Baby Hercules wrote:
DB rows, I learned one trick that really helped me out with lat focus - I was told to let the DB tip downward, so that it's angled in the hand about 30-45 degrees with a tilt so that the grip is primarily in the fingers, and that helped me to put more lat focus on rowing. If I don't use straps when going heavy for higher reps, I always go that route, letting the DB tilt downward at the front and it does two things - my grip is better for holding on longer, and the angled pull in takes off the forearm and biceps focus to put it all to lats for the movement. Give it a shot sometime, for some people it can really make a difference!
This is fascinating. Do you mean during one-armed lat rows with one knee and a hand on a bench for support? Or is this for bent over forward rows with both hands? Can it be employed in a seated row machine? I was told by an awesome weight room manager to visualize pulling with only the lat muscles, nothing else,
and pretending the arms and hands were merely tools, imagining squeezing a quarter between my rhomboids all the while, up high or down low, depending on the grip and lat area targeted. Works on me like a charm.
Yep, I'm referring to one-arm DB rows using a bench and opposite arm for support. Doesn't work the same with a barbell, but with a DB you can shift the leverages a bit better to make the lats work harder with a few tricks. So, you'd get into normal DB row position on a bench, but instead of gripping the DB evenly, let it tilt forward and slide down in the hand a bit (you can use the wrist to support the weight as the plates [or hex end] will inevitably come in contact with your hand as the tilt occurrs and the weight slides forward), and it makes it easier to remove the biceps recruitment and make it almost a fully lat-centric pulling movement.
The DB being braced by the hand/wrist also helps aide in holding on longer for a better grip, as it takes some of the strain off of the fingers as well, which means less need for using straps if the grip is weaker.
And yes, the advice you got was spot-on - you only want to think of the hands and forearms as hooks attached to poles that keep the weight attached to your body for the lift, not that they should be a focal point for use to get the weight moving. The sooner people can learn to forget their biceps completely on a rowing or chinning movement, the better off they'll be!
Think about it this way as well - you could in theory still build a massive set of lats even if you didn't have a lower arm past the elbow, so long as you could attach the weight to yourself still. The biceps couldn't be recruited in such a way, but the lats would still be able to do their function without any problem. Which brings me to pointing out this tool that would probably be the best way fors someone to be able to learn how to NOT use their arms for rowing/pull-ups - http://isolatorfitness.com/
If they weren't so expensive, I'd want to get a pair just to see how it feels to use them!