With so many people being stuck at a desk for 9 hours a day 5 days a week, there is a postural epidemic called ‘kyphosis‘. Kyphosis is a term used to describe the position of your shoulders when they are rounded forward, commonly known for creating a hunchback look in the upper back.
To correct this kyphotic posture, you want to strengthen all of your horizontal pull muscles: low, mid traps, rhomboids, and other scapula retractors. To strengthen these muscles, we will be looking at row variations, our first will be the unilateral machine row.
Depending on the facility you go to, these machines may be a bit different, some you load you circular weights that you would add to a barbell, and some are pin loaded.
As with every exercise we cover, we will focus here on some key points to focus on to properly execute this exercise!
Key’s to the Row:
- Keep your spine neutral… including the neck – in this video you will notice that I, mistakenly, allowed my head to shoot forward as I pulled the weight back, this puts unnecessary stress on the cervical region of the spinal
- Depress the shoulders – a common error with doing rows is that people have the tendency to elevate their shoulders and use the upper trap to assist in the movement, keep the weight appropriate so that you can focus on the proper muscles
- Maintain your posture – this one is not as big of a worry in this variation, however some people still make this mistake. Another common error is that people will bend at the waist to try and use momentum to pull more weight, all movement should take place in the shoulder friends!
- Start with your weaker arm – we naturally want to do our dominant hand first because we use that hand more often, however that are can normally pull more weight. Use your weaker arm first to create balance!