The classic incline row is a key exercise for midback strength. But what if you could use it to attack your rear delts too? Truth be told, your rear delts are involved in incline rows (and all row exercises) anyway. And very often, they’re a hard-to-target muscle.
You’ll get them extra work in the Incline Row Triple Drop Series, though, a vicious back-blasting series from Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. It’s a move that makes a classic tweak to the incline row to start, instantly adding challenge, then it forces you to survive til the end.
“This move is all about back pump,” says Samuel. “We’re pairing three different ideas in sequence to take our back muscles to fatigue. And the first one lets us really attack those rear delts.”
The standard incline row is a midback exercise, but by flaring your elbows wide, you challenge your rear delts to be more involved in the move. “All rows actually attack your rear delts to some extent,” says Samuel, “because the rear delts function to drive the upper arm parallel to your torso (and further back too). By widening your elbows though, there’s more emphasis on those rear delts.”
Max out those rear delts, and then you focus in on your midback again. You end the entire series with an iso-hold. “Just to drive a bit more muscle damage and promote a bit more growth,” says Samuel. It’s a vicious recipe for major back strength. All you need are dumbbells and an incline bench.
The Incline Row Triple Drop Series can fit into your workout in a variety of ways. It works best as a third or fourth exercise in a back workout, but you can also use it on push-pull day or in a total-body circuit, too. You’ll need to use lighter weights than you might normally use for incline rows though, says Samuel, because the move challenges you in different ways. “But you’ll love the pump,” he says.
For more tips and routines from Samuel, check out our full slate of Eb and Swole workouts.
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