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 Post subject: I stink at one arm rows
PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:49 am 
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My trainer is not often flat-out cruel or taunting, but he does tell me he's got women who can one arm row better than I can.

He tells me my technique is good, but the needle does not move. I can do 50# for about 7 reps, and my trainer says I should be at 60# for 15.

What happens is that once I fatigue that's it. There's no "working into the burn" or fighting for the rep, if rep 7 goes slow rep 8 is not going to happen.

In the past I've done lower weight for higher reps, but it does not seem to carry over into higher weight.

I don't want to guess on this, but I've considered:

1. doing them on bench (at slight incline) both arms simultaneously to simplify and make it easier to build any kind of foundation
2. Going with the higher weight and doing more sets and longer rests even if I can't get the reps, the way we do with pull ups.

But as I said, I don't want to guess. Any help is very much appreciated.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:41 pm 
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Advice? Fire your trainer.

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Thanks TimD.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 5:53 pm 
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Are they the only row in your program? Do you row with your elbow in (neutral grip) or elbow out (pronated grip)? Is your upper back a weak link when you deadlift or clean?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:10 pm 
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@Matt

I've always rowed at least twice/week. I'm increasing that to try to bring up my back.

My grip is neutral, so the db handle is parallel to my torso.

I tried some today, focusing on how it felt. It appears I'm not using my back at all, just lats. So while I've been told my form is ok, I may simply not be using the right muscles. Perhaps I just need to start over and relearn? Wouldn't be the first time lol.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:09 am 
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Make sure you're getting a full ROM and not twisting at the waist/hips when you do dumbbell rows.

Meanwhile, it makes sense that your feeling them mainly in your lats. Any row performed with the elbow in is going to target the lats.

I'd recommend including at least one elbow-out row in your program to target your rear delts and upper midback.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:52 pm 
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There was advice in the pull up thread that talked about having someone poke your lats when you're doing them to make sure you're engaging them, maybe that could be applicable here too?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 8:21 am 
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Good news and bad news.

Bad news is I seem to have been doing them wrong for .... forever.

Good news is I have plenty of easy gains ahead of me. Also sore as hell.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 5:24 pm 
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Wrong in what way? Your trainer probably should have caught that.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 7:04 pm 
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Matt Z wrote:
Wrong in what way? Your trainer probably should have caught that.


Yes. Normally I would defend my trainer as he has helped me a lot, and point out we rarely do upper body stuff together, but this one kind of ticks me off.

This is very embarrassing, but I seem to have been trying to pull entirely with my lats, not really moving the shoulder blade. With Hoose's recent advice to look at strengthening back to improve bench, I re-examined my pulling and that's what led to this question and ultimately to this realization.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:42 am 
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We did a lot of work on these Tuesday.

Having previously corrected the "lats only" mistake, he mostly focused on getting me to do it slowly and under control, and he really loves variations where you pinch and hold at the top.

Overall I have far more confidence on this move now.

He does say that with a four plate deadlift I should be easily rowing 90# db's for reps. We went as high as 70# with all of the variations we tried, and I will attempt 80's and 90's and see where I'm at.

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