You Should Do This: Chest Supported Dumbbell Row

Can you pinch your shoulder blades together?


Your WHOLE shoulder blades…top to bottom, equally, so they are relatively flat against each other in the back?

If it’s just the top portion and you look like this:

Nahhhh, man, no good.

It should look like this:

Can’t do that?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Sit like a sack of shit Desk Jockey all day and you’re not going to have very much of the stand ya up muscles.

Truth is:

“You Can Never Have Too Much Ass, Abs or Upper Back”

Most folks have sh@tty upper back development and scapula movement.

Annnnd it’s a wonder why we have so many neck and shoulder issues….

Am I Right????

So We Should Do Horizontal Pulling Right?


Like twice as much volume as you do pressing in that plane.

But, as we learned in the Epic Poem: Sloppy Shoulders and Bad Rows

Humeral approximation is a no-no.

Plus, if the humerus is driving forward then is the scapula even moving back?

A: Probably Not.

The primary culprit (in my experience) for Humeral approximation, driving the head of the humerus (top o’ the arm) forward in the joint, is that the scapula (shoulder blade) is STUCK on the freaking ribcage.

Like the shoulder-blade doesn’t go, it don’t move, at all… Not fo’ nutting.

And that’s bad.

Cause its supposed to move.

Like kinda a LOT.

And when its stuck in place we gotta do what?


So how are we gonna get someone to perform a row with proper scapular rhythm, retraction and depression at end range?

Man, I thought You’d Never Ask….

Take Joints out Of the Equation. 

The fewer joints that can move to compensate, the better.

Being locked into the bench means, you’re going to want to pull your chest up so you’re not like this:

Straight up Bench Face Plant 

People usually don’t want to do a faceplant into the bench, they find it somewhat “uncomfortable”. 

BTW: If you’ve got no thoracic extension, you’re highly kyphotic to the point of being LOCKED in place, this exercise; Is not for you.

Its like pissing in the ocean, it aint gonna change anything.

And only make things worse cause you’re gonna reach with the shoulders and round through the spine at the bottom.

BUT you can still do iso holds at the top position to build the feel of thoracic extension and scapular retraction and depression.

When people suck at moving they generally need tactile feedback.

*this is why when people ask me what I do, I tell them I stick my finger in people butts all day….seriously, I do, and it’s not nearly as glamorous as you’d think.

So the bench acts as a guide to get the shoulders back (retraction) off the bench and chest up, and glutes ON from the start

 Chest Supported Dumbbell Row:


Chest up: Get the T-Shirt Logo up so if there was a mirror in front of you, you could see the logo in it. But bottom rib down.

Glutes PRESSED forward into the pad: Butt on, creates a neutral hip and lumbar PLUS helps keep the ribcage in place.

Shoulders off the bench the whole time: Shoulders touch the bench, you’ve overreached at the bottom.

Get LOCKED in and then focus on pinching the shoulders together in the back.

Bro Tips:

  1. Chin off the front of the Bench
  2. Use the lowest bench angle possible where the bells don’t touch the ground.
  3. If the bench is set up right when you have “Active shoulders” at the bottom the bells should never touch the ground. If your shoulders go loose, the bells should touch or rest on the ground.
  4. Don’t look up, chin in neutral. ( “Chest up” ain’t Chin up).
  5. Pull back towards the hip, not straight up.

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