Seated Cable Row – Full Video Tutorial & Exercise Guide

Including the seated cable row in your routine is essential for anyone serious about building upper body strength. This exercise targets the back muscles, specifically the lats and erector spinae, building your core strength.

seated cable row

You will also notice an improvement in your rear delts, biceps and even your forearms; these are used as secondary muscles in this exercise.

The seated cable row requires a minimal amount of equipment; making it perfectly possible to complete it at home.

All you need is a low pulley cable machine.

There is no restriction on which type of handle to use with your machine, a V grip is as effective as a straight bar.

However, it is worth noting that the V grip is more neutral and may feel more comfortable for your seated cable row.

The key to getting this exercise right is getting your position correct at the start and following this through; focusing on maintaining it through each rep.

In this tutorial and related video, I'll show you the proper technique of the exercise, so you can complete it with confidence and safety.

Completing the exercise properly will mean the best results for you, while avoiding the potential of injury.

We have a full video tutorial below to show you the fine form points of the seated cable row.

Also, if you need something to print off and take to the gym, you can find our step-by-step exercise walkthrough further down this page.

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Seated Cable Row – Step-by-step technique

    • Step 1: Start by sitting on your low pulley machine or on the floor in front of it. Put you feet against the machine and make sure your back is straight. It should not be rounded forward and you should not be leaning backwards.
    • Step 2: Next you need to grasp the grip of your pulley machine with both hands. Then pull the handle towards you until your shoulders are in line with your body. This is the starting position.
    • Step 3: You can now take a deep breath and pull the grip towards your sternum. Your arms are the only part of your body which should move; going from straight out in front of you to a 90° bend at the elbow.
    • Step 4: Pause at the end of this motion, focusing on your shoulders; they should be squeezing together.
    • Step 5: Return the grip to the starting position slowly, being careful not to go past this point.
    • Step 6: Pause again before taking a breath and pulling the grip back towards your sternum; keeping your back straight at all times.
    • Step 7: Repeat steps 3-6 for the prescribed number of reps

** Pro Tip #1: This should be completed after you have done your other back exercises, such as the barbell deadlift or barbell row. Ideally, you should be looking to do 2-3 sets of 15 reps.

** Pro Tip #2: When allowing the grip to retract into the machine you must only go as far as your starting position. Rolling your shoulders forward will place excess strain on your sockets.

** Pro Tip #3: Squeeze the handles hard and your shoulders together during the workout to ensure you work your lats as much as possible.

To learn more exercises that you can use in your training, visit our complete exercise library on the Fit Father Project YouTube channel.


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* We hoped you enjoyed this article. Remember to always consult your doctor before starting any new exercise program and that this is not medical advice – just well-researched info. Please see our disclaimer at the bottom of this website. Exercise intelligently and safely at your own risk.