Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.: The bent-over row is an exercise you can do with resistance tubing to work the muscles in the back of the shoulder. Specifically, the bent-over row targets the posterior part of the deltoid in the shoulder. That’s important, because many people focus on the muscles at the front of the shoulder. For strength in the shoulder, what you really want is balance between the front and back muscles in the shoulder.
Nicole L. Campbell: To do the bent-over row with resistance tubing, start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart on the center of the tubing.
Grasp both tubing handles with your palms facing in, and bend your knees comfortably and keep your back in a neutral position. Slowly bring your elbows back. Keep your elbows close to your body. Then slowly return to the starting position. You’ll feel as if your shoulder blades are coming together. You might imagine that you’re squeezing a pencil with your shoulder blades.
When you’re doing the bent-over row, remember to keep your back in a neutral position. Do not flatten the curve of your low back, and don’t arch your back in the other direction. Keep your movements smooth and controlled.
To make this exercise more challenging, move your foot closer to the tubing handle, then bring your elbow back just as you did before.
For most people, one set of 12 to 15 repetitions is adequate.
Remember, for best results, keep your back in a neutral position and your elbows close to your body. Keep your movements smooth and controlled.