The seated cable row is a staple exercise for a strong back. Cable rows work a variety of primary muscles: including your lats, middle back (rhomboids), and traps. Secondary muscles targeted include the biceps and posterior deltoids.

Start the movement by squeezing your shoulder blades together. Row and touch the bar to your chest with every repetition. Do not lean backward to cheat—you’ll put unnecessary stress on your lower back and leaning too far forward reduces the amount of tension on the target muscles. Different handles offer a variety of benefits. A wide-grip curved bar targets the rear delts and outer lats more, whereas an underhand EZ-bar will require the biceps to a greater extent.            

You shouldn’t underestimate the effectiveness of using a cable machine for your strength exercises, it creates a constant level of tension throughout the movement. The seated cable row is comparable to exercises like the dumbbell and barbell bent-over row. This makes it a great alternative for those who may not have free weights available or prefer exercise machines. There are so many exercise variations using this machine. We have listed a few below.

Exercise Variations

Seated One-Arm Cable Rows

Are done with a single-handed handle. Here you work each side of the back independently from the other.

Single-Arm Cable Row & Rotation

By adding a twist at the end of a row, you’ll fire your shoulder stabilizers to improve your health and add a lower-body component for more complexity.

Triceps Kickbacks single arm

This is an isolation exercise that targets the triceps. To get started: Place your left knee on the bench and right foot on the ground. Engage your triceps as you slowly extend your arm back as far as you can, keeping your arm in tight by your side. Hold your upper arm still, only moving your forearms during this movement. Repeat all the reps on one arm, then switch sides and repeat.

Seated Rope Cable Rows 

This exercise will help thicken your upper back. By using a rope the row will allow you to concentrate on the upper back. Take hold of the rope handles, place your feet firmly on the platform and let your arms extend all the way forward feeling a stretch in your lats.

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