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Strength Move for Walkers: Row

Improve your posture and walks with a stronger back.

By Michele Stanten

Ready to get stronger?

If you’re just joining us, feel free to jump right in. The key thing to know about strength training is you should do it at least twice a week, and with the SilverSneakers Million Pound Challenge, you have options. You can take a SilverSneakers class or other group fitness class that incorporates strength training, or try a new gym workout. Or you can follow along with me as I share one new strength move each week to help you build a five-move circuit by the end of the month.

So far, we’ve done the squat, bird dog, and bridge. This week’s move is the seated row with a resistance band, which targets your back. A stronger back will improve your posture, make walking feel easier, and help you look better. Here’s how to do it.

Step #1: Loop Band Around Feet

Sit tall on the floor, and loop the center of the band behind the soles of your feet. Extend your legs, but keep a slight bend in your knees.

Step #2: Pull Band Toward Body

Hold the band at arm’s length. Squeeze your shoulder blades and bend your elbows to pull your hands back toward your ribs. Pause, and extend your arms back to starting position. As you move, keep your abs nice and tight, and avoid leaning back. Keep your shoulders down, wrists straight, and elbows close to your body. Aim to do one to three sets of 10 to 15 reps.

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Make It Your Own

Like most exercises, you can—and should—customize the row to make it work for you. Try this:

  • To make it easier, give the band a little slack by moving your hands closer to the ends.
  • To make it harder, choke up on the band by moving your hands closer to the center.
  • To create your own circuit, do a set of squats, a set of bird dogs, a set of bridges, and then a set of rows. Repeat this circuit between three and five times for a four-move strength workout. Rest at least a minute between circuits.

Prefer a machine instead of a band? Here’s how to use the seated row machine.

Note: The exercises in this workout may be different or more advanced than those you’ll experience in a SilverSneakers class. Please consult your physician before beginning a physical activity program to make sure it’s safe for you.

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