How to Do the Seated Rows-Proper Form, Variations, and Common Mistakes

Table of Contents

Outlines to be discussed

  • What are Seated Cable Rows?
  • Seated Rows Benefits
  • How to do Seated Rows?
  • Common mistakes you should avoid
  • Modifications and Variations

What are Seated Cable Rows?

If you are interested to build your upper body strength, you can perform seated rows. According to Doctor Laskowski, it is a compound exercise that you can do with the help of a horizontal cable row machine that works for the back and upper arms.

Specifically, it targets the muscles in your upper back and the latissimus dorsi a muscle on the outer side of the chest wall. You can also perform seated rows with a resistance band. This exercise provides strengthen and tone your upper body that is important for everyday movements including pulling.

This shows that having a strong upper body also improves posture, protects your shoulders, and reduces your risk of injury. Seated rows cable machine includes a bench for comfortable seating and footplates to brace yourself against as you pull the weighted cable.

Seated Rows Benefits

It is a pulling exercise that works for the back muscles, especially for the latissimus dorsi. Here are a few of the benefits while performing this exercise.

  • Works for multiple muscle groups

Seated rows workout helps to increase the upper-body strength by stimulating or activating a lot of muscle groups present throughout the body including the back muscles such as latissimus dorsi in your middle back, rhomboids in your upper back, erector spinea muscles and the lower trapezius. This exercise also uses the biceps and triceps as stabilizers during the movement.

  • Encourages good posture

If you perform this exercise with proper form with a straight back and bent knees then it will work for the betterment of muscles for everyday posture.

  • Puts less strain on your lower back

Position of seated rows enforces more emphasis on your upper back while alleviating stress on your lower back when compared with other compound exercises such as bench press, barbell rows and deadlifts etc.

How to do standard seated rows

seated rows

Seated rows are usually performed with a close grip but if you want to focus on arm muscles and smaller back muscles instead of lats then you can use a wide grip. This exercise can be performed on a seated row machine or a seated cable row machine. If you want to know about the performance of this exercise. Here, I will tell u about how to do this.

  • Sit straight on the bench and plant your feet on the floor and grasp the cable attachment.
  • Position yourself with your knees slightly bent and extend your arms to grab the handle or cable. Move your shoulders back and down. Brace your core.
  • Now pull the handle by bending your elbows. Target the middle to upper back by keeping your back straight or neutral and squeeze your shoulder blades together as you row, chest out. Here pause pauses of one second.
  • Inhale and Return the handle forward or slowly extend your arms under tension to full stretch.
  • Repeat the exercise for the desired number of repetitions.

Common Mistakes You should Avoid?

If you’re a beginner then you should avoid these errors to get the most from this exercise and prevent strain.

  • Rounded Back

Always remember while doing this exercise your back should be straight at all times, not bent. You can also flex slightly at the hip to allow for a full range of motion.

  • Moving Torso

You should avoid the movement of the torso. Always use your arms for the motion. Keep your torso still throughout the exercise.

  • Too Fast on Return

Move the weight to the starting position under tension. Do not try to crash the weights or bounce at the bottom of the lift.

  • Partial range of motion

For the optimal benefits, each rep must go through a full range of motion. A reduced range of motion or partial range of motions lets you lift more weight, partially extending your arms won’t properly work your muscles.

  • Locked knees

Always slightly bent your knees as locking your knees is stressful on the joints.

Modifications and Variations

Seated rows workouts can be performed in different ways to meet your needs and goals. You have to start with light weights if you are a beginner. As your body adapts, you will be able to add more weight. There comes a lot of variation while doing this exercise.

One-arm cable rows

In one arm cable row, swap out the V-grip for a handle, you can hold this in one hand to encourage your body to do all the work. This helps to ensure that your stronger side is not doing the bulk of work which will entrench strength imbalances in the body.

  • Keep your one hand by your side when you hold the handle in another hand, with your arms outstretched in front of you.
  • You must pull the handle below your navel, do not allow your torso to rotate and then allow the handle to come to the starting position.
  • Resisting the rotation in this exercise will work your core harder than in the two-arm cable row.

Seated face pull

Seated face pull is another cable machine exercise that will bulk up shoulders and back. This exercise is performed while standing but the seated version of this exercise helps you to do this exercise with more weight.

  • On the high attachment set up a cable machine with a double rope handle.
  • Hold this attachment in both hands with an overhand grip and your arms must be outstretched in front of you.
  • Now pull the handle towards yourself so that the two rope handles go either side of your face. After this return to the initial position by keeping tension in the cable.

Seated rows with dumbbell

A seated dumbbell row is an isolated single-joint exercise that will target your upper and middle back.

  • Start with the seated position with help of a dumbbell in both hands while your palms facing each other.
  • Bend yourself slightly forward at your hips.
  • Keep your shoulder blades together while simultaneously driving elbows past your back as you pull the dumbbells to your sides.
  • Now take a pause and slowly return the weight to the initial position.

Related Articles
Scroll to Top