let's consider this picture about the barbell row:

enter image description here

Well, I suffer from this problem {shoulders excessively internally rotated) when I perform it normally, and the simple advice "Avoid internally rotating shoulder" without telling me practically how I can do this is pointless in my case.

However, I've tried different "setups" and I have observed that this problem disappears if I simultaneusly:

  1. Engage my lower traps to help depress my shoulder-blades.

  2. Pull the bar towards my upper abs (and not lower, as I see sometimes).

  3. Externally rotate my arm like a screw so that my biceps slightly points forwards. This should engage the external rotators of my rotator cuff and prevent internal rotation. Here there is a picture of this grip:

enter image description here

Now, I wanted to know your opinion about this setup, and eventually give me other advice if you do not agree.

About 3), I've seen it is used in some other exercises. For instance, it is suggested for push-ups and dips (I've highlighted in blue the external rotation):

enter image description here enter image description here

A possible doubt I have is if this external rotation means a higher activation of the biceps (if yes, it could be a bad idea in some exercise where the biceps activation is undesired).

  • 2
    What problem do you suffer from when you perform rows? The question just says "I suffer from this problem" without describing any symptoms that you're experiencing. Sep 13 at 0:45
  • @David Scarlett Shoulders extremely Internally rotated. Not any kind of pain, but just I lose the proper posture.
    – Kinka-Byo
    Sep 13 at 5:09

Do you have very tight chest and lat muscles? These are the 2 main internal rotators of your shoulder. You can try stretching those while strengthening your external rotators.

I’m guessing what the image meant by internal rotation is referring to an anterior tilt of the scapula.

Engaging lower traps may be difficult if there is a lack of strength to combat your internal rotators in the first place. Don’t forget a more important function of your lower traps - posterior tilting of your scapula.

I’ll suggest performing isolated exercises for external rotation of your shoulder and lower traps, and stretching of your chest and lats.

A simple test: are you able to lift your arms overhead without arching your lower back or hiking your shoulder?

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