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Beginner Pull for Paleo Fitness: The Bodyweight Row

The bodyweight row is a horizontal pulling exercise. You can think of it almost as a reverse push-up. The row strengthens just about all the muscles of the back as well as the shoulders and biceps.

Furthermore, the row is easily scaled, like the push-up, simply by adjusting your angle. For an easier row, start more upright. To increase the difficulty, work your way into a more horizontal position.

Here’s how to do the bodyweight row:


Grab hold of a bar or a set of straps.

If using straps, tug on them to make sure they’re secure before leaning back.


While holding on to the bar or straps, lean back and adjust your stance until you find a challenging angle to work from.

Be sure to keep your back flat, your shoulders back (don’t let them pitch forward), and your armpits tight like you would in a swing. There should be a straight line running from the back of your head down through your tailbone, just as if you were in a push-up.


Start to row yourself up by driving your elbows down toward your hips.

At the finish, your hands should land in line with your sternum.

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