When you talk about basic exercise movements, most people will think squat, deadlift, push-up, press, and pulling usually takes the back seat. Pulling is the one movement that is least performed when it comes to exercising, even though it’s one of the best ways to work the back. It’s such an important movement to perform, whether pulling-up or pulling-in (rowing). Pulling can assist with postural correction, especially when you sit behind the desk all day long.
You can’t beat free exercise equipment, when it comes to pulling-up you’re usually sorted pretty good at most parks or beaches, as they’ll have a pull-up bar or two every kilometre, where I live anyway. But when it comes to pulling in (rowing) things become a bit more difficult, you’ll need resistance from a kettlebell or a rowing machine, and you can also use your bodyweight with a TRX. The TRX is actually a really great tool to work the back and perform rowing exercises.
My favourite type of pulling-in is that with the rowing machine at CrossFit, I love it, not only is it great for your back, it’s also great for your cardio. The Fitness Folder has 10 reviews on good rowing machines if you’re after a new rowing machine for your home or box. Below is a great explanatory video where I break down all the angles and other details for rowing with kettlebells.
If you want to know more about bent-over-rows, I wrote an article about how important the angles are, you should check it out, in a nutshell, it talks about how the angle dictates whether you’re working the muscles you want to be working, your rear delts, or the biceps which are better worked with another exercise like chin-ups.
So, if you’re not incorporating pulling exercises in your training yet, now is the time to do so. Following are a few videos that include pulling exercises to give you some ideas.
Here’s a video where I demonstrate rows with the torsenator https://youtu.be/BoAWaClcosU?t=1m3s
Below is a video demonstrating kettlebell alternating dead rows.
The following is a video of a bodyweight beach workout I designed and includes a couple of great pull-up variations.
Last but not least, the kettlebell bent press is in effect also a pulling exercise, as you pull the elbow during most of the movement. Great exercise to also include in your training for your back but also for your abdominals, obliques and quadratus lumborum.
Have fun rowing and pulling! And as always, your comments and feedback below or on this Facebook post here.