Coaching and Progressing The Inverted Row

Coaching and Progressing The Inverted Row

The inverted row is one of the most programmed exercises in our training toolbox. This upper body pulling variation is so accessible to a wide range of clientele because it can be progressed and regressed very easily and doesn’t demand great amounts of mobility or motor control to begin learning.

Set-Up: It’s optimal to perform these using suspension trainer like a TRX, @ko8_academy or set of gymnastics rings but if you’re in a pinch you could hang from a barbell in a squat rack or smith machine as well. If using a suspension trainer the handles should be set so that they hang down to waist height.

Posture: When hanging from the rings you should stand stiff and straight from head to foot like “someone is measuring your height.” Dig your heels into the ground and flex your toes up towards your shins. Keep the glutes active to prevent the hips from sagging and keep your ribs crunched down tight.

Neck: Often during the pulling motion people have a tendency to poke their neck forward. Be sure to maintain a packed neck making a double chin through out the exercise.

Shoulder Rotation: The nice part about using a suspension trainer rather than a fixed barbell is that it allows you to incorporate some humeral rotation into the exercise. Take advantage of this unique set up to strengthen the rotator cuff musculature around the shoulder. As the arms extend away from you, internally rotate, turning the thumbs down. As the arms flexes toward you, externally rotate turning the palms upwards.

Progression: To progress his exercise simply lower the angle of the body towards the floor. Be sure to keep your heels dug in to avoid slipping. Mark the floor with chalk each week to track your progress. Once you can perform 10 perfect reps while parallel to the floor, elevate your feet onto a bench or box to increase the difficulty.

Give these cues and progressions a try and let us know how you like them!

Let us know in the comments if there are any topics or progressions you’d like us to cover!