Want to stave off back and shoulder pain, fill out your T-shirts (and jeans) better, and build rock-hard abs, too?
Then you need to train your back muscles and your glutes. And you could do that with deadlifts and rows. Or you could do it with the Sumo Stance Deadlift to Mixed-Style Row, a combination move from Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., that’s designed to blast your entire posterior chain. “We incorporate lats, rhomboids, lower back extensors, glutes and hamstrings,” says Samuel. “That’s a host of underappreciate, underutilized muscle groups that we need to be strong. This move makes them strong and tests them in a real-world way.”
The Sumo Stance Deadlift to Mixed-Style Row puts you in the right position to challenge all these muscle groups. People often think of the bent-over row as an exercise that has you simply bending at the waste, and they forget to push their butt back and intentionally set up for the row, says Samuel. “That can lead to lower back pain, especially if you use that same form to, say, pick up a bunch of boxes on moving day,” says Samuel. “You need better, cleaner technique. We train that here.”
That’s because every single rep involves doing a deadlift to get into position for the row. And once you’re there, you maintain that position. “That challenges every core muscle you have, as well as hamstrings and glutes, to hold the position,” says Samuel. “That’s invaluable isometric work, and it’s also teaching you the precise posture you need to be strong and lift something up off the ground.”
From there, you focus on your lats (and challenge your core some more with the rowing sequence). It’s all a recipe for superb functional strength. And all you need are a pair of kettlebells or dumbbells.
The Sumo Stance Deadlift to Mixed Style Row fits in perfectly in a variety of workouts. It’s an ideal move to include on a total-body blast, especially if you’re short on time, since it incorporates glutes, hamstrings, and back muscles. It can also be a devastating finishing move in a back or pull workout, or on an upper body day. “And if you have time for just one exercise in the gym on a day,” says Samuel, “this is a strong contender to be that exercise. You’re hitting the key posterior chain muscles that you tend to neglect, so it’ll address your posture in ways you need, too.”
For more tips and routines from Samuel, check out our full slate of Eb and Swole workouts.
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