Just like any row technique, the Lateral Row is a great isolation exercise for the back and upper arm muscles. Isolating the back muscles activates each muscle and sets them out by toning and defining them.
The exercise is a strength-training workout and a great option when you want to develop and bulk your back muscles especially for athletes and body builders.
HOW TO DO LATERAL ROW PROPERLY
You will be using a Lateral Row Machine (hammer strength) so for any assistance with setting up and working out, talk to your trainer/gum instructor help.
You can start with a free machine or add weights to it depending on your fitness strength.
How to do it:
- Sit on the padded seat with your chest resting on the pad that connects to the seat. You should be facing the machine handles.
- Straighten your back and plant feet firmly on the footpad. Grab the handles firmly with both hands; this is your starting position.
- Inhale and pull the handles towards you until the handles are by your side. Make sure to pull your elbows straight back while pinching your shoulder blades together.
- Maintain the position and keep your chest on the pad.
- In a smooth motion exhale as you return to your starting position.
- Do 3 sets of 10-12 rows
WHAT MUSCLES DO LATERAL ROW WORK
Rowing definitely targets the Lats muscles because they are the main muscles at work when doing the row technique. They help with activities like swimming, chopping and stabilize your back while extending your shoulders.
Strengthening and developing the muscles gives you an advantage because it increases upper body mobility and endurance when doing different activities and workouts.
Rhomboids main function is to retract and elevate the inner border scapular when you pinch your shoulder blades together while rowing.
By fixing and stabilizing the scapula into position, this helps with upper limb movement and an anchor for the muscles when the rhomboid muscles are contracting.
The rear deltoid is responsible for extension, external rotation and abduction of the arm when moving it. The muscle helps stabilize the shoulder joint and prevent it from subluxation or dislocation when doing a challenging workout like rowing.
Activating and building up the muscles help strengthen the shoulders and stabilize the shoulder joint more efficiently.
The traps is what most people like to call shoulder blades. The muscles start from the base of the neck, where you get to see it as the shoulder blades, goes across the shoulders and then run all the way to the middle of the back.
When pinching your shoulder blades together, the trapezius activates and with consistency in the workout, the muscle is guaranteed build up and strengthening.
The muscle helps you in head and neck movement, torso and arm movement and spine stabilization. It helps with your posture to keep your upper back straight.
LATERAL ROW BENEFITS
BACK MUSCLE DEVELOPMENT AND STRENGTHENING
A ripped and well-sculptured back is every fitness enthusiast or body builders dream. Flexing and showcasing those muscles is the epitome of their pride which is so worth it because they worked very hard and consistent to get there.
Back muscle strengthening is a great way to protect your spine from injuries that could rather have been fatal if your back muscles were not strong enough.
In addition, developed and tight back muscles tighten around the spine holding it in place and reinforcing a straight posture, which gives you a healthy and neutral spine.
A straight back is just what you need when you are working out so that you can enforce a straight posture throughout even when not working out and reduce back stiffness.
LESS RISK OF INJURY
Risks can range from injuries due to excess weights to injuries due to weak muscles, overall point is, Lateral row reduces such risks because the row machine is a safe and reliable equipment compared to others.
Working out with it increases your back muscle mass and strength, which reduces risks of severe injuries from accident or strain.
INCREASE ARM FLEXIBILITY AND STRENGTH
The rowing motion not only works on your back muscles but it also stretched and strengthens the arm muscles and joints.
The workout trains your arms to be flexible enough to stretch and bend to its extreme. This increases arm strength and endurance to do more and more rowing reps with time.
ALTERNATIVES TO LATERAL ROW
Lats Pulldown helps build back muscle width and mainly target the lats muscles. Other muscles like trapezius and rhomboids also get to work.
Getting Lats Pulldown as an alternative is a great choice because it works on the same muscles and guarantees muscle development and strengthening.
CHEST SUPPORTED ROW
Chest Supported Row is a stable workout that isolates the muscles you want to build more. It helps you prevent the rocking motion when rowing, this way you focus more on form and technique.
It is a great workout as it reduces the risks of injuries and build the back and bicep muscles. Also, it is a good alternative if you want to do a completely different technique but still work on the same muscles.
LATERAL ROW MISTAKES TO AVOID
Tearing a muscle is painful and obviously avoidable while working out. Using weights that best match your muscle endurance and strength is always the best way but if you want to go to the extreme take caution and have your trainer there to help you.
FLARING OUT ELBOWS
When rowing, pull your elbows towards your back and not outwards. By doing this, you target the right back muscles and maintain a good form.
Lateral Row is a great workout for the Lats and back muscles in general. The best thing about this workout is that, it works and it is very reliable for religious workout guys and lifters.
For beginners it will take the wind out of you but with consistency, it will be easy and reliable especially since you will not have to balance any weights or use other muscles for support like in dumbbell row.