The incline bench row is a great technique to include in your workout repertoire. This exercise plays a significant role in strengthening your back.
The equipment that you need to perform this technique is a pair of identical dumbbells and an incline bench.
How to do the incline bench row:
- Start by setting up the bench. Incline it to about 45 degrees. Place the dumbbells on the sides of the incline bench.
- Proceed to lie on the incline bench. Ensure that your chest and abs are pressed on the inclined pad. Plant your toes on the ground so that they support your body. Your heels should not touch the ground.
- Stretch your arms then grab the dumbbells. Ensure that your palms face each other. Suspend the dumbbells with both hands. This is your starting position.
- While squeezing your shoulder blades together, row the dumbbell upwards to your nipple level. Ensure that your elbows bend slightly above your body. Ensure that your neck is neutral throughout the entire exercise.
- Pause briefly then gently lower the dumbbells to the starting position.
- Repeat 10 times for 4 sets.
WHAT MUSCLES DOES THE INCLINE BENCH ROW WORK?
The lats are large wing-shaped muscles that are located in the middle and upper region of your back. Performing the exercise correctly and consistently will tone and sculpt your back.
The action of squeezing your shoulder blades while lifting the dumbbells engages your trapezius muscles. Therefore, your scapula becomes stronger and more stable.
The exercise works your shoulder muscles. While rowing the dumbbells up, you squeeze your shoulder blades. As a result, your shoulders become stronger, hence minimizing the risk of shoulder pain.
The exercise plays a key role in building and strengthening your biceps. Your biceps help in rowing the dumbbells up and bending your elbows.
As a result, your biceps become stronger and well-toned. Additionally, the technique improves your grip strength since you hold the dumbbells throughout the entire exercise.
INCLINE BENCH ROW BENEFITS
TONES YOUR BACK
As mentioned earlier, the technique primarily targets your back. Your lats and trapezius grow and become stronger. This gives you a wing-shaped physique on your back.
You become more confident as you flaunt your well-toned back. Moreover, you develop a more youthful look. However, you cannot achieve all these overnight.
You have to be consistent, disciplined, and patient. Eventually, you will enjoy the massive gains on your back.
PROMOTES GOOD POSTURE
The incline bench row improves your posture since it strengthens your middle and back muscles. This exercise is beneficial if you have a sedentary lifestyle due to busy daily activities.
If you spend most hours of your day sitting, you might develop bad posture and a weak back. Therefore, the exercise stretches your back, hence enhancing your posture and relieving back injury.
ALTERNATIVES TO INCLINE BENCH ROW
BARBELL HIGH PULL
The barbell high pull develops your back muscles. Therefore, it is a great alternative. The only equipment that you need for this exercise is the barbell. You can load the bar with your desired quantity of weights. If you are a beginner, start with the empty bar.
How to do the barbell high pull:
- Start by standing behind the bar.
- Grab the bar and ensure that your hands are shoulder-width apart. Widen your legs slightly. Suspend the bar on your thigh area and push your hips. This is your starting position.
- Using your elbows, pull the bar upwards as high as you can reach. This can be either your neck, chin, nose, or forehead region.
- Pause briefly then return the bar to the starting position.
- Perform your desired repetitions. However, do not overdo it.
DUMBBELL LATERAL RAISE
The dumbbell lateral raise is a great alternative since it engages your back. You need a pair of identical dumbbells to perform this exercise. Start with lighter weights if you are a beginner.
How to do the dumbbell lateral raise:
- Start by standing tall and suspending the dumbbells on your sides. Keep your back straight and engage your core. This is your starting position.
- In a slow and controlled motion, raise both dumbbells to your sides until they are aligned with your shoulders and parallel to the ground.
- Gently lower the dumbbells to the starting position.
- Perform 10 to 15 repetitions for 3 sets.
INCLINE BENCH ROW MISTAKES TO AVOID
ELEVATING YOUR CHEST
One of the most common mistakes while performing the incline bench row is elevating your chest from the upright pad. This is counter-productive since it prevents the exercise from activating your back muscles. Ensure that you press your chest and abs on the inclined pad. This position activates the key muscles of this exercise.
USING HEAVY WEIGHTS THAT ARE BEYOND YOUR ENDURANCE
A common myth in fitness is that the heavier the weight, the more effective the exercise. Never compromise quantity for quality. Using heavy dumbbells that are beyond your endurance level makes it difficult to squeeze your shoulder blades while rowing the weights up. Besides, you might injure your shoulder muscles. Consult your fitness trainer to guide you further on the appropriate weights to use.
ROWING TOO HIGH
Too much of something is dangerous. Rowing the dumbbells too high beyond your torso is counter-productive. This is because it strains your muscles and causes fatigue. While lifting the dumbbells, your elbows should bend slightly above your back. Furthermore, avoid moving too fast. Your motion should be slow and controlled. This will activate your back muscles.
The incline bench row is a great exercise to build and tone your back muscles. However, avoid overdoing it since this strains your muscles unnecessarily.
Performing the correct form of the workout consistently will reward you with a strong back and arms. Before commencing the exercise, confirm the condition of the bench. A faulty bench can cause further injuries.