Today I did some paused rep chin ups, paused rep close grip push ups, and some bodyweight squats. I started the workout off with some ring rows- a really valuable and productive exercise that you can incorporate into your training.
The row trains the same musculature as the pull up and chin up- the upper back, lats, biceps, forearms and core. However, the range of motion is difference as is the strength curve, so these muscles get hit a little bit differently in the row than in pull ups and chin ups.
1) TIGHT CORE- your core should be tight, with no sag in the hips. You should be planked out hard. Think of it as a reverse push up.
2) Full range of motion (ROM). Arms need to completely straighten at the bottom of the row, and at the top of the row, try your best to bring the rings as close to your torso as possible.
3) Make sure you are trying to squeeze your shoulder blades together. This is known as scapular retraction. The row specializes in training this action, so don't cheat the movement by ignoring it.
Programming tips- Beginners who are unable to do pull ups or chin ups can start building strength in the pulling muscles by performing rows. Get really really good at these and it will help your pull up development.
Advanced athletes- use the row as either an assistance movement to target the upper back musculature AND/OR use it as a pull up alternative for a bit of extra recovery (excellent for when you are training pull ups with high frequency).