How to Simulate Rowing With Exercise Bands

Businesspeople rowing in bay, (rear view)
Rowers (Image: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

The seated row is one of those exercises where the results far outweigh the effort. A somewhat simple move to execute, the row strengthens all of the major muscles on your back, including the trapezius, latissiumus dorsi and the rhomboids, and can be done with resistance bands. A strong back helps to improve your posture, agility and stability. The portable and versatile bands allow you to perform seated rows wherever you happen to be, including your office, the park or a hotel room.

Step 1

Warm up by performing 10 minutes of cardiovascular exercise, such as jogging, brisk walking or jumping rope.

Step 2

Choose a resistance band based on your ability. The color-coded bands offer a variety of resistance levels; the lighter the color, the less resistance and the darker the color, the greater the resistance. Start with yellow if you are new to rows and progress to the red or green, which offer medium levels of resistance as you become stronger. The resistance level should allow you to complete at least eight repetitions, yet not more than 12, with proper form.

Step 3

Fasten the center of the resistance band to a stable piece of equipment or furniture. If a sturdy structure is not available, anchor the band by wrapping it around the center of your feet. Sit tall on the floor with your legs outstretched in front of you, knees slightly bent. Pull your abdominal muscles in toward your lower back and slide your shoulder blades down and away from your ears.

Step 4

Hold an end of the band in each hand with an overhand grip. Turn your palms to face each other and extend your arms straight to assume the starting position.

Step 5

Pull the handles toward you as your elbows bend and move slightly behind your torso. Keep your arms close to the sides of your body. Maintain a straight torso and avoid leaning forward or backward.

Step 6

Stop pulling when your hands reach your body. Hold the contraction for one count, then straighten your arms to return to starting position. Complete three sets of eight to 12 repetitions.

Tip

Maintain proper posture to target the correct muscles on your back. Keep the spine elongated, abs pulled in and center your torso over your pelvis. Avoid hunching or rounding your upper back or shoulders; slightly lift your chest and stack your shoulders over your hips.

Warning

Avoid using a resistance level that is beyond your fitness ability. Using a resistance band that provides too much tension can lead to an injury. The band should allow you to fatigue between eight and 12 repetitions.

Consult with your doctor before starting a new fitness program. Tell your doctor if you have any back pain, issues or injuries.

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