the core muscles more, activate the scapular stabilizers in retraction and depression.
4. Avoid wrist bending
AVOID: Avoid bending or moving through your wrists. Your wrists should be in line with your forearm and should be still throughout the exercise.
- Repetitive movement through the wrist can lead to joint and/or soft tissue irritation or injury over time. Poor alignment (bent forward or backward) or repetitive movement through the wrist can lead to joint and/or soft tissue irritation or injury over time.
WHAT TO DO:
- Note: I actually have to almost think of actively pressing my wrist the opposite way against the force of the way the band is tugging at my wrist to keep a neutral wrist, AND is a great way to strengthen the muscles of the forearms as a bonus & very functional
5. Avoid making it a bicep curl
AVOID: Using the biceps to lift the bands
- The goal of the exercise is to use the lats.
- This may happen if you find yourself doing mostly bending at the elbow rather than moving through the extension of the shoulder behind you.
WHAT TO DO:
- Correct form and focus: the elbow does bend but it is a passive movement as the upper arm is lifted back. Avoid actively (using the biceps) bending the elbow.
6. Avoid rounding your upper back or shoulders
AVOID: Avoid rounding your upper back or shoulders
- This can lead to neck, shoulder injury or damage over time and can result in using the wrong muscles (upper trap).
WHAT TO DO:
- Please watch the video clip to see the difference between shoulder blade protraction at the starting position vs. letting the upper back drop too far.
- Check posture and form in mirror
7. Avoid elbow flaring out
AVOID: Avoid letting the elbows flare outwards from your body as you move them upwards.
- This will cause the back of your shoulder muscle (rear deltoid) to do more of the work and the latissimus dorsi to do less of the work.
WHAT TO DO:
- Pull elbow in close to body.
VARIATIONS OF Standing Bent Over Banded Rows
2 RESISTANCE BANDS
2 Resistance Bands (Increase Resistance)
Place one band under one foot and hold it in the hand of the same side, put another band under the other foot and hold it in the other hand - the bands should be the same length and the same resistance.
Mini Band Bench Lat Bent Over Row
Mini-bands work as well! Double them up even for more resistance, 2 on each foot).
SPIFFILICIOUS FACTS ABOUT MUSCLES & MOVES
The latissimus dorsi is sometimes listed as an accessory breathing muscle. This means that in times of stress, or heavy breathing, it can help to expand the rib cage during breathing in (inspiration).
The broad latissimus dorsi has attachments to the lower 6 thoracic vertebrae, all of the lumbar vertebrae, and the sacrum (triagular bone at the base of the spine) through the thoracolumbar fascia. It also has attachments to the lower 3 or four ribs, the inferior angle of the scapular and the humerus.
Weak lats can cause upper, mid and lower back pain, shoulder pain, even pain down your arm. Tight lats can limit movement of your shoulder blade and your arm, and cause low back and shoulder pain.
ALLLL MUSCLES & WHEN
ALL MUSCLES WORKING & WHEN DURING THE Bench Lat Bent Over Row - BANDED
The back extensors and core stabilizers work to hold the torso in the bent over position with a neutral spine.
The arms are hanging down to the floor. The middle and lower traps, rhomboids, serratus anterior retract (move towards spine) and depress (move down the back) the shoulder blade and hold it still so that the arm muscles have a stable base to work off of. The triceps, teres major and lat muscles work concentrically to pull the upper arm upwards (up from starting position - towards the ceiling. As the arm moves behind the torso, the long head of the triceps and the lat work to extend (the arm slightly behind the body) and adduct (move the upper arm inwards towards the spine). The rear deltoid may assist at this point.
As the arms are lowered back to the starting position the lat, triceps, teres major, and muscles of the shoulder blade, work eccentrically to control the movement against the pull of the resistance band.