If you don’t know what the rhomboids are, you better get out under that rock you’re living under because rhomboids baby, make the back look incredible! The rhomboid minor and the rhomboid major are a pair of upper-back muscles which are hidden by the trapezius.
Although these are smaller muscles in your back, a little pop in these muscles is what really gets the gym crowd staring. Most back exercises work several muscles at once, so going to focus on two key exercises which work the rhomboids.
To perform the following exercises, you would need:
- resistance band ( if you’re in the gym, you can also use the cable machine )
The rhomboid exercises
Reverse grip, dumbbell row
- stand tall with your feet together, slightly lean forward keeping your core engaged and your back flat
- hold a dumbbell in each hand, with your arms fully extended, palms in front of your hips/thighs facing away from your body (reverse grip)
- bend both elbows together, raising the dumbbells slowly towards your belly button
- slowly lower the weight
Bent over, single arm, dumbbell row
- place your left hand on the wall for support ( you can also lean onto a high bench ) and stand with your legs staggered ( if you’re working the right side,
- stand with the right foot back )
- hold a dumbbell in your right hand, with your arm fully extended and your palm facing your body
- from here, use those rhomboids and pull the weight up, bending your elbow to a 90°
- slowly release
- Each dumbbell adjusts from 5 to 52.5 pounds; adjusts in 2.5-pound increments up to the first 25 pounds
- Lets you rapidly switch from one exercise to the next
Single arm, kettlebell reverse fly
- hold a kettlebell in your right hand with your palm facing your body, stand with your feet together, knees bent and push your hips back
- lean your upper body forward, keeping a flat back
- position your left hand on your left knee
- extend your right arm so the kettlebell is in front of your knee/shin
- with a slight bend in your elbow, lift your arm out towards your side as high as you can ( until about shoulder height ) and slowly release
Single arm, alternating, kettlebell row
- begin standing with your feet together, holding a kettlebell in each hand
- lean forward, engage your core and keep your back flat
- extend your arms and allow the kettlebells to “hang” in front of your knees
- working with one side at a time, bend your elbow to a 90 degree and pull the kettlebell up towards the ceiling, keeping your elbow along your side
- slowly lower and then immediately complete a rep on the opposite side
Kettlebell renegade row
- using two kettlebells, get down on the floor into a high plank position holding a kettlebell in each hand
- throughout the entire exercise, keep your core engaged and your back as flat as possible
- working with one arm at a time, bend your elbow, lift the kettlebell up off the ground while squeezing your rhomboids
- slowly release and immediately complete a rep on the opposite side
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Standing resisted reverse fly
- hold a resistance band handle in each hand, standing on the centre of the band
- keep your palms facing each other and fully extend your arms, holding the handles in front of your hips
- slightly lean forward, keeping your core engaged and back flat
- keeping a slight bend in your elbow, open both arms together, pulling against resistance, lifting your elbows towards the ceiling
- slowly release
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Some of these rows ( minus the renegade, alternating and supported rows ) can be performed with a barbell. Also, if the exercise shows single arm, you could still use both arms,.
Doing something as simple as changing your grip, or performing exercises on one side of the body at a time, is a great way to switch up your workouts and help better your results by avoiding a plateau. Don’t forget you can change-up your tempo too!
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