SINGLE ARM DUMBBELL ROWS. So many people do them... but so few do them correctly. ---
Now, keep in mind that there are lots of variations on this movement - you can change angles, depth, degree of swing... but for the most part, this video here captures the essence and isolation of this movement. ---
1️⃣Keep your spine neutral, aka, your back FLAT. You can change the angle of your torso (creating an incline or decline to hit lower or upper rhomboids, the target muscle here), but your back sure as hell better be FLAT. This movement has potential to put strain on your spine and low back, especially if your technique is garbage. USE THE MIRROR, keep it flat!
2️⃣Drive the ELBOW straight up to the ceiling. Don't lift the weight with your wrists. !! Gym experts will say, on virtually any movement where weights are in your hands, you've got to think about the bigger target muscles moving the weight - not pulling with your hands and wrists. So here, you're thinking about your rhomboids (scapular retractors between shoulder blade and spine) pulling the weight up - not your hands!
3️⃣And on the elbow note, you want the top angle to be something close to 90* at the peak ROM (range of movement). If the elbow angle is too acute, you'll bring in biceps and anterior deltoids too much. This is a really common mistake! If you release the elbow to 90*, and focus on your rhomboids, the movement should feel a lot harder - and this means it's correct!
4️⃣Minimize your twist. Notice how I don't twist the torso at the top? Drive the elbow straight UP, and keep the torso parallel to the ground. The spine is not meant to handle weight in the twisting fashion many people do on this movement. ---
One of the #1 deficits I see with new clients is WEAK RHOMBOIDS (with weak glutes and overactive upper traps also being at the very top). Incorporate these single arm rows into your routine and you will see the benefits in countless other lifts in the gym - every single lift we do involves strong, stabilizing rhomboids! These are essential to master!