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Chaos and Pain

  /  tips   /  The One-Arm Barbell Row: The Best Exercise for Lat Growth?

The One-Arm Barbell Row: The Best Exercise for Lat Growth?

Ed Shanks

Hopefully you have been keeping up with the recent training
series. If not, here is a quick refresher. We have been discussing the benefits
of neuromuscular training and how it can quickly help to improve your strength and
size gains. Let me break it down for you even deeper. How deep, “so deep, I put
her ass to sleep.” – Ice Cube, It Was a
Good Day

Neuromuscular training focuses on fixing imbalances by awakening
dormant, and creating new, neurological pathways. Once strengthened, these
pathways cause your weaker muscles to get stronger, and helps to fix your strength
imbalances. Once your strength imbalances are fixed, it is easier for your body
to get stronger and bigger without getting hurt.

One of the best ways to help develop the correct
neurological pathways is to incorporate unilateral movements in your lifting routines.
And one of the best unilateral movements for strengthening and fixing the
neurological pathways of your Lats is the one-arm barbell row.

So, you may be wondering what are the criteria for making an
exercise effective? Well, I’m glad you asked. To be considered a good exercise,
it must allow for a good range of motion, give you a great contraction, and supply
the working muscles with enough resistance to grow.

Range of Motion

It is hard to beat the one-arm barbell row when it comes to
range of motion. The starting position really allows you to stretch your Lats,
and your arm can travel farther behind your body than with other Lat exercises.

Great Lat Contraction

To get the most growth, you need to fully contract the Lats.
Again, it is hard to beat the one-arm barbell row. Because your arm can move
further behind your back than with other lat exercises, the muscles contract
more. For a full Lat contraction, slightly twist your torso once the barbell
reaches your side.

Another benefit of the one-arm barbell row is the curved
track of the movement. Because one end of the barbell stays on the ground throughout
the exercise, the movement is circular instead of simply up and down. Your arms
and the load on the bar stay in more of a natural position for your body throughout
the movement, thus allowing for a stronger contraction.

You Can Use Some Weight

If you want your muscles to grow,
you must use some weight. And unfortunately, sometimes the movements that are
best for stretching your muscles and give you the best contractions don’t allow
you to use a ton of weight. That’s not the case with the one-arm barbell row. Just
throw some 45s on, and do your thing.

Fixes Imbalances

And what makes the one-arm barbell
row even better is that it is a great neuromuscular exercise. It will allow you
to equally grow both sides of your body. And by focusing on one arm at a time,
it is easier to feel the targeted muscles working throughout the exercise. This
awareness will lead to new neurological pathways, and ultimately new muscular
strength and size in your Lats.

Because of all its benefits, the
one-arm barbell row is my choice for the best Lat exercise. Start using them
first thing in your workouts, and your friends won’t be able to believe how big
your back has gotten. In my opinion, it is the impression you leave while you
are walking away that is more memorable than when someone first sees you. That
is, if you have a big back.

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