High Cable Row

The high cable row is a great way to build upper back strength.  I like using two cable handles on one hook, but you can also use a fixed triangle handle.  Unlike the lat pulldown, this is a close grip exercise so you put a little more focus on the middle of the upper back near the rhomboids.

High Cable Row Exercise

Primary Muscles Used

High Row Muscles Used

High Cable Row Instructions

  • For this exercise take two cable handles and attach them both to the one cable.  You can also use a close grip fixed handle.
  1. Sit down on the seat and place your feet in the firmly on the ground.
  2. Grab the handles with a neutral grip, palms facing together.
  3. Let your arms extend out and shoulders stretch up.
  4. Pull the handles towards your chest.
  5. As your hands get close to your chest, squeeze your shoulder blades together.  This is where you notice the benefit of using the two handles, as they allow for a greater squeeze.
  6. Let your arms extend back out and repeat.
High Cable Row Demonstration

Tim's list of benefits for the High Cable Row

  • The Star Trac high row using the cable machine makes it significantly easier to maintain decent form in the last few reps of a workout, because you are seated and do not have to worry about your leg stability.
  • As you are using a close grip, new, previously forgotten about muscles within your lats are also activated. These are muscle fibers that might be neglected when you perform other back exercises such as the lat pulldown. It’s another reason why it’s critical to ensure there’s variety in all of your workouts.
  • With all the sitting, driving, typing, and using our phones, our rhomboids (muscles in the middle of the upper back) become very weak, the cable high row exercise targets that area, fixing our lost posture, or preventing that hunched over look from ever happening in the first place.
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