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How to Do the Cable Row

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Updated March 21, 2007

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How to Do the Seated Cable Row -- Positioning the Body
The seated cable row

Starting position for the seated cable row

(c) Paul Rogers

The seated cable row is performed on a weighted horizontal cable machine with a bench and foot plates as you can see in the demonstation photo. It is an excellent all-round compound exercise for developing mainly the middle back while offering useful arm work as well. The usual care applies, especially if you’ve suffered from lower back or shoulder problems.

Muscles worked: back muscles in general, particularly the latissimus dorsi; forearm muscles, upper arm muscles.

Body Position

  • Sit on the platform with knees bent and grasp the cable attachment. It's often a triangle handle but may be a bar.

  • Position yourself with knees slighlty bent and so that you have to reach to grab the handle with outstretched arms yet without curling the lower back over. Apply the 'straight back' that you learned in the squat and deadlift exercises.

  • Brace the abdominals and you're ready to row.

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