Looking to work your back muscles and improve your strength? The low cable row might be the right exercise for you.
It not only strengthens your upper back muscles, but also engages your core and improves your posture as well.
In this guide, we’ll break down all aspects of the low row, so you can get the most out of it.
- What is low cable row?
- Muscle worked during cable low row
- How to perform the low rows properly
- Best variations
- Tip and Techniques.
- What Is Low Cable Row
- Muscle Worked During Low Cable Row
- Variations And Modification Of Low Cable Row
- Make It Easier
- Make It Harder
- 1. Standing Low Cable Row
- How To Do Standing Low Cable Row
- 2. Single Arm Standing Low Cable Row
- How To Do One Arm Standing Low Cable Row
- 3. Wide Grip Seated Low Row
- How To Do Wide Grip Seated Low Row
- 4. Standing Low Cable Rope Row
- How To Do Low Cable Row With Rope
- Benefits of low Cable Row
- 1. Improved Posture
- 2. Increased Strength
- 3. Balanced Muscle Development
- 4. Versatility
- Best Alternatives Of Low Cable Row
- How many repetitions and sets should I do?
- What grip is best for low cable rows?
- Is low row good for lower back?
- Related Posts
What Is Low Cable Row
The low cable row is an upper body exercise that primarily targets the muscles of the middle and upper back, including the latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, trapezius, and rear deltoids. Additionally, it works on the arms and shoulders.
It is done using a cable machine with an adjustable pulley that is set at a lower position.
The exercise involves pulling the cable towards your body while keeping a straight back and engaging your core muscles.
To target back muscle from different angles, this low row can be performed in various ways.
- Using different grips positions
- Using different attachments
Muscle Worked During Low Cable Row
The cable low row is a compound exercise, which means it works many muscles at the same time.
The main muscles worked during low row are:
Secondary muscles worked during the rows:
Antagonist Muscle worked: Chest, Triceps, Front deltoid.
The muscle groups in the legs as either accessory dynamic movement stabilizers or as simple static support stabilizers.
Variations And Modification Of Low Cable Row
There are many variations of low cable row exercises that you can include in your workout routine, depending on your choice and requirement.
You can also modify your low cable row exercise to match your fitness level.
Make It Easier
There are a few modifications you can apply to make the low cable row easier if you are new to it.
- Start with a light weight and low reps.
- Once you can do the exercise with perfect form, increase the weight and reps.
Make It Harder
When you’ve mastered form and can complete the exercise, it’s time to challenge yourself with variations.
Try these modifications if you want to work back muscles fiber from different angles or if your low rows are too easy.
- You can pull the cable with one arm at a time, or you can pull it with one arm along the side of your body.
- At the end of the pulling phase, pause for 3 to 5 seconds to challenge your muscles.
1. Standing Low Cable Row
This exercise also strengthens your lower back and core.
The low cable row can be performed in different grip positions and attachments.
- Underhand grip
- Long bar… Get creative!
How To Do Standing Low Cable Row
- Grab the rope with both hands, step back, and let your arms extend out.
- Bend slightly at the knees and waist to help stabilize yourself.
- Pull the handle towards your midsection, squeezing your shoulder blades together as you do so.
- Pause for a moment, then slowly release the handle back to the starting position.
- Repeat for the desired number of reps.
2. Single Arm Standing Low Cable Row
The low cable attachment and the pulling angle of the exercise allow for a more direct and focused contraction of the latissimus dorsi, which is the largest muscle in the back.
It allows for a greater range of motion compared to other single arm row variations.
The low cable row also prevents excessive spine twisting or bending, which can occur in other variations of single arm rows.
How To Do One Arm Standing Low Cable Row
- Grab the handle with one hand and take a step back.
- Your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
- Pull the handle towards your body by retracting your shoulder blade.
- Pause for a moment, then slowly lower the handle back to its starting position.
- Repeat the exercise for the desired number of reps, then switch sides and repeat with the other arm.
- Keep your spine neutral throughout the exercise.
- Focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together as you pull the handle towards your body.
- Control the weight throughout the movement.
3. Wide Grip Seated Low Row
Wide grip low rows can make your back thicker because most of the work is done by the muscles in your upper back.
To do it correctly, be sure the movement is slow and fluid – no jerking or raising yourself up to push down with your body weight.
How To Do Wide Grip Seated Low Row
- Sit on a seated cable pulley rowing machine with legs slightly bent and feet supported against the crossbar.
- Hold the bar with your arms slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Pull the bar so that they come as close to the lower chest.
- Thrust your chest out while pulling with your body in an upright position.
- Slowly return the handle to the starting position.
- It’s best to slightly bend your knees because locking them is stressful on the joints.
- Always maintain a neutral back.
- Avoid rapid and jerky movements.
4. Standing Low Cable Rope Row
Compared to the standard low cable row, the standing low cable rope row allows for a greater range of motion.
The rope attachment allows you to pull the cable towards your waist at a slightly different angle, which can help to engage the upper back and shoulders more effectively.
How To Do Low Cable Row With Rope
- Set a cable machine with a low pulley attachment. Attach a rope handle to the pulley.
- Stand facing the machine, with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Grab the rope handle with an overhand grip, with your palms facing each other.
- Bend slightly at the knees and waist to help stabilize yourself.
- Engage your back muscles and pull the rope towards your waist and squeezing your shoulder blades together.
- At the end of the movement, pause for a moment, then let go of the tension and let the rope go back to the starting position.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
- Keep your core engaged throughout the movement to maintain good form.
- Avoid rounding your shoulders or arching your back during the exercise.
- Instead of using your arms or shoulders, focus on using your back muscles to start the movement.
Benefits of low Cable Row
1. Improved Posture
2. Increased Strength
Low cable rows can help increase overall back strength by targeting the major muscles of the back, including the lats, traps, and rhomboids.
3. Balanced Muscle Development
It is a compound exercise that works multiple muscle groups simultaneously, resulting in a more balanced and evenly developed back.
Cable rows can be done with a variety of attachments including a rope, v-handle, straight-bar and single-handle.
It’s a flexible exercise that can be adjusted to meet your needs.
Best Alternatives Of Low Cable Row
If you’re looking for a similar exercise to replace the cable low row during your training sessions, you can try these alternatives.
How many repetitions and sets should I do?
Do 3-4 sets of 10-12 repetitions, with a rest period of 30-60 seconds between sets.
The number of sets and repetitions can be adjusted by you.
What grip is best for low cable rows?
A neutral grip is the best grip for low cable rows because it allows for a wider range of motion, engaging more muscles in the back.
Is low row good for lower back?
Low back rows are a good exercise for strengthening your upper and lower back.
It is always best to talk to a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise, especially if you have had back pain or an injury in the past.
Low cable row is a great exercise for targeting the muscles in the upper back and improving posture.
There are different handle attachments available for cable row, and the grip you use can target different muscles.
So next time you hit the gym, don’t forget to add the low row to your routine for a stronger upper body.
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Manish brings over 10 years of hands-on experience in weight lifting and fat loss to fitness coaching. He specializes in gym-based training and has a lot of knowledge about exercise, lifting technique, biomechanics, and more.
Through “Fit Life Regime,” he generously shares the insights he’s gained over a decade in the field. His goal is to equip others with the knowledge to start their own fitness journey.