Sure, you want a strong, broad back that can bear any load and stretch the limits of your shirt. But to protect against injury and enhance your overall mobility, you need more than muscle; you also need a flexible back.
Too many moves force you to choose one or the other. The TRX reach-row helps you get both. A favorite of MH fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., the flow starts with you stretching out, letting tight pectoral muscles open as you unfurl toward the floor. That’s the reach part. Then every muscle in your back (plus your glutes!) fires as you rotate up and reach forward, high on the TRX.
“You’re building muscle and improving upper-back flexibility all at once,” says Samuel. You’re crushing your abs more than you think, too, as they work to help you maintain control. Do 3 sets of 8 reps per side.
1. Grip It
Grasp the TRX handles with both hands. Lean back and release your left hand, straightening your right arm to support your weight. Squeeze your abs and glutes, working to keep your torso and thighs in a straight line. Reach your left arm forward so your torso is level.
2. Descend to a T
Extend your left armbehind you and reachfor the floor, creatinga T shape; continue tosqueeze your abs andglutes, keeping yourtorso and thighs in astraight line.
3. Reach and Rotate Up
Continue squeezingyour abs and glutesas you pull upward,rotating your chesttoward the TRX, andreach your left armas high up on theTRX as possible. Yourgoal is to touch thestrap while reachinghigh, stretching yourleft shoulder andchest. Hold and ownthis position.
4. Be a Square
Slowly let your right arm straighten, lowering your torso; lower only until your hips and shoulders are square. (You’ll need to contract your glutes and abs to do this.) Pause. That’s 1 rep.
This article originally appeared in the December 2020 issue of Men’s Health.