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Boost your upper body like Hilary Swank with standing rows


How to master standing rows like Hilary Swank Pin It
Photo: Instagram/@hilaryswank

Searching for a workout that targets your entire upper body, and also angling for some defined Hilary Swank–esque biceps? Try standing rows using a cable machine, one of the Oscar-winning actress’ go-to moves.

In a recent Instagram video, Swank showed off her skills on the machine, and good news: It’s a move that’s easy enough for anyone to follow, whether you’re an gym-going newbie or straight-up workout warrior. Plus, according to one personal trainer, the simple exercise will leave you sore all over (in the best way).

A post shared by Hilary Swank (@hilaryswank) on

“This exercise is great for multiple muscle groups, specifically the back, shoulders, biceps, and even your core,” personal trainer Danielle Natoni told Self.

So how exactly should you go about these standing rows? Natoni said there are two ways: Either hold the two handles in front of you, à la Swank, or use a straight-bar attachment to pull with both hands. Stand in front of the machine, situate your feet hip-width apart, and go into a squat position. Then, slowly pull in, toward your body, keeping your palms up, elbows in, and core tight. As you release, flip your palms to be face-down.

“Be sure to pause for a moment as you squeeze through the backs of your shoulder blades. A common mistake with this exercise is going fast through the movements.” —Danielle Natoni, personal trainer

“Be sure to pause for a moment as you squeeze through the backs of your shoulder blades,” Natoni said. “A common mistake with this exercise is going fast through the movements. Doing this doesn’t allow for the muscles to get the full benefit of the exercise, and it could cause the cables to pull you out of proper alignment.”

With this one, slow and steady wins the biceps. And if you really want to sweat like Swank, maybe give boxing a shot, like the Million Dollar Baby actress did in her knockout star turn.

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