Pronated Bent-Over Row
Start: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees bent 15 to 30 degrees. Keep your torso straight with a slight arch in your back as you lean forward at the hips. Try to get your torso close to parallel to the floor. Grab the barbell off the floor with a false (thumbs in line with the rest of your fingers) overhand grip that’s slightly wider than shoulder width. Let the bar hang at arm’s length in front of you.
Finish: Retract your shoulder blades to start pulling the bar up to the lower part of your sternum (breastbone). (Imagine that your arms are just along for the ride; otherwise, you’ll use them as the prime movers and get less of a workout for your middle-back muscles.) Pause at the top, with your chest sticking out toward the bar. Slowly return to the starting position. Try to keep your torso in the same position throughout the movement. (That’s the purpose of the bent knees—they provide the suspension your torso needs to remain steady.)
Supinated Bent-Over Row
Start: This row puts your biceps in a stronger position, allowing them to help out with the exercise. That means you can start with a little more weight on the barbell than you’d use for the pronated bent-over row. Assume the same stance, but hold the bar directly under your shoulders with an underhand, full (thumbs opposing your fingers) grip.
Finish: Pull the bar to your navel, pause, then return to the starting position.
Start: Wrap one end of the bar in an old towel and stuff it into a corner. If you have something heavy—a dumbbell or sandbag—to put over the bar to steady it, use it. Before you load the other end of the bar, wrap a workout towel around it. (If you have a triangular handle for cable rows or lat pulldowns, that’s an even better tool to put on the bar.) Then load the end with 25-pound or lighter plates—bigger ones will restrict your range of motion. Straddle the bar so that you face away from the corner, and grab the ends of the towel or the handle with a neutral grip. Get into the starting position described for the other rows, with your posture a bit more upright and your elbows in closer to your torso.
Finish: Pull the bar up until your hands touch your abdomen. Pause, then slowly return to the starting position. Keep your knees bent, your back slightly arched, and your elbows close to your torso throughout.
Start: Set the barbell on the floor, perpendicular to one end of a bench. Lie on the bench with your head at the end by the bar. Reach back and grab the bar with a full, overhand grip that’s just a bit narrower than shoulder width. Lift the bar over your upper chest, with your elbows slightly bent. Set your feet on the floor or bench, whichever you prefer.
Swiss-Ball EZ-Curl Pullover
Holding the EZ-curl bar, lie with your head, neck, and upper back in contact with a Swiss ball. Bridge your hips up so they’re parallel to the floor and your knees are bent 90 degrees. Then extend your arms directly over your chest. From this position, do standard pullovers with-out letting your hips dip below the level of the ball.