Everytime I row my rear delts and also my long head of the tricep take over the row. I have also tried dumbbell/cable pull overs and it's the same time thing... my delts and arms get all the action while my traps and lats remain totally fresh. Anyone has had the same experience? how did you manage it? any advice?

Things I have tried: T-bar rows Cable rows Bent over rows Penlay rows Dumbbell rows Machine rows Band rows Inverted rows

Methods tried: Using arms has hooks Tumbless grips

1 Answer 1


A lot of times it's because you're using more weight than you are capable of handling and those other muscles are taking over to compensate for weaknesses in your back musculature. If you're starting out, it's going to get some taking used to and developing the cues you need to hit those desired muscle groups properly.

One big cue for rows is to pull with your elbows. Imagine a hook at your elbow joint pulling the weight. Back straight and chest out because if you're hunched over your arms and rear delts will definitely get involved.

For each of those exercises, look up proper form videos on youtube (I would recommend John Meadows, Athelean-X, Alan Thrall and Omar Isuf). Go light till you get the form down and can feel the right muscle groups going.

In the meanwhile, I would suggest you get a feel for what your lats and traps firing feel like by doing pull ups on the assisted pull up machine for lats with your core braced and chest puffed up and out. Go slow and feel the lat contractions. Also look up lat pull downs for further lat activation. When you get those down, try yates rows where there definitely is an element of cheating but worth it.

For traps, do shrugs, farmer carries. Josh Bryant has great vids on trap workouts that I would suggest you look up on youtube.

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