It’s not often you see a dumbbell exercise that takes such a straightforward twist to the traditional row and ends up being one of the best back exercises around. But that’s exactly what the helms row does. This variation of the row is great for targeting the lower traps and lats but also gives a nice, full-body stretch that can be hard to get with other chest supported rows such as incline bench presses.
The helms row also targets the rhomboids and teres major muscles, helping you to build a strong, stable core. It’s a great exercise to use in your workouts to help improve posture and prevent injuries such as shoulder impingement.
In terms of how to use helms row in your training, I like to place it towards the end of a back day. This is because it hits the back muscle, latissimus dorsi, in a different way to other rowing exercises such as the dumbbell prone seated row and the barbell seated row, which are more focused on the traps and biceps respectively.
The helms row is also a good option to pair with a dumbbell single-arm row. This works the same muscle groups as the helms row but adds some additional arm and shoulder work. The helms row can also be used to superset with other back exercises such as the incline bench press or seated cable rows, which are more focused on the upper back and shoulders.