Exercise of the Week: Single-Arm Towel Manual Resistance Row

Every Wednesday, STACK features an Exercise of the Week to help you improve your overall sports performanceincluding strength, speed, conditioning and flexibility. This week we highlight the Single-Arm Towel Manual Resistance Row, an upper body power exercise that develops strength in the back.

Who's Doing It

  • Devin Harris

Muscular Benefits

  • Increases strength in the back muscles—traps, rhomboids and lats
  • Increases biceps and forearm strength
  • Improves core stability by maintaining an upright and stable body position
  • Offsets too much focus on chest exercises by developing balanced upper body strength

Sports Performance Benefits

  • Develops overall back strength, which allows you to execute skills safely and powerfully without limitations
  • Improves the ability to pull powerfully, as when leaping to catch a pass or grab a rebound
  • Decreases risk of injury by strengthening key upper back and scapula stabilizing muscles

Single-Arm Towel Manual Resistance Description

  • Assume seated position across from partner with legs spread in a V and feet pressing against partner's feet
  • Hold towel in hand with arm extended in front and partner holding opposite end
  • Pull forcefully against towel to perform row
  • Extend arm in front to start position; repeat for specified reps
  • Perform set with opposite arm

Sets/Reps: 2x8 each arm with two-minute rest

Coaching Points

  • Hold towel with firm grip
  • Keep chest up and back flat
  • Drive elbow back until hand is even with chest
  • Have partner maintain constant resistance on towel


Andy Haley Andy Haley - Andy Haley is the Performance Director at STACK. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Miami University...
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