What sounds like a 1970s rock band, that’s also a great rowing exercise?
THE MOVE: Bird-dog Row
MOVEMENT PATTERN AND MUSCLES WORKED: Horizontal pull: mid and upper back. Core stability.
WHY DO IT: No, the Bird-dog Row isn’t another great 1970s rock band. It is however, a great exercise that both challenges your rotary stability and forces you to row properly.
Many of us have a tendency to yank the weight and rotate through the lower back during rows. Neither of these methods are correct, especially for absolute beginners. Good rowing technique is driven through the shoulder blade. In a proper row, the shoulder blade slides along the ribcage on a solid torso, and you should feel them in the mid and upper back.
The bird-dog component of this row forces you to lock down your core, so that you can’t cheat. If you do, you’ll probably lose your balance. By itself, the bird-dog is a great rotary stability exercise. Having to row the kettlebell, let alone hold it in one hand during this position further enhances the rotary stability challenge here.
Be sure to watch our video above for a full discussion of the Bird-dog Row!
HOW TO DO IT: The Bird-dog Row fits in nicely as a secondary exercise and towards the later half of a training session. I’d recommend doing them for 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps. Remember that this exercise is more about technique and proper rotational stability than it is about weight, especially at first. Let us know what you think on Twitter or Instagram @halevylife !
by Jeremy Lau
Jeremy Lau is a Senior Staff Coach at Halevy Life.
Jeremy graduated cum laude from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a BSc. in Biomedical Engineering and received his Master’s in Exercise Physiology at Columbia University. In addition to his academic accolades, Jeremy is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).
Prior to joining the team at Halevy Life, Jeremy completed a coaching internship at Cressey Sports Performance, where he coached both amateur and professional athletes, among whom were many professional MLB baseball players.
As an athlete, Jeremy has played baseball competitively for most of his life.