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4 Row Variations That Will Build a Stronger Back

These exercises can help you sit, stand, and move with better posture—and less pain.

row variations

Imagine if one exercise was powerful enough to help banish pain in your upper back and shoulders. What if it could also help you avoid or correct a hunched-over posture?

You’re in luck. There is such a move: the row. And it’s one of the best exercises for older adults.

Based on the movement of rowing a boat, the row is a pulling exercise that helps fix your posture. It strengthens the muscles in your upper back that are often neglected, but it also works your shoulders, biceps, triceps, and even your core.

By adding the row to your exercise rotation, you’ll help balance the front and back of your body, making it easier to keep your torso upright.

In fact, pulling exercises like the row are the antidote to everyday activities—hovering over smartphones, slouching in chairs—that pull your shoulders and upper back forward, says SilverSneakers fitness expert David Jack.

Plus, the row is a beginner-friendly exercise. You can start with the seated row machine, which will guide you through the movement. Or you can do a seated row in a chair with a resistance band.

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