If you’re looking for an amazing exercise to strengthen your back while helping you avoid neck, shoulder and even lower back aches and pains, then you’re going to love this video!

In this video, I’ll go over how to do this amazing exercise, how it can help you avoid overloading your lower back if you feel it often during bent over rows and even some variations you can try to target your back in different ways and make use of any tools that you have! 

Hey guys it’s Cori from Redefining Strength where we help you feel, look and move your best at any and every age.

Having a strong back not only looks amazing but it can help us avoid neck, shoulder and upper back aches and pains as we get older. It can help us maintain amazing posture as well. 

But often when we do back exercises, we feel our lower back becoming achy during bent over rows or we simply feel our biceps fatiguing over our back being worked. 

Our back is not getting the full benefit.

That’s why I wanted to share this amazing move, the chest supported row, to help you really isolate and focus on building a stronger back!

First, I’m going to go over how to do this move and how it can help you really target your back before I go over how to adjust it to hit the muscles of your back to different extents even using the tools you may have available.

And at the end I’ll share two bonus tips to help you make sure you’re using this move to build muscle!

To do the Chest Supported Row, set an incline bench up at a 45-60 degree angle. 

I love using an EZ bar for this move to target the upper back and rear delts and also slightly restrict the range of motion so we don’t end up rowing back further than we are truly engaging our back. 

Grab the EZ bar in both hands with an overhand grip, pushing through your feet to drive your entire upper body really firmly into the bench. This will support your lower back. 

Making sure to keep your chest pressed into the bench, row the weight up toward the bench. Feel your shoulder blades move together toward your spine to pull the weight up. 

Do not let yourself arch away from the bench or start to curl the weight. 

Focus on that scapular movement without shrugging. 

Row the weight up then fully lower back down. Do not stop short of full extension. 

Now why is this variation so amazing for targeting your back while helping you avoid compensating or overusing your biceps or lower back?

Because the EZ bar will be stopped at the bench, this is a great way to make sure you stop the row before you start to extend the range of motion through only shoulder movement.

Too often when we row we will see our shoulders only rounding forward at the end as we try to make the row movement bigger pulling the weight past our side. 

The bench also helps reduce any “cheating” during the row. 

The bench supports your upper body, this variation forces you to really isolate your back over bouncing the weight or getting to cheat in any way. 

It also can help you avoid arching your lower back, which is often when we feel our lower back becoming achy during the bent over row.

Just be conscious to really push into the bench over trying to pull back off of it as you row. 

And off of this basic variation, you can play around with different variations, not only based on the tools you have available but also the muscles you want to activate or focus on more.

Not only can you simply use an underhand grip on the EZ bar to engage your biceps and lats more over your upper back and rear delts, but you can also mix things up using dumbbells. 

With dumbbells, you can even include a narrow grip variation, great for really getting those lats working!

And if you do have any imbalances, you can do a unilateral variation as well. 

It’s key we recognize the opportunity in small adjustments to moves to make them ideal for what we personally need and then even see the other variations as progression through the same but different.

Bonus Tips:

And two bonus tips…

This move is a great exercise to build muscle when included in your routine for about 8-12 reps. Especially starting out so that you focus on really isolating your upper back, this allows you to go heavy enough without starting to max out and find ways to cheat. 

The second tip is if you don’t have an incline bench, you can create space to row off a flat bench by stacking a few plate weights underneath.

For more tips to help you strengthen your back, and an amazing exercise to work on that scapular retraction, check out THIS BACK VIDEO next.