How To Do Helms Row Full Tips

+ Font Size -

This dumbbell row variation isn't well-known, but it has a number of advantages that are worth investigating. If you've been doing chest supported rows for a while, the current craze might be a little too much for you. Eric Helms (PhD) coined the Helms row in recent years. This is our comprehensive guide to everything you need to know.

How To Do Helms Row Full Tips


What is a helms row, and how do you execute it?

  • Place your chest on the end of a seat and cover it with a towel or something soft to protect it.
  • Around the nipple line, you want your chest to be in touch with the bench.
  • Maintain a tiny bend in your knees, but keep it to a minimum.
  • The back of your neck should be approximately parallel to the ground.
  • Focus on pushing your elbows back until you feel maximal tightness in the lats when you begin the exercise (read a study on why this matters).
  • Keep your scapula (shoulder blades) engaged and tight if you want to focus on lat activation.
  • Relax your shoulder blades while the weights are hanging down and then retract them when you begin the workout to achieve some trap activation.


Helms rowing drills

We should maintain our program in the upper rep range because this exercise is extremely isolated, with the bench inhibiting movement. Save your strength rep range for when your core and stabilization muscles can help with the load and keep you from injuring yourself.

  • We recommend doing 10 reps for 3–4 sets with a 1–2 minute rest in between.


Benefits of Helms Row

The chest-assist concept slows the game down and forces isolation.

It's usual for people to integrate some momentum into their dumbbell and barbell rows. You may have had a similar experience. For example, if I wanted to overdo the eccentric movement, I could use momentum (muscle lengthening). In most circumstances, though, we should merely use a weight that we can carry and perform the movement with proper form.

We can't use the range of muscles that would allow us to use momentum and essentially cheat the reps because we're leaning on our chest.


One of the easiest chest-assisted rows to set up is the Helms row.

Have you ever seen the guy at the gym performing barbell rows while lying face down on an incline bench? Their range of motion is very restricted, and it takes an aeon to set up.

Simply grab some dumbbells and head over to an incline bench to perform the Helms row. In most circumstances, a towel or anything soft for your chest is unnecessary.


Why do we get a better stretch with Helms than Pendlay?

The Pendlay row is incredibly explosive, it transfers well to the deadlift, and it puts less strain on your lower back than a barbell row because there is a break between reps.

Any barbell variants, however, must have a weight that is slightly in line with the mid-foot to ensure that we retain balance. We can get a wider stretch and range of motion on our lats because we don't have to do this with the Helms row.

Consider this: if we row a barbell straight from the floor like a Pendlay row, our humerus (upper arm bone) would have to travel further (more range of motion) if we moved the barbell 1 foot forward from our mid-foot (where it should be for proper form and safety). We wouldn't be able to move that weight forward with a standing barbell lift due to biomechanical limitations, but we can with the Helms row, getting a larger stretch and better range of motion.

As we’ve discussed, the lats are the main muscle in this movement. Responsible for pulling the humerus towards are body, this large muscle will move the majority of the load, with some help from the teres major which also performs this function (among others).


Disadvantages of Helms row

You can't create a strong back just by doing this workout.

Isolation has both positive and negative aspects. The Helms row is ideal for your lats if you've done your compound back workouts and are seeking for a nice accessory. However, because this exercise restricts movement, the other muscles in the back will not be stimulated and so will not expand.

Compound back exercises should be used to target all of the other muscles in the back.


Helms' rowing muscles were put to the test.

Lats (latissimus dorsi) - The main muscle of the back.

The traps (trapezius) will be worked nicely if you choose the Helms row option where you relax your shoulder blades and pull them out from the spine before contracting them at the commencement of the exercise. Variations on the Helms Row


Helmets with Dumbbells

Helmets with Barbells row

Use a barbell instead of dumbbells if dumbbells aren't working for you. The added stability provided by a barbell might make the action more manageable.


Alternatives to Helms Row

Row with a barbell

The barbell row is an excellent way to build muscle in the lats, traps, rear delts, teres major, and spinal erectors. To preserve your lower back, I would avoid any additional standing barbell movements if you're planning to add this exercise to your back or pull session.


High-pull cable

We can't ignore the cable high pull, which is a favorite of Athlean X's Jeff Cavalier. It's a useful, athletic movement that we can readily add extra weight to. Furthermore, unlike the Helms row, we can use the complete range of motion.


Pull-ups are a form of resistance training.

This is a timeless classic that should be a part of your daily routine. This is the first of my back day's exercises. It's quite functional, involving a large range of muscles from all over the body.

To avoid damage and increase activation, lean back slightly and attack the bar with your chest.


Is it true that Pendlay rows are superior?

It's easy to recover from the pendlay row.

The pendlay is performed with fewer repetitions and an overload of the back musculature because it is a power exercise. This provides for higher volume and recovery in training, allowing you to do more sets and reps of other back exercises in your workout.

write a comment