This modified row type movement is an awesome back strengthening exercise. Since the elbows are positioned around shoulder level, maximal recruitment is drawn from the rhomboid muscle. Also, because the trunk must maintain alignment with the knees, the need for core stabilization is increased, which makes the movement very functional.
- Elevate the bar on the smith machine to an appropriate height. In a supine position (chest facing the ceiling), grasp handles at a width similar to that of a bench press. Your feet should be shoulder width apart, your buttocks should be elevated and your hips and knees should be aligned.
- Exhale, retract shoulder blades and follow through by bending arms and drawing chest up towards the bar. Pause and momentarily hold this position for an optimal contraction.
- Inhale and lower back down to starting position at a controlled speed.
- Repeat until the desired number of repetitions are completed.
The difficulty can also be increased by positioning an exercise ball under the ankles of the extended legs. This will further decrease the base of support and increase the need for stabilization.
Elevating one leg while performing the movement will simulate real world lifting more effectively. One side of your body will have to work harder to compensate for the elevated leg.