Cable Row

Cable rows are an excellent exercise for men who want a bigger back and women who want more definition in their back.

How to Do Cable Rows

This exercise can be performed on a standard cable machine or on a machine that's specifically designed for cable rows. What's great about using a standard cable machine to do this exercise is you can use different attachments. Available options include a straight bar, v-bar handle or a cable rope. If these attachments aren't available for the cable machine you're using, you can also put two standard handles on one cable and use those like a v-bar handle. While each variation uses the same basic movement, it's worth noting the different impact of each option.

Performing Cable Rows with a Straight Bar

Begin by moving the cable to the bottom of the machine and attaching a straight bar to it. You want to sit at approximately legs' length from the base of the machine. Some people prefer to slightly bend their knees, while others keep their legs on the ground. With either option, you want to push your feet against the machine to provide you with stability. Grab the bar and pull it to a position that's above your knees. You're now ready to start the exercise. You want to use a controlled movement to pull the bar towards you. Then continue pulling the bar in until it reaches right below your chest. As you pull, make sure you're keeping your back straight. You also want to focus on using your back to pull the bar. Once the bar reaches your body, each of your arms should form a triangle. Briefly pause, then allow the cable to return to your starting position at the same controlled pace. It's also possible to perform this type of cable row with an underhand grip.

Performing Cable Rows with a V-Bar Handle

While this cable row variation uses the same basic motion as the cable bar row, the way you hold the attachment means you're working your back in a different way. Because of the way you hold a v-bar handle with your palms facing each other, many people lessen the effectiveness of this exercise by pulling with muscles other than their back. Performing this exercise correctly means not moving your entire body. Instead, you want to keep the rest of your body still as you use the muscles in your upper back to pull the cable towards your chest. You can also perform this version of a cable row by attaching two standard handles to a single cable.

Performing Cable Rows with a Cable Rope

If you're looking for a cable row that provides an additional challenge, you should try this variation. Because of the flexibility of a cable rope, once you pull it into your chest, you will be able to pull the handles outwards to force your back to do additional work. The additional work that's required is great for bringing out even more definition in your back.



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Cable Row