A helm is the wheel at the front of a ship that requires incredible arm strength to operate. A helms row is a great way to build those same muscles while also keeping your posture and shoulders healthy. It’s an excellent addition to a back day or even a push-pull routine as a secondary movement.
The main difference between a chest-supported row and the classic barbell row is that your shoulders are resting on the bench rather than your hips. The slight support allows you to push it much harder than you could with a barbell and can add a new level of intensity to the exercise.
Some people will make the mistake of going too heavy and that can easily compromise your form. A heavy weight can also force you to use your biceps and shoulders more than your lats, which is not ideal.
Other mistakes include not bringing your body down to the floor with each rep and using too much momentum. Even if you are the most strict lifter, some amount of body motion is unavoidable. It may not be a big deal for some exercises but for others it can take away from the muscle activation.
Avoid these mistakes and helms row will be an effective exercise for your shoulders, back and rhomboids. It is especially good for those with weak rotator cuff muscles in the back of the shoulder, which can lead to injuries. You can also superset it with a set of light cable flies or face pulls to increase the volume of your back workout.