Exercises You Should Be Doing: Standing Retraction to Low Row

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Last week, I showcased an exercise we’ve been using exclusively with our baseball guys as well as clients with banged up shoulders. Similarly, this week, I’d like to show you yet another exercise we’ve implemented with many of our clients that’s great for overall shoulder health.

What Is It: Standing Retraction to Low Row

Who Did I Steal It From: I don’t remember, but I just found out that Norah Jones is coming to Boston in March. Of course, I’m only saying this because uh, my girlfriend really likes her music. Yeah, that’s it. She loves that stuff.

Norah Jones

Me on the other hand, would rather listen to whales raping each other. Either way, I guess this means I should suck it up and buy a few tick………hey, what are you doing with my iPod? Dammit, give that back! Listen, I have no idea who put that “I love Norah Jones. So much in fact, that I have all her cd’s and went to her concert the last time she came to Boston” playlist on there. Hahahaha, that Lisa is such a card. She must have put that on there. She’s so funny/I just got my man card revoked didn’t I?

Man Card

What Does It Do: As I mentioned above, this exercise is fantastic for overall shoulder health, and really targets the scapular stabilizers, which is never a bad thing given that 99% of shoulder pathologies can be attributed to poor scapular kinematics.

Coaching Cues: First and foremost, you don’t need to stand there like a dumbass for eight seconds before you start the exercise. I forgot to edit the video before I downloaded it onto my laptop, and was too lazy to go back and do it over again.

Nevertheless, keeping a “stiff” arm throughout the duration of the movement, retract your shoulder blade (making sure not to shrug)- if possible, use non-working hand to feel scapular movement. Doing so will give you instant feedback on whether or not you’re doing it correctly.

From there, you’ll simply pull/row the pulley towards your knee, making sure to avoid humeral extension (don’t go past the knee). Return back to starting position, and repeat for desired amount of repetitions.

Of note, this isn’t the type of exercise where I’m too concerned about loading. Rather, I’m more interested in ensuring perfect technique with every rep. That being said, I’d recommend 2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions (per side) if you’re going to include this in a program, which you should. Because I said so.

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