The ez bar row is an uncommon exercise largely due to the nature of its movements. When you start working out, it is more likely for you to train your anterior (pushing muscles) rather than the pushing muscles.
The pushing muscles in this case refer to the workouts that direct workload towards your back.
That said, in order to achieve balance, it is vital that you vary your pushing and pulling exercises.
The EZ bar row is therefore a great way to start introducing pulling exercises into your routine.
This is because it is designed to have low impact primarily due to the comfort it provides your wrists and shoulder.
WHAT TO DO:
Before you start the exercise, there are a number of things you should keep in mind:
- Keep your elbows tucked in while doing the exercise
- Keep your back straight
- Regulate your momentum
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement
- Grab an EZ bar, load on your required weight, and sit the bar down in front of you.
- Spread your feet till they are around shoulder width, bend at the knees, and squat down to grip the bar with a reverse grip (thumbs at the top of the bar). Your hands should be spread wider than your shoulder’s width.
- Keeping your back straight, stand straight up so you’re holding the bar in front of you against your waist.
- To get into the starting position, bend your knees slightly, and while keeping your back straight, let the barbell slide down your thighs until it drops just below knee level. Maintain this position throughout the reps
- Now pull the bar up to just below your chest.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement.
- Then slowly lower the bar back to the start position.
- Repeat for desired reps.
That said, the bar row can also be done in a different manner that involves staying upright rather than bent over.
Therefore, to do this variation:
- Hold the weight in an overhand grip
- Keep your back upright and the weights at thigh level
- Then raise your elbows up and out till chest level
- Repeat for desired number of times
WHAT MUSCLES DO THE EZ BAR ROW WORK?
The biceps are the major conduit of power whilst doing this exercise. As such, they are what enable you to lift the bar if you’re doing the bent over variation.
The biceps work closely with the forearm and back to exert a pulling force that lifts the weight off the ground.
Therefore, with each rep, the biceps produce the force that initiates movements necessary to do the exercise.
The shoulders act as a pivot, providing stability and balance to the arms as they make movements.
Due to the downward pulling nature of the movements, the shoulders are engaged in order to ensure the movements are effective.
The lower back is engaged especially when you’re bent down. This is because the lower half of the body requires the support of the body.
The lower body is the muscle group closest to the lower body and is thus capable of providing the necessary support to complete movements.
Therefore, by bending, you force the lower back to become activated thus providing the support and balance required to lift weights.
Doing the upright EZ bar row activates the middle back when you lift the weights all the way up to chest level.
Holding the weights at a level close to the middle back, springs said muscles into action as they are forced to handle the distributed weight.
EZ BAR ROW BENEFITS
By strengthening your whole back, especially the lats,you set yourself up to have great posture.
Shrivelled back muscles directly influence your posture by rounding your back. On the other hand, strong back muscles straighten your back, giving you good posture.
RE-ALIGNS SHOULDER JOINT
Doing the EZ bar row helps realign the shoulder joint and improves forward shoulder posture.
ALTERNATIVES TO THE EZ BAR ROW
- Position two weights on the floor about shoulder width apart. Get into position with your hands and toes, keeping your body straight and extended.
- You should use the handles of the weights to support your upper body.
- Push one of the weights into the floor, while rowing the other.
- Pull back with your shoulder on the side you are working on and flex your elbow to pull the weight to your side.
- Lower the weights to the floor and repeat the steps with the other weight in your other hand.
- Complete for the desired reps.
- Hold a pair of dumbbells by your sides in an underhand grip. Curl the weights up to your shoulders, keeping your upper arms still.
- Pause at the top of the movement and slowly rotate your grip so your palms are facing downwards.
- Lower the dumbbells slowly back to the starting position using this overhand grip, counting for three to five times as you lower the weight to make sure you’re not moving it too quickly.
- When the dumbbells are close to your thighs again, turn your hands so your palms are in the starting position facing one another.
- You can perform Zottman curls with both arms at the same time, or alternate the arm you lift with.
DUMBBELL BENT-OVER ROW
- Pull the dumbbells straight up, toward the sides of your chest, on an exhale.
- Lift your arms to about shoulder level
- While lifting, keep the wrists from moving as much as possible.
- Lower the weights in a controlled manner to the starting position as you inhale. Remain bent over until all repetitions are complete.
MISTAKES TO AVOID
While doing the rows, it is quite easy to increase the momentum at which you lift the weights. This in fact has an adverse effect on the effectiveness of the exercise.
Increased momentum while doing the rows, reduces the amount of strain that the target muscles undergo.
In the long run, this reduces how much you can achieve from doing the exercise.
A lot of times when doing the EZ bar row and the weights are too heavy, bending your back is a common occurrence.
What this does however is that it puts excessive strain on your back. Such kind of strain could lead to back injuries.
The EZ bar row is an exercise that comes with variations that suit you and whatever you’re comfortable with.
On top of this, it also ensures that you engage areas that are rarely worked out.
As such it should be your go to when looking for uniform conditioning