This 1-Arm CrossFit Exercise Is Helping Me Get Stronger Shoulders So I Can Nail Pull-Ups

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If you’re working on getting better at pull-ups (like me!), doing the common CrossFit exercise called ring rows with a set of rings or a TRX is one of the best exercises you can do to build your upper-body strength.

One day in my CrossFit class, the coach had us do this variation with just one arm. Jade Jenny, head Level 1 CrossFit coach and owner of Champlain Valley CrossFit said it’s important to do single arm or leg work in order to see your body’s weakness and so you can work on getting stronger.

Single-Arm Ring Row

  • Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, holding a ring (or TRX handle) in your right hand, palm facing in.
  • Walk your feet forward until your body is at a 45-degree angle to the floor, with your right arm fully extended and your body in one straight line. I like to extend the left arm to keep my shoulders facing forward.
  • To make this harder, walk your feet further forward so your shoulders are even closer to the ground. The advanced version of this would be to have your body parallel to the floor with your feet resting on a box.
  • With your core stabilized and your legs straight, with either your feet or heels planted on the floor, bend your right elbow behind you, keeping it close to your body, and pull your right shoulder toward your right hand.
  • Straighten your arm to lower your torso, completing one rep.
  • Complete the same number of reps on each side.
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