Standing Upright Banded Row (Anchored)
How to Do the Standing Upright Banded Row (Anchored) | In-Depth Guide [VISUAL LEARNERS]
Proper Form, Common Mistakes, & Variations | Home Resistance Training
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MAIN MUSCLES WORKED IN Standing Upright Banded Rows (anchored)
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
ALL WE'RE DOING:
Standing up nice & tall, we're going to pull that band 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 standing lat 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. The exercise is done in with an upright torso instead of bent over, and this makes it easier to focus on really feeling the lat working. 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 Upright Banded Rows 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 version of the lat row uses a resistance band anchored in front of you. This setup allows you to do a lat row without having to lean the torso forward. I LOVE this because leaning over gets fatiguing very quickly for our other back muscles that have to work to keep us from falling over or rounding our back.
This is a good option if you have difficulty maintaining a neutral spine position while hinged forward at the hips.
Anchoring the band in at about waist or hip level and moving through a smaller range of motion can make it possible to use a heavier resistance band and lets you work the lat muscle at the end of its range - pulling the arm down to the side and slightly behind the back. The standing position will train good postural alignment of the spine and the legs. This is also a good choice if you find yourself using your upper trap or neck muscles when you do overhead lat pulldowns.
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 Upright Banded Row (anchored)
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 to heavy resistance level band - should be taut at the beginning of the movement.
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 Upright Banded Row (anchored)
BAND: Anchor the band so that band is in a straight line with your arms held in front of you with the hands about waist level, with the arms mostly straight. Stand facing the anchor.
FEET: Hip width apart, toes forward
BODY STANCE: Knees slightly bent to provide a stable base to work off of. Neutral spine, sternum lifted.
HAND/GRIP: Neutral and comfortable grip holding one end of the band in each hand, palms facing in.
ARM: LIfted up to the front, this will depend on the length of the band and level of the anchor. The elbows should be near straight and there should be tension on the band. When the arms are held up the hands should be about at the level of your waist or slightly higher. Arms should be just slightly wider than hip width so that you can clear the hips as you bring the arms back.
NECK: Neutral and relaxed, space between your earlobe and your shoulder.
HOW TO DO
HOW TO DO The Standing Upright Banded Row
CUE: Focus on pulling your elbows back and in - like your elbows are headed for your back pockets.
Pull your shoulder blades down the back and in towards the spine.
Pull your upper arm back, keeping it close to the sides of the body.
Continue to move the upper arm back and inwards towards the midline (the spine), pressing down towards your low back.
Return to the starting position and repeat.
WHAT TO AVOID WITH Standing Upright Banded Rows
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 your upper back or shoulders
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 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
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 leaning back
AVOID: Avoid leaning back
- Leaning back increases the stress on your low back.
- If the shoulders are behind the hips then you are leaning back; may also feel low back or hamstring discomfort.
6. 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.
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 Standing Upright Banded Row (anchored)
The core and leg muscles are active throughout to maintain a neutral spine and stabilize the body against the resisted movement of the arms.
The scapular retractors and depressors (rhomboids, mid traps, and lower traps) initiate the movement by bringing the shoulder blades together and down the back and holding them stable.
The latissimus dorsi, teres major, triceps pull the upper arm back into extension. The latissimus, teres major adduct (moves the arms towards the midline) the arms slightly.
As the arms move 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.