EOTW:Towel Grip Body Row

EOTW: Towel Grip Body Row

I love this exercise as much as a trainer can love any exercise and that is because it has so much to offer with such a simple set up that you can do it an almost any community or high school gym.

On first glance you will notice that it is a good pulling exercise, but what you don’t see lurking under the surface is the stability required from your posterior chain which includes everything from your calves all the way up to your back extensors (those big strap like muscles on either side of your spine that ache during the third period and feel stiff when you get out of bed the next morning).

Look a little deeper and notice how the towel grip forces you to use your grippers more, putting more load on your forearms. Did you know that in addition to helping you with your stick handling and making your stronger on the puck, that forearm strength also correlates with overall upper body strength.

So if chin ups and pull-ups give you trouble, this simple exercise will even help make those easier for you.

Here’s how you do it…

Key Points:

Make sure you are pulling the bar INTO the hooks when you set up the power rack. If you are not pulling the bar into the hooks, then you are at a huge risk of having the bar pop off the hooks as you row, sending you AND the bar to the floor in a heap – – not only could you hurt yourself badly, you will also forever been know as ‘that guy who was doing the weird looking exercise in the gym and then fell on the floor’ – – and no one wants to be THAT guy.

banner-gssPull your torso up to the bar without ‘kipping’ at all with your body, the key is to stabilize with your body and pull with your arms.

Pull until your hands are right beside your chest – if you cannot get all the way up, it will feel like you just can’t get there – but it is not a range of motion issue, it is a strength issue. So if that is the case, then just increase the height of the bar to make it easier.

If you are getting all the way up and keeping great form, then you can make it harder by lowering the bar, elevating your feet on a step or bench or by wearing a weight vest (that sounds like fun doesn’t it?).

Start with 3 sets of 8 reps – pause for two seconds at the top of the movement.