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Seated Cable Rows

What Is A Seated Cable Row

How To Do A Seated Cable Row

The seated cable row is performed on a horizontal fixed cable machine with a bench and footplates, which can be found in most gym. This exercise primarily targets the lats, trapezius, and rhomboids, and biceps also worked.

The use of a cable machine provides a more stable movement path than free weights which can help to target the upper back more effectively. Cable machines also place the muscle under constant tension as there is no centre of gravity to assist like with the eccentric part of a free weight row.

The seated cable row variation places little emphasis on the lower back and can be a suitable row variation for those prone to lower back issues or who struggle to maintain a neutral spine in other rows, or simply want to isolate the upper back more.

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Commonly Asked Questions On Seated Cable Row

  • The seated cable row primarily strengthens the upper back, with the lats, traps, rear delts, and rhomboids all worked. The core and biceps are also engaged.

    Different attachments place more emphasis on different muscle groups. A wide grip engages the traps and rhomboids more, while using an underhand grip works the biceps more.

  • The seated cable row is a compound exercise as it uses both the elbow and multiple shoulder joints. Compound exercises are an efficient way to build strength in several muscles at once and should make up the bulk of your training programme.

  • Seated cable rows are a horizontal pulling exercise and work the mid and lower traps. Using a wide grip places a greater focus to these muscles.

Seated Cable Row Tips

A common mistake made in the seated cable row is excessively leaning the torso forwards or back to help move a greater load, however this stops the intended muscle groups from moving the load! It’s important to remain mainly upright throughout the exercise to keep the focus on the upper back. The shoulders and upper back will naturally come forwards during the eccentric portion of the row, but this shouldn’t be forced or exaggerated. If you’re unable to move the weight with control and without use of momentum, lighten the load.

How To Do A Seated Cable Row

  1. Choose your preferred grip and attach it to the cable machine. Sit on the bench and place your feet firmly on the foot pads with your knees bent.

  2. Sit upright with a neutral spine, then hinge at the hips and extend your arms to grab the attachment with both hands, then find your upright seated position again and brace your core.

  3. Slowly extend the arms to allow the attachment to travel back to the cable machine, stopping when your arms are fully extended.

  4. Row the handle towards your belly button. It can be helpful to think about pulling your elbows towards the hips and squeezing the shoulder blades together.

  5. Return the grip to the starting position by allowing your arms to extend in front of you.

If you’re not sure if any of the above exercises are suitable for you, please consult your doctor before you start it. Need guidance on how to perform the exercise? Ask a personal trainer at your gym.