How To Do Seated Cable Rows

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How To Do Seated Cable Rows

The middle back is another one of those muscle groups that can be difficult to safely target. A lot of old fashioned exercises based around this, medical science has concluded were actually harmful in the long run, stressing and degrading the spine in the long run. In this vein, a lot of people with existing back problems will find a lot of exercises based around these muscle groups to be entirely unsafe and intolerably painful to actually try to work through. 

Problem there is that many doctors and chiropractors alike will be the first ones to day that, unless the problems are cripplingly severe, strengthening the muscles in these areas can do a lot to help abate the symptoms. 

Seated cable rows are actually a safe exercise for people who don’t have truly severe back troubles, and this targets those muscles very well. 

What You Need 

You need a low pully row machine, and a V-bar. You should also have a back brace if you do have any mild to moderate spinal conditions, and gloves for a good, safe grip – cables slipping out of your hands can be dangerous, or at least damage your equipment. 

Seated Cable Muscles Worked

Latissimus dorsi muscle animation


  • Sit on the machine, aligning your back in a neutral upright position. Place your feet firmly on the platform. 
  • Grip the bar by the handles, arms outstretched. 
  • Bending at the shoulders and elbows, pull the bar toward you until it nearly reaches your midsection. 
  • Gently let it retract, and repeat. 


Avoid letting gravity yank the bar back. Also avoid letting your torso wobble or your back bend excessively during the motions. 

If you have severe enough back trouble, consult your doctor before trying this exercise. Wear a brace if you have even mild back trouble. Avoid excess weight, as the severity of the weight isn’t the key factor in this set. 

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