A seated row is a compound exercise that utilizes a weighted horizontal cable row machine to work the upper body muscles. The seated row works the muscles in the back and the arms. Cable machines include a bench for comfortable seating with footplates to brace yourself against as you pull the weighted cable and perform the seated row.
The seated row works multiple muscles and encourages good posture. It is one of those row exercises that put less pressure on the lower back and hence has fewer chances of injury. The seated row is a great workout for beginners. In this article, we will discuss the seated row muscles worked and how to do a seated row.
Muscles Worked in Seated Row
Seated row muscles worked to include a number of upper body muscles. Seated cable row muscles worked include:
- Latissimus dorsi, or muscles in the middle back
- Rhomboids, or muscles between shoulder blades
- Trapezius, or muscles in the neck, shoulders, and upper back
- Biceps brachii, or muscles in front of the upper arm
The primary seated cable row muscles worked or the primary movers in a seated row are the lats and the rhomboids. The biceps and trapezius help in the movement by assisting the rhomboids and lats in seated rows workout.
Seated row exercise also targets and strengthens other groups of muscles, such as:
- Pectoralis muscles
- Abdominal muscles
- Oblique muscles
How To Do Seated Row
It is very important to perform exercises with a good form in order to prevent injuries as well as to get the maximum benefits out of your workouts. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do seated row exercise with good form.
- To begin, sit on a seated row machine, and place your feet securely on the foot platform. Make sure that your whole foot is on the platform.
- Without rounding your spine, bend your legs and grab the cable attachment.
- Now, extend your legs to move back and return to a slightly bent-knee position.
- Make sure to use a neutral grip with your palms facing each other.
- Rotate your shoulders outward to engage your lats. Your shoulder blades should be in a neutral or slightly protracted position. Your arms should be long with a slight bend in your elbows. Your posture should be tall with your feet shoulder-width apart and a slight bend in your knees. Your shoulders should be directly over your hips.
- Make sure to maintain a neutral head and neck position. Keep your chin tucked throughout the movement as if you were holding an apple under your chin. This is the starting position.
- Inhale. As you exhale, squeeze your lats and begin to bend your elbows until your upper arm is even with your body. Your elbows should form a 45-degree angle. As your elbows begin to move backward, your shoulder blades should begin to retract.
- Pause for a beat.
- As you inhale, maintain your rowing alignment, allow your shoulder blades to protract, and straighten your elbows.
- Bring your shoulder blades should back in a protracted position with your arms long with a slight bend in your elbows.
- This is one repetition.
- Perform 3 sets with 6-10 repetitions of seated row exercise.
Make sure to use a weight that you can control for 2-3 sets of 6-10 repetitions with good form to avoid any injuries.
Correct Form for Seated Row
Getting the seated row form correct is of utmost importance. There are a few things to remember when it comes to seated row form.
- Avoid outward elbows: When performing seated rows workout keep your elbows against your body during the pulling phase. Make sure to avoid lifting your elbows up and out as that would engage the biceps instead of the rhomboids and lats.
- Avoid shrugging your shoulders: When pulling the weight in the seated back row, make sure to keep your shoulders back and down. Shrugging your shoulders up to your ears will place too much focus and pressure on the traps.
- Avoid a rounded back: When doing seated back row, always maintain a neutral back. You can engage your abdominals and focus on keeping your spine straight in order to prevent arching or rounding your back.
- Avoid swinging your torso: When doing seated row back exercise, try to avoid moving your torso. If you swing your torso, it will cause your targeted muscles to not feel any tension. Bracing and engaging your core throughout the seated row back exercise will help you in stabilizing the torso.
- Avoid rapid movements: To fully activate the target muscles in a seated row, it is ideal that you perform each repetition slowly. Try to avoid any jerky or rapid movement.
- Avoid partial range of movements: Another thing to note while performing seated row is to perform each rep through the full range of motion to get the optimal benefits. While a partial or reduced range of motion in a seated row may let you lift more weight, partially extending your arms will not work your muscles properly.
- Avoid locking your knees: Locking your knees in a seated row can put a lot of stress on your joints. It is a good idea to slightly bend your knees instead when performing seated row.
Alternatives and Modifications
There are various seated row alternative exercises or variations that one can try in order to match the exercise to their fitness level. These seated row alternative or variations include:
- Seated Dumbbell Row: Seated dumbbell row is a seated row alternative that uses dumbbells instead of a cable. A seated dumbbell row can be performed anywhere as it requires minimal and easily portable equipment.
- One-arm Cable Row: This is a seated row alternative that is usually done while standing. It is a great exercise to bulk up your back and shoulders.
- Bent-over Row: This is another great alternative for the seated row. However, it is a more demanding exercise in terms of form as compared to seated rows.
Now that you know all about seated rows, make sure to include this very effective exercise in your workout routine.
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