Seated cable row

Seated cable row

Exercise details

  • Target muscle:The back in general

  • Synergists: Erector Spinae, Middle and Lower Trapezii, Rhomboids, Latissimus Dorsi, Teres Major, Posterior Deltoid, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor, Brachialis, Brachioradialis, Pectoralis Major

  • Mechanics: Compound

  • Force: Pull

Starting position

  • Sit facing the cable row machine and place your feet on the foot rests.

  • Grasp the double-row bar and slide your bottom backward until your knees are almost straight. You torso should be leaning forward and your arms and shoulders should be stretching forward.


  • Exhale as you slowly lean backward, straighten your back, and pull the v-bar to your abdomen, keeping your elbows close to your body. Pull your shoulders back and stick out your chest at the top of the movement.

  • Hold for a count of two and squeeze your back muscles.

  • Inhale as you slowly lean forward and return the double-row bar to the starting position, with your arms and shoulders stretching forward and your lower back bent forward.

  • Repeat for the recommended number of repetitions.

Comments and tips

  • Do not excessively arch your back.

  • Avoid swinging.

  • Pull with your elbows, not with your biceps.

  • Avoid swinging your torso back and forth.

  • Start light and add weight gradually to allow your lower back time to adapt.

  • Many people think that your biceps acts as a synergist in rowing exercises such as the seated cable row. In fact, it only acts as a dynamic stabilizer, along with the long head of your triceps brachii.

  • Most people will tell you to keep your back straight and your chest out throughout the seated cable row exercise. That’s known as the straight-back seated cable row. It’s a different exercise, which doesn’t dynamically work your erector spinae (spinal erectors). The exercise described above does dynamically work your spinal erectors.