Today's body weight exercise- the inverted row- is an alternative to the seated row, which requires some kind of machine or pulley system to perform- and also the bent-over row which is a traditional barbell lift used to develop the large back muscles called the latissimus dorsi (lats). The seated row and bent-over row are demonstrated all over the internet so I won't spend any time describing them here.
The inverted row is an exercise that develops many muscles including lats, rhomboids, trapezius, biceps, rear deltoid, and the rotator cuff muscles. There is also focus on the core abdominal and lower lumbar areas used to stabilize the upper body during repetitions.
The exercise is performed by laying under a supported bar and doing a "pull up". The bar can be raised or lowered to adjust for the angle that the body is held in during the repetition - thus changing the emphasis on certain muscle groups accordingly. Be sure to retract (squeeze together) the shoulder blades to engage the back muscles prior to pulling yourself upward with your arms.
It's important to transfer the load properly by using your muscles in the correct sequence. This is true for any exercise.
Please view the links below to view two versions on the inverted row and give them a try. If you don't have the equipment available you just may need to join our dojo London Shido-kan Karate
*if you any doubts about your ability to perform this or any other exercise- or if you have sustained any type of injury- particularly in the back or neck region- contact your physician or qualified physio-therapist to receive medical clearance before attempting this exercise.