Home Blog Strength Training Technique: 8 Ways to Screw Up a Row

Strength Training Technique: 8 Ways to Screw Up a Row

Written on October 31, 2012 at 11:45 am, by Eric Cressey

Today, I've got a video tutorial on common rowing technique mistakes for you:

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59 Responses to “Strength Training Technique: 8 Ways to Screw Up a Row”

  1. Eric Cressey Says:


    I’m not an advocate of rowing with the elbow, as it forces humeral extension past neutral, which can create some anterior shoulder issues. 1-arm rows can be tricky for scapular movement because they tend to be so lat dominant because the elbow has to stay close to the side.

  2. Kieran Says:

    Ah ok. Thanks for your response! Don’t want to make too much out of this but do you not advocate them full stop or just for scap work? I’m just really trying to build up stability there but also some total upper back strength and mass due to too much pressing. Currently using resistance bands (instead of cable) to get the groundwork down with an overall aim of flexibility/stability to do barbell work (rows and deadlift). Decent substitute?

  3. Eric Cressey Says:


    Full stop? Not sure what you’re asking.

    Yes, that’s totally fine as a substitute.

  4. Kieran Says:

    Sorry, poorly worded. Or maybe a British thing. Just to clarify I meant do you not like 1 arm rows as an exercise or do you not advocate them as an exercise to help with proper scap functioning as they’re so lat dominant?

    Just found myself getting overwhelmed by – ‘packing the shoulder’ ‘active shoulder’ etc. Finding it tricky to feel any work in my lower traps/middle back with the resistance bands, that’s all

  5. Eric Cressey Says:


    They can still be used effectively as a scapular stabilization exercise as long as they’re performed correctly.

  6. Sepand Says:

    Great video. I wish you could talk about the seated cable row once and discuss all the grip variations. Some people do the seated cable rows the way Arnold did it in Pumping Iron to get that extra stretch (very curved back at the beginning of the movement). I never understood whether that was a bad form (for the general population) or not.

  7. Steve Says:


    My gym doesn’t have a cable. Do you think barbell/dummbell rows would do just as good a job in helping correct muscle imbalances provided i use your tips from this article?


  8. Eric Cressey Says:


    Won’t be quite as good, but you’ll still be able to make solid progress. You can also sub in bands for cables, in many cases.

  9. Eric Cressey Says:

    Here you go, Debra! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCfcGei-NqM

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