Bent over dumbbell row
THE LATISSIMUS DORSI
The Latissimus Dorsi, or “lats” as they are popularly known, literally means the “broadest muscle of the back”. Developing the lats is the foundation for a strong, healthy back, and has innumerable benefits—a great posture, stronger shoulders, and that coveted “V” shape. Building strong lats can also alleviate or prevent chronic shoulder pain and chronic back pain, and cut the risk of injuries by stabilizing the torso.
Also See | Perfect that workout (pdf)
The bent-over dumb-bell row is one of the best and most widely used exercises for strengthening the lats. Start with a light, easy-to-handle weight to perfect the technique and form. Grade up the weights gradually after you’ve mastered the move.
Bend over a knee-high platform with your left knee on the platform, and your back straight, chest out, looking straight ahead. Place your left arm on the platform to stabilize your body and grab a dumb-bell with your right hand. Your right leg should be fairly straight, without locking your knees, and spread out to maintain balance. Your right foot should be resting flat on the ground throughout.
Now slowly pull the dumb-bell, bending your elbow as you do so, till the dumb-bell is almost touching your chest. Feel the back muscles doing the work, and squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of the move, and hold it there for a second before lowering the dumb-bell.
Always inhale when lowering the dumb-bell, and exhale when lifting, tightening your belly as you do so.
When you have mastered this, a great variation is to use the Swiss ball. Everything remains the same, except the Swiss ball will destabilize your body position, making you work really hard to maintain balance. This will engage the core muscles (abdomen, lower back) for a more rounded workout.
Every fortnight, starting this week, experts will show you the perfect way to execute your favourite exercises to get the maximum benefit.
Coordinated by Rudraneil Sengupta.