Want a wider, more powerful-looking back? The wide-grip cable row is your secret weapon.
The wide-grip cable row offers a unique challenge that can break plateaus and help you achieve your back-building goals.
If you’re ready to elevate your back workouts, then read on!
This comprehensive guide will discuss proper technique, the muscles engaged, and why this exercise should be a staple in your back day routine.
What Is Wide Grip Seated Cable Row?
The defining feature is your hand placement; you use a significantly wider grip on a straight bar or pull-down bar attachment.
This seemingly small adjustment profoundly changes muscle recruitment for unique advantages.
- This row emphasizes the width and flare of the wings more effectively than other rows.
- Allows for a greater range of motion stretch and contraction.
- Along with your lats, the wide grip heavily works your middle back muscles, like the rhomboids and trapezius.
- When you do regular rows, your biceps work a lot. However, using a wider grip, your back muscles are more involved.
- It breaks up the monotony of traditional back exercises, adding a diverse challenge that stimulates new muscle growth.
Muscles Worked During Wide Grip Cable Row
The wide grip seated cable row is a compound exercise, which means it works many muscles simultaneously.
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How to Do The Cable Wide Grip Row
- Adjust the cable pulley to its lowest position.
- Attach a wide grip bar, like a lat pulldown bar.
- Position the seat so your knees are slightly bent and your feet are firmly braced against the footplate when your arms are fully extended toward the cable machine.
- Grasp the bar with an overhand grip (palms facing down) significantly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Sit tall with your chest out and shoulders back.
- Pull the bar towards the lower part of your chest, just above your abdomen, and ensure that your elbows remain wide and flared out.
- Pause at the top of the movement, intensely squeezing your back muscles.
- Slowly return the bar to the starting position by extending your arms.
- Do 8 to 12 repetitions for each set and 2 to 4 sets.
Tips and Form
- Beginners should start with a lighter weight to prioritize proper form over lifting heavy.
- Maintain a slight bend in your knees and a neutral spine.
- Ensure you’re pulling towards your lower abs and not your chest.
- Your arms should be straight, and your shoulders should be relaxed, not shrugged.
- Avoid letting the weight slam down or pulling with momentum.
- Exhale while you pull, and inhale as you release.
- Maintain a smooth and controlled tempo throughout the movement.
- Do not swing your torso back and forth.
- Consciously concentrate on working your back muscles, not just moving the weight.
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Wide Grip Seated Cable Row Alternatives
If you don’t want to do the wide grip cable row, there are other exercises that work the same muscles in your back.
- Barbell Bent-Over Row (Wide Grip)
- Wide Grip Pull-ups
- Resistance Band Wide Row
- Band Pull Aparts
- Seated Row Machine
- Chest Supported Row
- Saeterbakken A, Andersen V, Brudeseth A, Lund H, Fimland MS. The Effect of Performing Bi- and Unilateral Row Exercises on Core Muscle Activation. Int J Sports Med. 2015 Nov;36(11):900-5. doi: 10.1055/s-0034-1398646. Epub 2015 Jul 2. PMID: 26134664.
- Ronai, Peter M.S., FACSM, ACSM-RCEP, ACSM-CEP, ACSM-EP, EIM III, CSCS. Do It Right: The Seated Cable Row Exercise. ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal 23(4):p 32-37, 7/8 2019.
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.