Seated Cable Row

Seated cable row is one of the key exercise for building back. It is basically another variation of rowing exercise. Other row variation is done with dumbbell and barbell. Rowing exercise is the mass builder for back. While dumbbell and barbell row is done against the gravity, seated cable row has a pulling setup where the weight is pulled through a set of pulley. It is easily available and easy to learn exercise.

Cable Row Muscles Worked

Being a back exercise, the main working muscle is your Lats, latissimus dorsi. It is a functional exercise as it mimics our everyday movement. Whenever you pull something towards yourself, you are engaging the same muscles you work with cable row.

Seated cable row is also known as cable row, low cable row or just cable row in general. The working muscles are as follows:

Main Muscles

The major muscles that you will engage while performing this exercise are:

  • Erector Spine in lower back
  • Middle and lower traps in upper back
  • Rhomboids
  • Latissimus dorsi
  • Teres Major

These are the major muscles that are involved in each repetition of your exercise.

Seated Cable Row

Secondary Muscles

Pulling movement involves not only your back, but also your biceps, forearms, delts and few other stabilizer muscles. The secondary muscles involved are:

  • Biceps and long head of triceps serve as dynamic stabilizer
  • Hamstring, glutes and adductor as your lower body stabilizer
  • Forearms are activated to higher degree

These muscles work to basically support the movement and stabilize you shoulder and lower body.

How to do Seated Cable Row

It is generally a machine set up already with all the necessary stance. You have an area to place your feet and place to sit on. Following are the steps to perform the exercise.

  1. Position yourself on the machine. Place your feet hip width apart bending at the knee.
  2. Grab the handle. Grab attachment with your hands, generally a V-bar, and put appropriate weight on the stack.
  3. Perform the movement. Pull the attachment towards you. Sit straight, this is your starting position. Keep your back straight and your chest up throughout the movement. Pull the shoulder back as you pull the bar towards you stomach. Exhale while you do so. Inhale and bring your arms and shoulders forward extending your back.

Seated Cable Row

Alternative to machine

If you don’t have access to the machine, you don’t have to worry. Every gym at least has a puller access. Just bring the pulley down, sit on the floor and execute the movement. There are several other alternative to this exercise. You can do this movement with dumbbell or barbell. These work basically the same muscle group. with dumbbells, you can target the muscle from even more angles.

Also Read: Back Workout Routine

Variations to the Exercise

As far as the variations go, you can perform many variation with the seated row machine. Just you need to do is change the attachment, vary grip width and grip and carry on. Changing the grip from underhand to overhand grip, you will emphasize some other part of the back muscles more. Some of the variations of this exercise are:

Seated Cable Row

  • Wide grip cable row: Attach the D-bar attachment on the rope and suddenly, you are targeting the upper back more.
  • V-bar row: It is somewhat standard row movement. Your palms are closer opposed to the wide grip.
  • Single arm row: You can attach a single handle and perform the unilateral movement. This will put emphasis on one side of your movement.
  • Seated row with rope: Attach a rope to the cable and you will find longer range of motion and increased flexibility.
  • Face pull on seated row: This will work your upper back muscles more along with the rear delt and traps.

Wrapping up

Wrapping up, seated cable row is awesome exercise to entirely put your whole body in action. Your every bit is working throughout the workout. You just need to focus on few key tips like

  • Avoid rounded back
  • Don’t lift more than you can
  • Avoid jerking through the  movement
  • Don’t over extend so as to stress your lower back
  • Avoid swinging movement

Keep in check these points and you are good to go.