How to do a Cable Row

Authored by Fitbod

About Cable Row

Sets Logged
5,380,978
Popularity Rank
8th
Difficulty
Beginner
Back Strength
98 mSCORE 4th
Equipment Required
Primary Muscles
Secondary Muscles

Instructions: How To

Cable Row is a compound movement that primarily targets your back, but also hits your shoulders and biceps. This exercise is often done with a specific cable machine that sets you into the perfect position, but you can also use an adjustable cable to have more control over the direction your resistance is coming from. This is a great exercise for building muscle mass and strength in your back, and is a common addition to most upper body or pull workouts.

  1. Position yourself on the bench, and place both feet on their respective foot plates. Bend your knees slightly.
  2. Lean forward, and grasp the handle with both hands, while keeping your back straight.
  3. Engage your back to pull the handles towards your torso.
  4. Simultaneously engage your lower back to lean back slightly.
  5. Pinch your shoulder blades together, and hold this position for a moment at the end of the movement.
  6. Slowly return to the starting position while maintaining tension in your back.

Common Mistakes

  • Over Recruiting Biceps

    While your biceps should be involved, you should be feeling a majority of the tension in your back. Try focusing on driving your elbow back instead of bringing the weight towards your chest. This mindset shift will help you recruit the proper muscle groups for this exercise.

  • Don’t Use Momentum

    Extending your lower back can help you move more weight by recruiting additional muscle groups to help you build momentum. Keep your torso stable by engaging your core, and limit your movement to the desired exercise. You may need to reduce your weight to maintain proper form.

Reps & Weight: How much to lift

Use this calculator to see Fitbod's possible first recommendations for you. This would be your starting line, based on more than 4.5 billion logged sets from 1.1 million users.

  • beginner
    8
    reps
    35
    lbs
    1 Rep Max
    45
    lbs
  • intermediate
    8
    reps
    40
    lbs
    50
    lbs
  • advanced
    8
    reps
    50
    lbs
    65
    lbs

Enter your stats to calculate your Reps & Weight