Yates row helps in developing a stronger and wider back. (Image via Pexels/Leon Ardho)

Yates Row: How to Develop a Wider Back

If you're looking to develop a wider back, Yates Row is your answer. This exercise is a variation of the barbell bent over row, where you pull with one arm at a time and alternate sides every rep.

It can be done with dumbbells if you don't have access to barbells, but it may not be as effective, as dumbbells don't have the same weight distribution as barbells.


What are Yates Rows?

The Yates row has its origins in the back training of Dorian Yates, a legendary British bodybuilder. He invented this exercise to build a perfect back, which he believed could only be achieved through intense training.


It's a variation of the bent-over row, which is also known as the barbell row. It's an excellent way to build strength in the back and upper body, especially if you want to develop wider shoulders and a bigger chest.


Yates Row Muscle Worked

Helps in maintaining posture and works several muscles (Image via Pexels/Leon Ardho)

This exercise works the upper and lower back, but the angle of the torso puts more stress on the upper back.

1) Latissimus dorsi, also known as the lats, is a large, triangular muscle in the back. It adducts and extends the shoulder joint.


2) The rhomboids and mid-traps are located between and across the scapulae, or shoulder blades. These muscles give the upper back its thickness, which in turn helps you maintain good posture.

3) This is done with a more upright posture than bent-over rows,works the upper trapezius muscles more. The upper trapezius elevates your shoulder girdle.

4) The biceps brachii is a muscle located in the front of your upper arm. It flexes your elbow, supinates your forearm, and also flexes your shoulder. It is a useful way to build up this muscle group.


Here are the benefits of the Yates row:

1) Great back exercise

This is an excellent exercise for the back. It works every muscle in the back, from the nape of the neck to the base of the spine, indirectly working the glutes and hamstrings too.

2) Reduces lower back pain

Reduces lower back pain and helps you to lift more weights. (Image via Pexels/Victor Freitas)

If bent-over rows cause back pain, consider this exercise as an alternative. The shorter range of motion will reduce stress on the lumbar spine and erector spinae muscles.

3) Helps you lift more weight

When you use an underhand grip with this exercise, you can use more weight than with regular bent-over rows. That's useful if you want to build strength as well as muscle size.

4) Helps in building bigger biceps

The Yates row is similar to barbell biceps curls, as it targets the biceps. It can also help you develop bigger forearms and a stronger grip, but you should avoid using lifting straps.

How to Do the Yates Row

The best way to perform Yates row is to keep your core tight. (Image via Pexels / Victor Freitas)

Here's how it's done:

Stand up with your feet shoulder-width apart, and grasp a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing forward. Bend over at your hips till the torso is parallel to the floor, keeping your back flat and abs tight throughout the movement (you want it to look like you're leaning over).

Inhale as you raise both arms up towards the ceiling till they're at eye level. Keep them straight as they move upward, and exhale as you lower them again through another full range of motion, that means all the way down till they're hanging by their sides.

The key here is not just how far up or down each rep goes but also how smoothly it happens. You want no jerking or stuttering motions whatsoever.

Yates Rows is a great back exercise that can be added to your workout routine. It's especially useful for developing a wider back and increasing strength, which will help improve posture. You can even do this exercise at home if you have access to some dumbbells and an exercise mat.


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