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If your focus and intention are in the right place, but you're still not feeling it, the problem could be your exercise selection. Different exercises are suited to different individuals, and some will allow you to feel your back working harder than others.
If you don't feel it, try playing around with your grip. Try another angle. Try slowing it down and focusing on the squeeze.
Inverted rows are often done using an overhand grip, a lack of controlled tempo, and no regard for creating whole-body tension. Try switching to an underhand grip.
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If you can't feel an exercise working the intended area or feel pain doing it, why are you still using it? For building muscle, particularly in an area where you lack awareness, internal cues that help you focus on sensation will be important.
Swap your big 45-pound plates for some with a smaller diameter. Go a little lighter, and focus on keeping your forearms as close to your inner thighs as possible when you row. You'll have more range of motion, a more intense contraction through your upper back, and your lower back will remain int...
Certain exercises can enhance your awareness of the muscles working in a particular area. For your middle and upper back – the traps and rhomboids – isometrics in the peak contracted (maximally shortened) position tend to work best.
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