seated cable row

back exercises

The seated cable row is without a doubt a great back workout. Above all else, it is ideal for targeting the smaller back muscles which often get forgotten. Beyond that, it is excellent for strengthening the whole back and shoulders.

How to use the seated cable row

Firstly you should make sure that the machine is already set up with a v-bar (the attachment that looks like a triangle). If not, change the fitting before you set anything else up.

The next thing to do is select your desired weight and sit yourself down on the bench. Place your feet on the platforms with your knees slightly bent.

Reach forward and grip the v-bar firmly in both hands. Keep your arms extended and sit upright with your back straight (shuffle your bum backwards or forwards if necessary).

To get into position; slightly arch your back and keep your chest high, you should keep your torso in this position the whole time.

Finally, pull the handles towards you, keeping your elbows tucked in. Bring the v-bar all the way in until you touch your torso, you should bring it in so the bar sits just under ‘the twins’ (your boobs). Hold for a second before slowly releasing the weight back to start position through the same controlled movement. Go for reps.

Seated cable row: Common mistakes to avoid

Of course, doing the exercise is far better than not doing it (in most cases), it should be noted that sloppy form on any exercise is not recommended.

With that in mind; if you are performing your seated cable row with incorrect form, you may recruit other muscle groups during the exercise, and/or poorly engage the intended muscle groups, which will hinder your gains at best and result in injury at worst.

As a rule, you should always keep the muscle you intend to work in mind when you are performing the exercise, this is the ideal way to ensure targeted results.

Finally, you should avoid using momentum and taking your body with the weight. Throughout the exercise, you should only be moving your arms to bring the bar in close to your chest and back out to fully extended arms.

Reps and sets

As with all individual exercises, the seated cable row needs to be worked into your overall bigger picture. How many reps and sets you perform with each exercise depends entirely on where you are physically and your desired outcomes.

Beginners should keep it simple; 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps is an ideal starting point. For the purpose of laying a solid foundation to build upon; don’t over complicate things. The most important thing is to get started, the rest will come with experience.

On the other hand, more advanced lifters should consider their current strength and goals.