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The difference between Bodyweight rows and banded rows

Rows are one of the best exercises for the back muscles. Using the Auster Modular System you can use our Power Rings, Power Straps or Dynamic Bands attached to the anchor point. This enables users to train in a variety of different ways. In this post we will explain the difference between rowing your own bodyweight and performing them with Dynamic Bands.

Bodyweight rows (Power Straps or Power Rings)

Bodyweight rows are highly effective at building the back muscles, specifically the Lats, Traps and Rhomboids. To read more in depth about building a big back with Ring rows, click here. It is very easy to modulate the difficulty through a combination of body position and strap length. In brief, the more upright the body is, and the further away the feet are from the anchor point, the more weight is taken by the feet, and therefore the exercise is easier.

Dynamic Band Rows

Dynamic Band rows are also very effective at activation the back muscles. As the bands extend, they offer increasing resistance. This makes it very easy to increase the difficulty, by simply standing further away from the anchor point. Auster Dynamic Bands also come in Light, Medium, Heavy and X-Heavy strengths, so there is a resistance for everyone.

Comparing Dynamic Bands to Bodyweight

Angle from the anchor

To suspend your bodyweight, the anchor point must be above you. This means that you can only pull from one angle. Using the Dynamic Bands means it is possible to row from many angles. Wrap the Main Anchor around a low anchor point and perform a low row or attach the anchor at chest height and perform a mid-height row.  

Muscle engagement and tension during rows

Bodyweight rows offer constant tension throughout the movement.  There is no variation in the tension as you row. Using the Dynamic Bands, they increase tension as you row them, meaning maximum muscle engagement at the point of peak contraction. This increases the muscle engagement and leads to better mind-muscle connection and pump enabling you to ‘feel’ that the correct muscles are working.

Eccentric focus

The eccentric phase is important for muscle growth, as it is the part of the movement that tears the muscle fibres. As the Dynamic Bands offer the least tension in this position, their eccentric loading is minimal. Therefore for a superior stretch during the actual repetition the bodyweight row provides a better option.

The takeout

Both bodyweight rows and Dynamic Band rows are great for building your back muscles. By beginning with the Dynamic Bands you can activate the correct muscles, causing a large peak contraction, and pre-exhausting the muscle. Then using Power Straps or Power Rings for bodyweight rows you can focus on the eccentric phase to stretch the muscle, enabling maximum growth.

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