As promised, here’s the seated row. I will say that I highly recommend (in fact, can’t recommend it highly enough!) that you first practice the arm movements in front of a mirror. You might swear on a stack of Bibles that you are keeping your shoulders down, but upon further inspection will discover that they are up around your ears. So practice where you can see yourself.
If you have trouble locating the rhomboids and squeezing them, have a friend or loved one poke a finger between your shoulder blades so that you can then try to squeeze it. I’m not speaking figuratively here. I mean literally have someone poke you between the shoulder blades. When I first started doing this exercise, I could not find these muscles to save my life. I think a butterfly flapping it’s wings had more strength than I had in my rhomboids. With practice, I got better and so can you.
I say it in the video, but I’ll say it again here. It is helpful to do this exercise first without any weight or band at all so that you can locate the muscles. Isometric contractions (where you just hold a contraction, the muscles don’t change length — an example would be making a fist and squeezing your hand closed as tightly as you can for a few seconds, then relaxing) actually engage more muscle fibers than either concentric (where muscles grow shorter) or eccentric (where muscles grow longer) contractions. So if at the beginning, all you’re doing is squeezing your shoulder blades together and releasing; squeezing and releasing — that’s not a bad thing. It will help you perfect your form. You do have to move beyond that eventually, however, and start using some resistance.
The other thing I forgot to say in the video is that you want to think of keeping your chest somewhat lifted when you do the move.
If you want to make this more challenging for yourself, you can do this while seated on an exercise ball. If working on the a little too difficult for you, you can try extending your legs and pushing the balls of your feet against the baseboard of the wall. It will help you stay in one spot. (If you’re on a ball, when you pull the bands the ball is going to want to roll forward/move you closer to the wall. If your feet are pressing into the baseboard, it will keep you in one spot.) Ready for more of a challenge? Keep your feet flat on the floor. Your core muscles and your hamstrings will get a workout in their effort to keep you stabilized.
If you need resistance bands, here’s a link to THERA-BAND’s 5ft set of all 8 Resistance Colors. Notice once you get there, that you can also navigate around and just get one band for much less. Here’s a chart to help you decide which strength band is right for you, but I personally would probably get all 8 because if you keep training, you’re going to very quickly (hopefully) outgrow your weenie little yellow band in terms of your strength. See this post regarding the strengths of the different bands.
As with any new exercise regimen, check with your doctor first.