Exercises for Fighters: Single Arm Row

By Corey Beasley

We've discussed the importance of pulling strength a lot. Whether you are a grappler or fighter, developing pulling strength is essential for any combat athlete. Below you'll find a handful of single arm rowing exercises that we use with our athletes. They are organized from easy --> advanced, so anyone can choose the exercise that best fits their ability level.


Exercises for Fighters: Single Arm Row


1. Quad Row (foundation)

Single Arm Row

Many people struggle to get in, and stay in the correct position to do a single arm row. The quad row keeps the hips and shoulders square, while allowing the athlete to get their spine parallel to the floor. This is a great place to start for inexperienced lifters.


2. Square Stance Row (foundation-intermediate)

Square Stance Row

Feet square, knees bent, spine neutral, hand supported on a bench or rack. Maintain good posture, keeping the hips and shoulders square throughout the movement.


3. Plank Row (intermediate)

Plank Row

Similar to the square stance, but you simply move the feet back until the athlete's body is straight. Keep the body straight from the heels to the top of the head and perform each row. Do not allow the head to drop, knees to bend or any slump in the hips or torso. This is really challenges the trunk to maintain tension while pulling.

4. Split Stance Row (advanced)

Split Stance Row

Feet split long ways, with the back leg fully extended and the glute locked in throughout the movement. Lean forward, while maintaining good posture and perform each row. The key here is to get low and create a solid base to pull from. Without the supporting hand, this becomes very challenging for many. You're forced to isometrically hold the split squat, maintain posture, resist rotation and pulling the weight.

No matter what exercise we are performing, it is important to use regressions (easier) and progressions (harder) to challenge the athlete at their ability level. We tend to see a lot of videos on social media and want to try them, but by using the appropriate exercise allows us to tax the body, without getting hurt.  Give these single arm rows a try and let us know how it works out for ya.

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