Tag someone that needs to improve their rowing mechanics!
There are a lot of moving parts in a row. Depending on what your intent with the exercise is, there are many variations. 2 things to almost always avoid ❌ when performing the row include:
➖Excessively shoulder shrugging, which is performed by your supra-scapular muscles (e.g. Upper Trap and Levator Scap)
➖Extending the Upper Neck ; to avoid this add a slight chin tuck or a double chin when performing the row.
An easy way to alter where you pull from = changing the height of the pulley. When pulling into a low row, it will make it easier to avoid excessive shoulder shrugging.
Some key points with a row includes:
1️⃣ Keeping a neutral neck, if over-stressing the neck muscles - add a slight chin tuck (this inhibits the upper trap muscles)
2️⃣ Focus on squeezing the shoulder blades back, this is where you want to drive the motion from
3️⃣ Avoid "Arming" the row, initiate the motion with your shoulder blade and allow your arm to follow. Your elbow should only be slightly past the torso.
In the meantime, focus on improving control of your scapula retractors and slowly decrease height of the pulley until you can control the row adequately free of compensation.
If your goal is actually to target the upper trap, then perform a shrug with your shoulder abducted > 30 degrees!