human movement: pull part 2
Welcome back. Let's move into the rowing movement. An effective free-standing rowing exercise is the bent-over barbell/dumbbell row. This is great for back AND trunk development. I guarantee that the abs and lower back are totally contracted while in the rowing stance.
In addition to free weights, resistance bands are ideal for rowing because they also challenge your trunk stability and overall balance. You row while standing, so your abs and glutes are engaged. Simply affix the band to a secure anchor at any height, position yourself at a challenging distance, and pull the handles toward you.
A decent alternative is the seated cable row. Though a machine exercise, you must maintain a straight torso by engaging all of your trunk stability muscles. And that's a good thing!
To sum it up, avoid back machines that dictate your hand position, posture, the plane of motion, and the manner in which your joints flex and extend. Machine exercises that feel OK now can certainly lead to joint pain in the future and fail to maximize human performance outside of the gym.
Make it a great day!