Seated Bat Wing Row

When it comes to Super Heroes, my absolute favorite is Batman. He’s a Good Guy vigilante who is pretty nerdy, likes to have fun, and has some really cool toys.  Some say he’s not a ‘super’ hero, as he is powerless without his gizmos and gadgets.  I prefer that over the magic and mythology that we like to believe in.  (I’m looking at you, Glenn Beck.)

Batman needs to do a bit more training than other heroes, seeing as he’s not full of Adamantium, and based on his performance profile, I bet the guy has some pretty messed up shoulders.  Think about it, he flies around in a wing-suit, he throws tiny bat boomerangs, and he swings and climbs on ropes.  He’s a prime candidate for extra upper back work!

If Batman could pick one upper back exercise to include in his programming, I’m certain he’d pick the Bat Wing Row.  Dan John has written about ‘Bat Wings’ as an ideal exercise to Awaken Your Rhomboids, and they’ve received the Ben Bruno treatment as Rows/Curls and Rows/Rear Delt Flys.  (Those guys are smart. Seriously.)

Today, I’d like to share a variation for one of the most popular rowing exercises done at the gym, the seated row.


I like this variation because it keeps you honest with posture.  The technique doesn’t allow you to rock back and forth, which most people tend to do during a seated row.  During this variation, you’ll want to “sit back” and “get tall” throughout the set.  Start the exercise by driving both elbows behind your back, and think of this as the home position for your hands throughout the set.  Alternate which arm is moving, but make sure you return home before allowing the other arm to move.

The extra tension in the upper back certainly sneaks up on you, and I’d advise you to start with as little as 30% of what you row with two hands.  This variation could be great at the end of your workout to finish off your back training, or at the beginning to remind you to keep your shoulders down and back.  However you use it, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.  Leave a comment and let me know what you think!


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