Seated Cable Row Video Guide

Exercise Profile

  • Strength
  • Cable
  • Compound
  • Pull
  • Beginner
  • Biceps, Lats, Shoulders
Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge
Upper Back Exercises Diagram Target Muscle Group

Exercise Instructions

  1. Set the appropriate weight on the weight stack and attach a close grip bar or V-bar to the seated row machine.
  2. Grasp the bar with a neutral grip (palms facing in).
  3. Keeping your legs slightly bent and your back straight, pull the weight up slightly off the stack. You should be sitting straight upright with your shoulders back. This is the starting position.
  4. Keeping your body in position, pull the handle into your stomach.
  5. Pull your shoulder blades back, squeeze, pause, and then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for desired reps.

​Exercise Tips:

  1. Your back must remain straight at all times. Your torso should be kept still throughout the entire set.
  2. Don't let your shoulders hunch over when your arms are extended.
  3. Use the back muscles to move the weight - do not lean forward and use momentum to swing the weight back.
  4. Pausing and squeezing at the top of the movement for a 1-2 count will increase intensity and results.

Join over 500k subscribers who receive weekly workouts, diet plans, videos and expert guides from Muscle & Strength.


19 Comments+ Post Comment

No Profile Pic
Posted Mon, 03/17/2014 - 08:25
Nicholas Roberts

what can i replace the seated row with?

No Profile Pic
Posted Mon, 02/17/2014 - 14:53

I am fairly tall when I do this exercise I only feel it in my biceps? What am I doing wrong? Should I be using the wide grip attachment?

No Profile Pic
Posted Tue, 09/15/2015 - 11:47

You are supposed to start pulling with your shoulders and end up squeezing your back, that should minimize the use of the biceps.

No Profile Pic
Posted Tue, 10/27/2015 - 14:16

This is an exercise demanding great form instead of great weight. It's very common for people to use too much weight which activates the biceps and deactivates the back muscles. Reduce the lb's so you can "flex" your shoulder blades during the pause at the top of the exercise. Also, using two handles or the rope instead of the V-Bar will help flex the shoulder blades. Using lifting straps will help deactivate the biceps but they can be clumsy to use.

No Profile Pic
Posted Tue, 05/16/2017 - 05:49
chris hamilton

use any grip you feel suitable wit, but put your mind to the back and squeeze. try variations of the exercise like with an underhand grip on a wider bar making sure you have your chest out and squeeze your back

No Profile Pic
Posted Sat, 06/22/2013 - 06:49

What's the seated cable row (pre-exhausted) ??? Can u tell me in detail how to perform a pre-exhausted set?

No Profile Pic
Posted Fri, 05/17/2013 - 16:04

for this excersise do you need to be seated on the floor or can you use any rowing type machine in the gym thanks

No Profile Pic
Posted Tue, 05/01/2012 - 12:57

my work gym only has a straight bar will my grip drastically change the outcome of this exercise

No Profile Pic
Posted Sun, 04/22/2012 - 14:18

Hi my gym does not have this equipment what else could I do?

No Profile Pic
Posted Wed, 04/11/2012 - 12:09
omar abdul ghani

what should i play with seated cable row pre-exhaust?

No Profile Pic
Posted Wed, 04/04/2012 - 22:04

Hi I am really new to all of this. I am training for a triathlon and have a great workout schedule for that part. It has been recommended that I do some strength training. Is that what this is? Also how do you know how much weight to use? Thanks.

Steven's picture
Posted Thu, 04/05/2012 - 08:21

Strength training will only help your performance. Check out this article as a good starting point:

No Profile Pic
Posted Mon, 03/19/2012 - 11:56

I see the demonstrator has his feet against a t-shaped device - in the gym, I use a heavy weight for the same purpose. Now that I am "rowing" with heavier weight, it's getting difficult to maneuver holding the pulling bar with one hand, while I get my legs and feet into position. I've tried scooting my butt back while holding onto the pulling bar, but that doesn't seem to work. Any advice?

Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 03/19/2012 - 16:05

At that point you'll either have to use barbell or dumbbell rows, or have someone assist you.

No Profile Pic
Posted Tue, 03/13/2012 - 21:13

What can take place of this?

Steven's picture
Posted Wed, 03/14/2012 - 15:03

Barbell or dumbbell rows.

No Profile Pic
Posted Thu, 09/26/2013 - 13:01

hi, how much can i use for weight when toning at home. i have an issue losing the fatty part around the connection of my arm and shoulder

No Profile Pic
Posted Tue, 03/13/2012 - 02:35

can this be used on the row machine as well?

Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 03/13/2012 - 09:44