Add stability to an exercise – any exercise – and you can automatically move more weight.
“When you perform rows with your chest supported, you’re limiting the amount of swing, which means you’re putting all the work on your back and biceps,” says NASM performance enhancement specialist Cody Braun.
“If you notice a rocking motion in your curved rowyou could be adding stress to your lower back,” he says.
The chest-supported row, also called the incline dumbbell row, is a row variation that’s great for slimming down form, preventing mid-row tipping, reducing the risk of injury, and isolating the muscles you’re looking to build.
Chest Press Dumbbell Pulldown: Step-by-Step Instructions
“Keep your chest on the bench throughout the movement,” advises Braun. “As you get heavier, the natural compensation will be to lift your chest. However, keeping your chest against the bench will eliminate momentum and work the muscles you want.
- Set an incline bench at 45 degrees.
- Grab a pair of dumbbells and approach the bench with your chest toward the incline pad, then lean into it. Plant your feet firmly on the floor and let your arms hang down, palms facing each other. This is the starting position.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together and push your elbows toward the ceiling, bringing the dumbbells to your rib cage.
- Slowly reverse the movement and repeat for reps.
How to Make the Chest Pressed Row Easier
How to Make the Chest Supported Row More Difficult
- Use a heavier weight (without sacrificing form).
- Instead of performing the angled DB row, try a bent dumbbell row with your chest unsupported. Your core and glutes will need to work to keep your body from falling forward or rocking back and forth.
Advantages of the Chest Support Row
A strong back supports healthy posture and helps offset acts of daily living – like sitting at a computer – that can weaken muscles and contribute to stiffness.
Variations of the dumbbell exercise strengthen all back muscles.
However, the chest supported version removes the stability factor while helping beginners learn proper rowing form.
Muscles targeted by the lean chest row
The incline dumbbell row strengthens and develops all of the following muscles, helping you become even more efficient at any pull-up exercise.
The lats are a fan-shaped pair of muscles that span your middle and lower back and connect to your upper arms.
As your body’s main pulling muscles, they are also the largest muscles in your entire upper body. When expanded, they give your torso a “V” shape.
Your traps are a kite-shaped muscle that stretches from your neck through your middle back and down to your shoulders, helping to move and stabilize your shoulder blades.
They can be divided into upper, middle and lower fibers.
A diamond-shaped upper back muscle group, the major and minor rhomboids run from the inside edge of your shoulder blades to your spine.
Their role is to pull your shoulders back and stabilize them when you push or pull.
Understanding three muscles – the biceps brachii, brachialis and brachioradialis – the biceps are responsible for flexing your elbow and helping to rotate your forearm.