Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredCable
  • MechanicsCompound
  • Force TypePull (Unilateral)
  • Experience LevelBeginner
  • Secondary Muscles
    Abs, Biceps, Shoulders, Traps, Upper Back
Target Muscle Group


Lats Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Shotgun Row Overview

The shotgun row is a variation of the rowing exercise used to target the muscles of the back.

The shotgun row allows one to work each side of their back unilaterally to assist in building a balanced physique and strength.

Shotgun Row Instructions

  1. Attach a single handle to a cable stack and assume a split stance with the ipsilateral elbow on the forward knee.
  2. Grasp the handle with a neutral grip and lean forward slightly while allowing the shoulder blade to protract.
  3. Initiate the movement by retracting the shoulder blade and rowing the handle to your chest while extending through your upper back.
  4. Pull the handle towards your rib cage and drive your elbow behind your body as you flex the lat and upper back.
  5. Slowly lower back to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions on both sides.

Shotgun Row Tips

  1. Reach through at the start of the movement and allow the thoracic spine to round slightly but extend as you flex the lat to complete the movement.
  2. Keep some tone through your abdominals as you pull the bar into your body to ensure you don’t arch excessively through the spine.
  3. If you feel your biceps being overused and your back remaining under active, consider utilizing a false grip (i.e. don’t wrap the thumb around the dumbbell).
  4. Don’t allow the head to jut forward as you pull.
  5. Similarly, ensure the shoulder blade moves on the rib cage. Don’t lock the shoulder blade down and just move through the glenohumeral joint.
  6. If you can’t seem to feel your lats engaging, try to “screw your shoulders” into their sockets by pointing your elbows behind your body. Another cue that works exceptionally well is to “squeeze oranges in your armpits”.