A seated row is an exercise where the purpose is to strengthen the muscles that draw the rower’s arms toward the body (latissimus dorsi) as well as those that retract the scapulae (trapezius and rhomboids) and those that support the spine (erector spinae). When done on a rowing machine, rowing also exercises muscles that extend and support the legs (quadriceps and thigh muscles).

In all cases, the abdominal and lower back muscles must be used in order to support the body and prevent back injury. If you missed our last post on why you should train your back muscle, then feel free to check it out first.

Related back workouts: 9 Strength Training Workouts for the Back Muscle ANATOMY

How do the proper seated cable row:

Sit facing the machines, feet resting on the foot pad and the torso bent forward. Inhale and bring the handle to the bar of the sternum by straightening the back and pulling the elbows back as far as possible towards your lower abs for close grip and towards your upper abs or sternum for wide grip. Exhale at the end of the movement and return smoothy to the initial position. Allowing the weight to pull you on the return helps develop back flexibility.

Variation with the wide bar:

  • An underhand grip isolates the inferior portion of the trapezius.
  • An overhand grip isolates the posterior deltoid and the middle portion of the trapezius.

Wide-Grip Seated Row  Close-Grip Seated Row

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