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Training Options

Row

 

We use rack rows, with the bar starting just below the knee.

 

The classic option, for 3x5 training, would be pendlay rows but we prefer the similar style of row with the bar starting on the rack.

 

Rows from a hang position, chest supported, dumbbell, ring and cable rows are all less effective than barbell rows. So that is why we use the barbell...because for all the usual reasons the barbell is best.

 

Rack rows have all the same benefits and start from a higher position. They will improve your pulling strength better than any other variation in this programme.

 

Setup

  • Put your mid foot under the barbell, wth a hip width stance
  • Bend your knees until your legs touch the bar
  • Keeping your spine in a neutral position, hip hinge until your shoulders are in front of the bar, and with arms straight grip the bar.
  • Grip the bar with an overhand grip, hands shoulder width apart.

You're now nearly ready to lift. Before you do, as with all compound barbell exercises you need to breath and Brace.

 

 First make sure you have set your back with a neutral spine position. Then take a deep breath and tighten your abs to support your lower back and keep it safe plus give you a much stronger frame to pull the barbell upwards.

 

You should also consciously squeeze your lats and feel like you are tucking your elbows in by your side (think if you were trying to squeeze an orange under your armpit).

 

Lift

 

The barbell should stay over your mid foot and move in a near vertical line up off the rack. You need to pull your elbows straight up in the air and drive the bar hard in to your abs, around your belly button.

 

You're abs should be braced hard already as if you were going to be punched in the stomach. If not, when you hit your belly button with the bar this should remind you.

 

The pull should be forceful all the way to the top of the rep. Near the top you should feel the muscles of your upper back contracted as if you were sticking your chest out and you should hit the barbell of the top of your abs, just below your rib cage.

 

Since you still have lungs full of air and have braced your core tight you will not wind yourself with the barbell.

At the top of the rep your forearms should also be near vertical.

 

Lower

 

You do not need to lower the barbell slowly, nor will it free fall.

 

You are still in control of the barbell and will forcefully put it back to the safety pins, landing evenly, both sides touching down at the same time.

 

Relax long enough at the bottom of the rep to take another deep breath and brace again.

The most common faults revolve around posture

Firstly struggling to achieve a good back angle with neutral spine position. You can practice this easily with no weight simply by looking side on in a mirror and trying to find the correct posture.

 

Secondly standing up mid rep is very common. Your spine angle should stay fairly constant through the entire lift. Standing up slightly and dipping slightly is ok when the weight is heavy but should be minimal. If, when you straighten your arms at the bottom of the rep you need to lean forward again to meet the rack you have stood up mid rep.

 

The third common error is not keeping the bar over your mid foot and moving the bar path in a near vertical line. In this fault the bar tends to start a few inches forward of your mid foot, either because your knees are too bent or because the bar is not starting on your knees. This adds strain to your lower back and makes the move much less effective in general. From this position the bar will tend to move diagonally towards you and like with the first error you will probably not have the correct spine angle and be standing up too much.

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