Resistance Band Rows for Strength Training
Resistance band rows are one of the best exercises you can do for building muscle mass in your back without using weights.
Although it’s difficult to beat barbell or cable rows for mass-inducing effectiveness, using a resistance band makes it not just easier to workout at home (or anywhere you want), it also has some special benefits which I want to tell you about.
So let’s have a look at:
- The unique benefits of resistance band rows
- What kind of bands are best for doing this exercise
- How to do rows with resistance bands
Why you should be doing resistance band rows
Before we start, have a look at this training montage I put on our YouTube channel of people doing row and other back exercises with bands.
You’ll immediately notice one of the biggest benefits of using resistance bands, which is that you can easily take them anywhere.
Unlike a barbell set or cable row machine, which you can’t exactly fit into your pocket, a resistance band lets you do this awesome exercise anywhere you want. Which is a huge benefit.
But of course, you didn’t need me to tell you that.
What you perhaps don’t know is that using resistance bands for rows, or any other strength exercise, has specific training benefits which you don’t get from weights.
One of them is:
This just means that the resistance level of the band increases as it is stretched. Unlike weights, which produce a fairly constant resistance level.
Why is this good?
Because it means your muscles get the highest resistance when they’re in their strongest position. Basically, bands match the strength curve of your muscles.
There’s a lot more, which you can read about in this article. The point is, adding elastics to your strength training will make you bigger and stronger.
What are the best kind of resistance bands for rows?
If you watched the YouTube vid, you’ll have noticed all kinds of different bands being used. But which one is the best?
For strength training, I’d recommend just two types:
You can also use flat resistance bands, but for building-muscle you can’t beat the other two because they’re the easiest to grip. Also, they can easily be anchored to other objects (the resistance tubes come with a door anchor).
How to do resistance band rows
Below I’ve included the main rowing exercises you can do with a resistance band.
The beauty of using bands is that you can easily create variations of each exercise by moving the position of the anchor point or changing your posture. So these exercises are just to show you the basic correct form, and then you can create as many variations as you like.
This kind of versatility is another great benefit of using bands instead of weights.
6 resistance band row exercises
For all these exercises (except for #6) you can use either the resistance loop or the tube band.
#1 Standing Row
Secure the band at chest height and hold onto the other end of the loop with both hands. Stand square-on to the anchor point with your arms straight in front of you and some tension in the band. Pull the band in towards your chest. In the final position, hold for a moment and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
#2 Kneeling Row
With the band secured up high, kneel down and perform the same exercise as above but with a downward angle, which will focus more on your latissimus dorsi muscle.
#3 Face Pull
Same as the Standing Row, except this time you grip the band with hands further apart and don’t pull it in to your chest. Instead, pull the band up to your face, keeping your elbows high. This will place greater focus on your trapezius, rhomboids, as well as your rotator cuff muscles.
#4 Bent Over Row
Step on the band and hold the handles (or the loop ends) at knee-level. In this exercise, it’s important to keep your lower back slightly arched in order to maintain good technique. Pull the band up as high as possible to complete one rep. The position of your legs and waist should not change during the movement.
#5 Upright Row
Stand on the band and hold the other end of the loop (or the handles) at waist-height. Now pull the band up to your chin, lifting your elbows up high. This exercise will focus on your deltoids, trapezius, and rhomboids.
#6 Single Arm Row
Step into both ends of the loop and hold it in the middle. Get into a front stance, leaning forward slightly and putting your other hand on knee for support. Keeping your back straight, pull the band up to chest level.