Great lats will help you achieve the V shape that everyone wants, and I’m going to show you how to get them!
About 6 months ago I was doing my barbell rows like most people, with decent results. That changed after I purchased Jeff Willet’s DVD training series.
I was already familiar with, and was actively using, optimized form. BUT I wasn’t aware of this could possibly be applied to Barbell Rows.
When I saw Jeff do it, something clicked. I immediately ran out to the garage to crank out an optimized set;
Whoa! MAJOR difference! SO much more actual lat stimulation which lead to much better lat development.
The primary muscles worked with bent over barbell rows are the lats (latissimus dorsi).
However, the traps (trapezius) also get a great workout here. The shoulders, forearms and lower back also benefit from barbell rows.
Check out the video…
(1) It’s best to lift the barbell off a rack, not the floor. Remember, conserving as much energy for the actual set is vital.
(2) A neutral grip works best – not too wide, not too narrow. Use ‘just-wider-than-shoulder-width’ as your default.
(3) Feet should be about shoulder-width apart.
(4) Have a slight bend at the knees and an arched back as you bend over. Keep your knees and back in this position throughout the movement.
(5) Don’t be too concerned with how low you go. Lower isn’t always better so experiment with this movement. All we want is maximum lat stimulation.
(6) Now INITIATE the rep with the lats (and shoulder blades). Contract these muscles to start the movement.
(7) Allow the torso to rise only AFTER you’ve completed the first few inches of the rep with the intended muscles alone. Do NOT swing the weight; this isn’t about creating momentum. Pay attention to the smooth, controlled motion with which I execute the exercise in the video.
(8) Raise the bar to the waist, not to the ‘belly button or higher’, which you see a lot of guys doing.
(9) Now lower the weight again with a smooth, fluid movement.
(10) Please note that if you can’t get the bar right up to your waist, you’re not getting full lat contraction – you need to decrease the weight!
When you can hit 12 reps increase the weight.
Hope that helps!
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