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  • Writer's pictureKeep It Moving PT & Wellness

Week 48: Gorilla Row

Exercise: Gorilla Row

Purpose: Gorilla Row is designed to engage and strengthen various muscle groups simultaneously, focusing on hip hinging, core stabilization, and scapular stabilization. By targeting these areas, it enhances overall functional strength and movement mechanics.

What It Targets: The exercise primarily targets the core muscles including the Transverse Abdominis, Obliques, Rectus Abdominis, Quadratus Lumborum, and Lumbar Erector Spinae. Additionally, it stretches and loads the Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius, Gluteus Minimus, Hip Rotators, and Hamstrings.


  1. Begin by standing with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand.

  2. Hinge at the hips to bend forward, maintaining a straight spine and keeping the core engaged.

  3. Allow the dumbbells to hang in front of you with arms fully extended.

  4. Pull the dumbbells towards your ribcage by retracting your shoulder blades, keeping your elbows close to your body.

  5. Squeeze your back muscles at the top of the movement, then slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.

  6. Repeat as prescribed.

Main Cues:

  • Focus on maintaining a flat back throughout the movement to avoid rounding or arching

  • Keep the core engaged to stabilize the spine.

  • Pull the dumbbells towards your ribcage using your back muscles, rather than relying solely on arm strength.

Common Compensations/Adverse Effects:

  • Rounding of the lower back

Correction: Place an object (a yoga block or a ball) on your low back to serve as an external cue to avoid rounding or overarching your back. Do not let the ball drop.

  • Tension in the neck and shoulders:

Correction: Relax the neck and shoulders, focusing on engaging the back muscles.

  • Pain in the mid or lower back

Correction: Reduce the weight or range of motion if necessary, and ensure proper form and core stabilization.

Why We Love It:

  • It effectively targets multiple muscle groups, promoting strength and stability in key areas for functional movement

  • It teaches proper hip hinge mechanics, which are essential for various activities and exercises

  • It can be easily adjusted for different fitness levels by modifying the weight used

*Disclaimer: Not all exercises are suitable for everyone, and participation in novel activities may increase the risk of adverse effects such as pain, soreness, or injury. Please consult with your Physician or a local Physical Therapist prior to attempting any exercise you feel uncomfortable performing. If adverse reactions occur, discontinue performance of the exercise and consult your physician or trusted clinician for evaluation.

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Burlington, MA 01803

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