This article is from the Fitness FAQ, by Jeff Gleixner (email@example.com) with numerous contributions by others.
Basic Form: Don't swing the weight by using the lower back.
Concentrate on squeezing the shoulder blades together. Use
a thumbless grip.
Set-up: Hang from a pull-up bar with a wider than shoulder, palms
facing away from the body, using a thumbless grip.
Movement: Pull the body up, concentrating on the back doing the
work. Lean back slightly and touch mid chest to bar, or to
height of hands. Slowly lower down to the starting (hanging)
Adding Resistance: Weight belt or a weight held by the feet.
grip: The wider the grip the more work the Lats will do. A
narrow grip makes the biceps, forearms, and middle back
do more work.
Pronated: Moves the stress to the Back.
Supinated: Moves the stress to the Biceps.
Pull-downs: Same movement except the bar is being pulled down
instead of the body being pulled up.
- A close, palms up, grip hits the middle of the back.
Muscles Worked: Back "V-shape" (Latissimus Dorsi) and biceps
Set-up: Bend at the hips, keeping the trunk straight and firm with no
bending of the spine at the waist. Knees slightly bent, feet
shoulder width apart. Weight being held using a pronated,
thumbless grip (palms facing the legs).
Movement: Pull the weight to the chest, keeping the elbows out and
away from the body. Slowly lower weight, keeping the back
straight and horizontal throughout the movement. Squeeze
shoulder blades together at the top of the lift.
Keeping elbows in changes the stress to the Lats.
T-bar rows: A device with one end attached to the floor as a
One-arm dumbbell rows: Use one dumbbell with the same grip.
Opposite knee resting on bench, along with the opposite
hand. Pull dumbbell up without rotating upper body.
Seated cable rows: Done using a low pulley. Sit on floor with
feet secure, knees slightly bent. Pull handle to chest,
keep upright and avoid bending forward or backward to reduce
stress on lower back.
Muscles Worked: Back/sides of neck out to shoulders and tappering
down to mid back(Trapezius), Rear shoulder (Posterior deltoid)
CAUTION: These could cause lower back pain. Please start out
with very light weight and do them slow. If there is any
Set-up: Knees bent at about 90-degrees, shoulder width pronated
Movement: Slowly stand up, keeping back straight, head up and
the bar close to/touching the body. Return back to starting
position (watch the knees).
Adding Resistance: Dumbbells held in each hand or a barbell held
with an overhand grip. It is much safer to start with the
barbell already off the floor and at waist height. Don't
pick up or set down the weight with your legs straight.
Sumo: feet very wide, grip very narrow.
Stiff legged: see hamstrings.
Muscles Worked: Back (Lats), Deltoids, Quads
Set-up: Hands at waist level, shoulder width stance.
Movement: Raise shoulders straight up, try to touch ears. The
"I don't know" movement. Keep the head up and bring the shoulders
to the ears, don't bring the head down to the shoulders.
Don't roll the shoulders.
Dumbbells: Let them slide along the sides of the waist.
Barbell: Pronated grip, keep bar against body.
Muscles Worked: Trapezius "Traps"