We all know the importance of working out our back muscles. A strong back is essential for posture, balance, and avoiding pain in the lower back and shoulders. There are many ways to build massive back strength and one of the best ways to work out your back muscles is by doing the prone row.
It’s often said that the best way to train your back is by doing pull-ups. But, if you’re like most people, pull-ups are probably not your favourite exercise. They’re tough!
That’s where the prone row comes in. The prone row is a great alternative to the pull-up, and it’s a great way to build strength in your back muscles. It can be done with a barbell, dumbbells, or even a TRX system.
It’s a great exercise for both beginner and advanced lifters.
The beauty of the prone row is that it can be scaled to your level of fitness. If you’re a beginner, you can start with a lighter weight. And, if you’re more advanced, you can add weight or do more reps.
In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of the prone row, how to do the exercise properly, muscles worked and mistakes to avoid. Let’s get started!
How to Do the Prone Row
One of the great things about the prone row is that it’s a simple exercise. There’s not a lot of technique involved. Even as a beginner, you’ll be able to do this exercise with good form.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do the prone row:
- Load up your barbell and set it on the ground
- Place the barbell below a bench. If the bench is not high enough, elevate it with a couple of weight bars
- Lay on the bench in a prone position (with belly down)
- Grab the barbell with a slightly wider-than-shoulder width grip
- Retract your scapular
- Contract your lats and pull the barbell towards your sternum
- Pause briefly at the top of the movement
- Lower the bar to initial position
- That is one rep
Muscles Worked by the Prone Row
Here are the main muscle groups that the prone row works:
- Latissimus dorsi: This is the largest muscle in the back. It’s responsible for extension, adduction, and internal rotation of the shoulder.
- Teres major: This muscle is located beneath the latissimus dorsi. It’s responsible for extension and internal rotation of the shoulder.
- Rhomboids: These muscles are located between the shoulder blades. They’re responsible for retraction and depression of the shoulder blades.
- Trapezius: This muscle is located at the base of the neck. It’s responsible for elevation, depression, and retraction of the shoulder blades.
- Erector spinae: This muscle group runs along the spine. It’s responsible for the extension of the spine.
- Biceps brachii: This muscle is located on the front of the upper arm. It’s responsible for flexion of the elbow and supination of the forearm.
- Triceps brachii: This muscle is located on the back of the upper arm. It’s responsible for the extension of the elbow.
- Deltoids: This muscle is located on the shoulder. It’s responsible for abduction, flexion, and extension of the shoulder.
As you can see, this is a great exercise for working on a variety of muscle groups. Adding it to your workout routine can help to build strength and muscle in your back, shoulders, and arms.
Benefits of the Prone Row
Back pain is a common issue, and it can be caused by weak back muscles. Strengthening your back muscles can help to alleviate pain and improve posture.
The prone row is a great exercise for strengthening the back muscles. It’s especially beneficial for the lower back and shoulders. Here are some of the benefits of this exercise:
- It’s a great exercise for beginners
Pull-ups are one of the most challenging exercises that you can do. They require a lot of strength and coordination. If you’re new to lifting, or if you don’t have a lot of upper body strength, pull-ups can be tough.
The prone row is a great alternative to the pull-up. It’s a great exercise for beginners because it’s a little easier than the pull-up. It’s just as effective, but not as challenging.
- It’s a great exercise for advanced lifters
If you’re an experienced lifter, you can use the prone row to add variety to your workout routine. It’s also a great exercise for targeting specific muscle groups.
For example, if you want to focus on your lower back, you can use a narrower grip. Or, if you want to focus on your shoulders, you can use a wider grip. It’s all about finding what works best for you.
- It targets multiple muscle groups
The prone row is a compound exercise, which means it hits multiple muscle groups. In addition to working your back muscles, the prone row also works your arms and shoulders.
- It’s a great exercise for posture
We all want to have good posture. Unfortunately, poor posture is a common issue. A lot of us have jobs that require us to sit at a desk all day. This can lead to rounded shoulders and a hunched back.
The prone row is a great exercise for improving posture. A strong back is essential for posture and balance.
- It can help to relieve pain
The prone row can also help to relieve pain in the lower back and shoulders. If you have weak back muscles, you might experience some level of discomfort or pain. Strengthening your back muscles can help to alleviate that and even prevent future injuries.
Mistakes to Avoid
Although it sounds simple, there are a few mistakes you should avoid to get the best out of this movement.
If you are not bringing the barbell all the way to touching the bench or extending your arms fully, you are missing out on a few benefits of the exercise.
This exercise will build serious back muscles, but you don’t need to go heavy to get the most out of it. In fact, if you go too heavy, you might lose form or technique which is detrimental in the long run.
A simple way to make sure you are getting a good pump in this workout is to focus on squeezing your muscles and pausing for a second or two at the top of the movement.
How to Use the Mind-Muscle Connection for Growth
The prone row is a great exercise for building strength and muscle. It’s a simple exercise that anyone can do, and it has a lot of benefits. If you’re looking for a new exercise to add to your routine, give it a try!
Check out more content from BOXROX:
Best Back Workout to Hit Every Muscle
7 Best Back Exercises for Building Muscle
Back Exercises to Build Muscle and Strength for CrossFit Athletes