Why Do I Feel Rows In My Biceps? All The Answers For Rapid Progress
You may have noticed recently that when you are doing rows, you are feeling them more in your biceps for some reason.
This leads you to ask ” why do I feel rows in my biceps”
There are a few potential reasons this may be happening, and it’s worth investigating so you can improve your form and make sure you’re engaging the right muscles.
Why do I feel rows in my biceps?
There are a few reasons why you might feel rows in your biceps. It could be due to tightness in the muscles, you are gripping the handle too tight or your thumbs are making you activate your biceps too much. Maybe you are pulling with your hands as opposed to pulling with your elbows? If you aren’t retracting your scapula or have general poor form, this could also be a reason. Try to relax your grip and make sure you aren’t going too heavy, which will compromise your form and make you feel rows in your biceps. Changing the handle you pull with could help take the movement away from your biceps and back to your lats. Pulling at the wrong angle may also be a reason, make sure the handle is in line with your torso so you can maintain good form. If all of these fail, it could be that you have biceps tendonitis, in which case you should see a doctor.
One of the common reasons why you might be feeling rows in your biceps is that you are gripping the handle too tight.
This puts unnecessary tension on your biceps, which can lead to pain and discomfort.
This will also put extra tension up your arms, shoulders and neck, which can lead to other issues such as headaches.
Try to relax your grip on the handle and see if this makes a difference. If it does, then you know that was the issue.
Instead, try to relax your grip and focus on scapula movement using your back muscles to do the work.
Take thumbs off
Another potential issue could be that your thumbs are doing too much work.
If you find that you are gripping the handle with your thumbs, this can put unnecessary strain on your biceps.
This leads back to the fact you are gripping too tight in the first place. The solution to this is to take your thumbs off the handle and use a different grip.
You can try a pistol grip or an overhand grip. This will help take the pressure off your biceps and allow you to focus on using your back muscles, whilst also pulling with your elbows.
Change angle of pull
The angle at which you are pulling the weight can also be a factor.
If you are pulling at too high of an angle, this can put extra strain on your biceps as you won’t be isolating your lats and increasing the use of your biceps to pull the weight towards you.
Instead, you want to focus on pulling at a lower angle, which will help target your back muscles more.
Do this by keeping your elbows tucked in, while you pull the weight with your elbows as opposed to pulling with your hands.
You may or may not have heard it before, but think of the movement as pulling with your elbows and using your hands only as hooks that are connected to the weight.
This will encourage you to activate your scapula and use your back muscles more.
The type of handle you are using can also play a part in why you might be feeling rows in your biceps.
If you are using a traditional knuckle-to-knuckle narrow grip handle, this can put more strain on your biceps if you have the wrong form and are gripping with your thumbs, as opposed to using a different grip such as an overhand grip or a pronated grip with a wider bar.
This is because the narrow grip handle puts your biceps in a position where they may have to work harder to stabilise the weight.
Whereas with an overhand grip or pronated grip, your biceps are in a more relaxed position and can assist with the movement without having to bear the brunt of the weight.
Your form could be the reason why you are feeling rows in your biceps.
There are a few things to focus on here, such as retracting your scapula and keeping good form throughout the movement.
One of the main things to focus on is making sure that you are using your back muscles to do the work, as opposed to your biceps.
Let’s look at a few ways to improve your form…
If you are using the regular narrow grip handle, one of the main things to focus on is keeping your elbows tucked in when you are doing the row.
This will help to target your back muscles more, as well as take the emphasis off your biceps.
To do this, you want to make sure that you are pulling and leading with your elbows and not using your hands to do the work.
Your hands should be in a position where they are only acting as hooks that are attached to the weight.
This will help to keep your form in check and ensure that you are using the correct muscles to do the work.
Not retracting scapula
Another common issue that people have is not retracting their scapula when they are doing the row.
This can lead to poor form and put more strain on your biceps, as they will have to work harder to stabilise the weight.
To fix this, you want to make sure that you are retracting your scapula when you are doing the row.
This will help to keep your back muscles engaged and take the pressure off your biceps.
It is also important to make sure that you are not rounding your back when you are doing the row, as this can lead to injury.
Keep your back straight and focus on using your back muscles to do the work.
When lifting or attempting to lift a heavy weight, our body will naturally tense up in order to be able to lift the weight.
However, if you are putting too much tension on your body, this can lead to poor form and put more strain on your biceps.
To fix this, you want to focus on relaxing your body and using just enough tension to be able to lift the weight.
This will help to prevent your body from tensing up too much and will allow you to maintain good form.
Another common issue that people have is using momentum to lift the weight, as opposed to using their back muscles.
Doing this can lead to poor form and put more strain on your biceps and other muscles that shouldn’t necessarily be used for the exercise, which can in turn lead to injury.
To fix this, you want to make sure that you are not using momentum to lift the weight and that you are using your back muscles to do the work.
You can do this by ensuring that you are not swinging the weight and that you are moving at a controlled pace.
Using full range of motion
If you are not using the full range of motion with your row, this can lead to poor form and put more strain on your biceps.
To fix this, you want to make sure you are moving through the entire range of motion.
You can do this by ensuring that your elbows are fully extended at the bottom of the row and that they are at 90º at the top of the row.
When rowing, some people sit too close to the weight, limiting their range of motion.
To overcome this, make sure you are far enough away from the weight so that you can fully utilise your range of motion.
Alternatively, if you have any mobility issues, this may restrict your ability to row the weight with a full ROM, which in turn may make your biceps work harder to move the weight.
In this case, you may need to seek out medical help to resolve the issue or spend a lot of time doing mobility exercises to help increase ROM in the area of concern.
If you are going too heavy with the weight, this can lead to poor form and put more strain on your biceps.
If you want to correct this issue, use a weight that challenges yourself, but don’t put too much strain on your body by going beyond what you’re able to handle.
A recommended method to maintain control of the load is to use a lighter weight. This will enable you to use better form and overall movement during your lifts.
It is also important to make sure that you are not using momentum to lift the weight and that you are using your back muscles to do the work.
You can do this by ensuring that you are not swinging the weight and that you are moving at a steady and controlled pace.
Mind muscle connection
When you are doing any type of exercise, it is important to have a mind-muscle connection.
This means that you are focusing on the muscle that you are trying to work.
To avoid using your biceps too much, focus on rowing with your back muscles.
You can do this by making sure that you are not using momentum to lift the weight and that you are using your lat muscles to do the work.
You can also try focusing on squeezing your shoulder blades at the top of the row.
Visualising the exercise and the muscles required to execute the movement can also help with the mind-muscle connection.
Weak or injured lats and muscles compensating
If you have weak or injured latissimus dorsi muscles, this can cause your biceps to work harder to move the weight.
In this case, you want to focus on strengthening your lats so that they can take more of the load.
You can do this by doing lat exercises with resistance bands or very light weights until you are able to go heavier.
You can also try using a rowing machine, which can help to strengthen your lats without putting too much strain on them.
Once your lats are stronger, they will be able to take more of the load and your biceps will not have to work as hard.
In addition, if you have weak or injured muscles in other areas, they may also be compensating for the lats.
This can lead to poor form and put more strain on your biceps.
To fix this, you must also pay attention to strengthening the weak muscles so that they can help lift the load, while also giving any injuries time to heal with plenty of rest.
These are some of the most common reasons why you may feel rows in your biceps.
If you are having this issue, make sure to focus on using proper form, going at a controlled pace, and using a weight that is challenging but not too heavy.
You can also try focusing on the mind-muscle connection and visualising the movement to help target the correct muscles.
Finally, if you have weak muscles, focus on strengthening them.
Have you felt rows in your biceps recently, did you get back on track? Let me know in the comments section below.