Be Well: Bent Over Row

This is probably the easiest exercise I will ever feature on my blog. I've been a little dissatisfied with the state of my triceps for the past few months, so I've been on the lookout for simple yet effective workouts to get them back to the toned state they once were in! (Side note: one of the major obstacles to getting my toned triceps back is my tendency to make bad snacking decision, such as pounding down a couple handfuls of M&Ms while writing this post...please don't judge me.)

Anyway, I love the bent over row because it's great for isolating your triceps and it can be done with a barbell or with free weights. The thing that is key (KEY!) to this workout is keeping your back FLAT - not rounded, not arched. All effort should be concentrated in your arms. Your back should not be strained at all. If you need to stand at a 90-degree angle from a mirror so you can observe the angle of your back, do that.

Additionally, you need to choose a heavy weight. If you (or I) want results, your (or my) triceps should be burning at the end of this exercise. Your triceps are surprisingly strong, so I would suggest using a 30 lb. barbell or 15 lb. free weights at the very minimum.

Start with your back flat, bent ~ 45 degrees at your waist, feet hip distance apart. Slowly raise the barbell up towards your chest, sending your elbows straight back. Your movement should be slow - if you try to do this quickly you will lose your form and compromise your workout.

At the top of the motion, the bar should be pressed into your chest and your elbows should be pointing to the back of the room.

Slowly lower the weight back down. It's important to keep in mind that the lowering of the weight is JUST AS IMPORTANT as the raising of the weight. Shortchange the lowering part and you're making your workout half as effective.

I recommend three sets of 15-20 reps. I'm definitely going to be including bent over rows in my upcoming workouts - I hope you are too!