The Best Seated Cable Row Alternatives: Muscle-Building Aspects and Exercise Variations

The Best Seated Cable Row Alternatives

The seated cable row is one of the best exercises you can do to build muscle and increase strength. However, many alternative exercises can be performed to change the routine and target different muscles. This article will describe the best seated cable row alternate exercises. We will prioritize the muscle-building aspects of the exercises and how to perform them properly. Lastly, we will focus on the exercise variations and common mistakes people make when performing this exercise.

The Benefit of Seated Cable Row Exercises

The seated cable row is a great exercise for targeting the back muscles. This exercise primarily works the latissimus dorsi, which are the large muscles on the sides of the back. The cable row also works the middle and lower trapezius, rhomboid, and erector spinae.

The cable row is a compound exercise, meaning it works multiple joints and muscle groups. This exercise is a great alternative to the traditional barbell row, which can be tough on the lower back. The cable row is also a great exercise for beginners because it is relatively easy to learn and perform.

How to Perform Seated Cable Rows

To set up for the cable row, adjust the seat of the cable machine so that your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle and your arms are extended in front of you. Grab the handles of the cable with an overhand grip, making sure your palms are facing down. Sit up tall with your shoulders back and down. This is the starting position.

From the starting position, row the handles back towards your body while keeping your arms close to your sides. Squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement. Return to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of reps.

Variations of Seated Cable Rows

Now that we’ve discussed the seated cable row and the benefits of the exercise, let’s take a look at some of the best alternatives for this exercise that you can do.

Exercise #1: Bent Over Barbell Row

As mentioned before, the traditional barbell row is a great alternative to the seated cable row. This exercise is similar to the cable row, but it uses a barbell instead of a cable machine.

To perform the exercise:

  • Grab a barbell with an overhand grip and hold it in front of your thighs.

  • Bend at your hips and lower your torso until it is parallel to the floor.

  • Bend your knees slightly and keep your back straight.

  • Row the barbell up towards your chest, keeping your elbows close to your sides.

  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement and lower the barbell back to the starting position.

  • Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Exercise #2: Standing One-Arm Cable Row

The one-arm cable row is a great alternative to the seated cable row because it works each side of the back independently. This exercise is also a great way to correct any imbalances you may have in your back muscles.

To perform the exercise:

  • Adjust the cable machine so that the pulley is at shoulder height.

  • Grab the cable handle with your right hand and stand with your feet hip-width apart.

  • Bend your knees slightly and lean forward at your hips until your torso is parallel to the floor.

  • Row the cable up towards your chest, keeping your elbow close to your side.

  • Squeeze your shoulder blade at the top of the movement and lower the cable back to the starting position.

  • Repeat for the desired number of reps and then switch sides.

Exercise #3: Cable Bent-Over Row

The cable bent-over row is another great alternative to the seated cable row. This exercise works the back muscles while also engaging the core.

To perform the exercise:

  • Grab a cable handle with your right hand and stand with your feet hip-width apart.

  • Bend your knees slightly and lean forward at your hips until your torso is parallel to the floor.

  • Row the cable up towards your chest, keeping your elbow close to your side.

  • As you row the cable, twist your torso to the right and squeeze your shoulder blade.

  • Lower the cable back to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of reps. Switch sides and repeat on the left side.

Exercise #4: T Bar Row

The T bar row is a great alternative to the seated cable row because it works the entire back. This exercise is also a great way to build grip strength.

To perform the exercise:

  • Grab a cable handle with your right hand and stand with your feet hip-width apart.

  • Bend your knees slightly and lean forward at your hips until your torso is parallel to the floor.

  • Row the cable up towards your chest, keeping your elbow close to your side.

  • As you row the cable, twist your torso to the right and squeeze your shoulder blade.

  • Lower the cable back to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of reps. Switch sides and repeat on the left side.

Exercise #5: Single Arm Landmine Row

The landmine row is a great alternative to the seated cable row because it works the entire back. This exercise is also a great way to build grip strength.

To perform the exercise:

  • Grab a cable handle with your right hand and stand with your feet hip-width apart.

  • Bend your knees slightly and lean forward at your hips until your torso is parallel to the floor.

  • Row the cable up towards your chest, keeping your elbow close to your side.

  • As you row the cable, twist your torso to the right and squeeze your shoulder blade.

  • Lower the cable back to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of reps. Switch sides and repeat on the left side.

Exercise #6: Dumbbell Row

The dumbbell row is a great alternative to the seated cable row because it works each side of the back independently. This exercise is also a great way to correct any imbalances you may have in your back muscles.

To perform the exercise:

  • Grab a dumbbell in your right hand and stand with your feet hip-width apart.

  • Bend your knees slightly and lean forward at your hips until your torso is parallel to the floor.

  • Row the dumbbell up towards your chest, keeping your elbow close to your side.

  • Squeeze your shoulder blade at the top of the movement and lower the dumbbell back to the starting position.

  • Repeat for the desired number of reps and then switch sides.

Common Mistakes

One of the most common mistakes people make when doing row exercises is using too much weight. When rowing, you should use a weight that allows you to maintain good form throughout the entire exercise.

Another common mistake is not squeezing the shoulder blade at the top of the movement. This will ensure that you are working the back muscles, and not just using your arms.

Finally, people often swing their torso as they row the cable up. This takes the focus away from the back muscles and puts unnecessary stress on the lower back. To avoid this, focus on squeezing your shoulder blade and keeping your torso still as you row the cable up.

Summary

In conclusion, the seated cable row is a great exercise for building back muscle. However, there are many other exercises that can be done to achieve the same goal. When doing any of these exercises, it is important to maintain good form and use a weight that allows you to do so. This will ensure that you are working the back muscles effectively and not putting unnecessary stress on the lower back.

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