The row exercise has many variations. I will cover the seated row exercise. For many, too little time is spent on strengthening the back muscles. When you don't adequately strengthen your back muscles, you are affecting your pulling potential. And, to have good upper body muscular balance, you need to work your backside as well as your frontside.
The back muscles targeted during the seated row exercise are the latissimus dorsi, teres major, middle trapezius and rhomboids.
Follow these steps to properly execute the seated row exercise:
1) Maintain the natural arch in your spine throughout the exercise. Sit up straight (with your chest and head up at all times), draw your navel in toward your spine and retract your shoulder blades pulling them back. Pull the weight back with your shoulders first in order to activate your back muscles. You don't want the seated row to turn into an arm exercise.
2) Don't lock your knees when resting your feet on the platform. Keep your legs slightly bent.
3) Keeping your elbows close to your body, pull the weight towards your midsection to work the larger latissimus dorsi muscles more . A high pull will give more work to the smaller back muscles.
4) Keep all movements smooth when pulling the weight and reversing the motion. That is one repetition.
The next article in this series will cover the deadlift exercise.