Wide Grip Seated Cable Row

The wide grip seated cable row is a great exercise for upper and lower back strength.  This exercise puts the focus of working muscles on the upper back and stabilization on the muscles of the lower back.   Most cable row machines are very similar, and this exercise will work for any cable machine with slight modifications.

Wide Grip Seated Cable Row

Primary Muscles Used

Muscles Used in Exercise

Wide Grip Seated Cable Row Instructions

  • Sit on the bench with your knees bent and grasp the cable attachment. There are many different cable attachments, in this demonstration we are using a long bar often used for lat pulldowns.
  1. Position yourself with your knees slightly bent and so that you have to reach to grab the handle with with an overhand grip about shoulder width apart.
  2. Brace the abdominals and pull your shoulder blades back.
  3. Pull the handle and weight back toward the lower abdomen while trying not to use the momentum of the row too much by moving the torso backward with the arms.
  4. Target the middle to upper back by keeping your back straight and squeezing your shoulder blades together as you row, make sure to keep your chest out.
  5. Return the handle forward under tension to full stretch, remembering to keep that back straight even though flexed at the hips.
  6. Repeat.
Seated Cable Row

Benefits of the Wide Grip Seated Cable Row

  • The wide grip seated cable row is a pulling exercise that works the back muscles in general, particularly the lats, rhomboids, traps, and erector spinae.  It also works the forearm muscles and the upper arm muscles. Other stabilizing muscles that come into play are the hamstrings and gluteus maximus.
  • By using the wide grip you are mimicking a bent over barbell row but the machine gives you a little more stability and safety for your lower back.
  • This exercise is done to develop strength rather than as an aerobic rowing exercise. Even though it's called a row, it is not the classic rowing action that you might use on the aerobic rowing machine. It is a functional exercise, as many times during the day you pull items toward your chest.
  • This is a great exercise for helping posture in your upper back, eliminating and preventing a hunched over posture.  This is getting more and more important with our current society hunching forward to use the computer or cell phone.
  • Learning to engage your abs and use your legs while keeping your back straight can help prevent strain and injury.
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