In case you re planning to work your back by the
book, this post is exactly what you ve been looking for. Because the seated row
machine is the device that can help you with that. It builds strength and
muscles in a correct way and at a natural pace.
The seated row machine is reportedly the best
device at targeting your Rhomboid Muscles as well as the Middle Trapezius.
But including these two previously mentioned,
here s a list of the main muscles that benefit from your practicing this type
of fitness and bodybuilding routine: the Teres Major (outer back),
theLatissimusDorsi (middle back), the Rhomboids, the
Middle and Lower Trapezius (upper back), the Erector Spinae
(lower back), the Pectoralis Major,the Lower Chest Muscles,
the Posterior Deltoids (shoulder), theInfraspinatus(shoulder), theTeres Minor(shoulder).
And these are just the main muscles. There are a lot
of secondary ones, which serve and balance the muscles above, such as a part of
your triceps (upper arm), the biceps (upper arm),
the hamstrings (lower body), the Adductor Magnus
(lower body) and the Gluteus Maximus (lower body). Buy enough
with the chart section of this article. Let s get down to business.
The Multiple Types of the Seated Row Machine
In case you want to avoid any confusion, you should
know there are several types of seated row machine: the machine seated row, the seated cable row, the high pulley row and the seated row using a resistance band.
How to use the Body Solid Seated Row Machine
A Brief Description of the Device
For those of you who are interested in taking up a
seated machine row routine, here are some basic facts about the device. First
of all, as you can probably understand from its designation, it has a small
seat along with a small vertical pad, the main difference from any classic
machine being that your chest is the area that comes in contact with it
throughout the entire routine. Don t worry about height or mass differences, as
the seat and the chest pad are usually highly adjustable.
As far as the handles are concerned, a seated rowing
machine can have between 1 and 3 pairs of handles, with different purposes.
The horizontally placed wide-grip handles are mainly meant to target your
trapezius muscles. The narrow-grip handles mostly target your LlatissimusDorsi
muscles, while the underhand grip handles are for your biceps and lats.
Nevertheless the latter pair of handles is less common.
Moreover pay extra
attention to the independent movement of the handles as well. It s a
pity to have the opportunity to use a super-device and have no clue how to use
it. Some can also change their planes. So the challenge is practically
You can also play with
weights, meaning that the charge can be modified according to the user s needs
Let s get down to business and learn how to use
this seated machine row properly:
Step 1: Sit down on the little seat, with
your feet firmly on the floor; roughly the handles should be at the same height
as your chest.
Step 2: Adjust the chest pad so that it is
placed in the middle of your chest and it prevents you from grabbing the
handles with much ease (this will prevent the weights from touching the stack
during the point in which you have your arms fully extended).
Step 3: Make sure to pull your shoulders
back and to keep you chest in an upright position; your back and your hips
should be in a straight line.
Step 4:Exhale contracting the abdominal
muscles and pull the handles. Your elbows will move backwards as a consequence.
Step 5: Stop pulling once you have felt
your shoulders squeeze back together.
Step 6: Slowly extend your arms back while
Take care not to move your hips during the movement
and keep your back straight- the chest pad will help you with this.
1. How to Use a Seated (Low Pulley) Cable Row Machine
Step 1: Sit down on the seat and place your
legs in front of you on the platform or crossbar, with you knees slightly bent.
Step 2: Concentrate on you back and
straighten it you ll have to maintain this position throughout the entire
Step 3: Grab the bar; you back is still
Step 4: Pull the bar towards you until your
legs and your torso form a 90-degree angle; your shoulders should have gone
back by now, leaving your chest out.
Step 5: Without moving your torso, pull the
bar towards it until you reach the abs; breathe out while you do this, for
extra strength and resistance.
Step 6: Hold this position for a few
seconds, then slowly go back, breathing in.
Keep in mind that as far as the handle is concerned,
it might as well be a V-bar or a straight bar. The first one has the palms of
your hands facing each other, while the second one can have either them facing
forward or facing up (reverse grip).
2. How to Use a High Pulley Cable Row Machine
It s the same as the regular seated cable row machine, the
only difference being that the bar has to be pulled straight towards you upper
chest instead of the abdominals. It s a recommended variation as it really
works your lats like nothing else.
3. How to use the Seated Row Using a Resistance Band
Even though this type of exercise can be done
anywhere, it is a highly used variation of the cable row exercise. The only
things you ll need are a resistance band and a place where to attach the
resistant band from.
Step 1: The band must be positioned at
stomach level and grasped with both hands.
Step 2: The distance between your sitting
place and the band must have tension between the tube and your stretched arms.
Step 3: Start pulling the tube towards your
chest, keeping your back straight.
Step 4: Slowly release by strengthening your
3 Seated Rowing Machine Traps and Mistakes
1. Don t Row With Your Arms Only In
other words don t let your arms and your back to do all the work. The row
machine routine is a complex movement, that should be divided as follows: 20%
of the movement should come as a result of the arms pull, 20% should come from
the core and 60% from your feet. Never forget that. You might get seriously
injured if you ignore this advice.
2. Don t Mix the Precise Step Order It s
tempting to perform the pulling at the same time with your leg movement. But
this is the wrong way to do it. So your legs should always go first, followed
by the backward leaning of your upper body, and only after that your hands
should start pulling.
3. Keep your back straight!
In case you are working in a cubicle, chances are that your back may have long
got used to that desk position. But the gym is no place for the Hunchback of
Notre Dame. So hold your abs in and lower your shoulders, pulling them back.
All in all keep in mind that the movement should be
well defined and take your time to repeat in your head what you are about to do
before getting started. You won t have to do this every single time, just at
the beginning, before this routine becomes natural to you.
Seated Row Machine Variations
1. The Seated One-Arm Cable Rows
For this one you ll need a single-handed bar, not a
v-bar, because the purpose of this exercise is to work every side of your back
in an isolated motion.
Step 1: Sit down in with the machine facing
Step 2: Check your position: when your arm
is completely stretched, you need to feel it in your lat.
Step 2: Incline yourself forward from the
Step 4: Pull yourself back until you
straighten your back with you arm positioned as close to your side as possible.
2. The Kneeling High Pulley Row
Fix a rope on the pulley s cable and position it at
a height that allows you to reach it while kneeling on the floor.
Step 1: Knee in front of the pulley, on
either knees or just both of them, and grasp the rope; this should make your
arms to be perfectly extended.
Step 2: Flexing and retracting your
shoulders bring the rope to your chest; exhale while doing this.
Step 3: Freeze for a couple of seconds
squeezing your shoulders together.
Step 4: Taking your time, return to the
Try not to lean forward while going back; this will
prevent your muscles from working efficiently. Moreover if the pulley is at eye
level, this means you are performing this routine correctly.
3. The Wide Grip Seated Row
The wide grip version works your middle back and
rhomboids mostly. For this one you ll be needing a latpulldown bar in case the
machine you are using doesn t have one provided. Just take it from anywhere you
can find it, attach it where you need and put it back after you finish.
Step 1: Making sure you have a wider bar to grip,
grasp it overhand widely, slightly outside the shoulder width (the most
confortable thing is to grab the bar just where it bends).
Step 2: Keeping your elbows high, pull the bar
towards you (pull it towards your upper abs) and try to come in contact with it
with your torso. Right now your upper arms should be perpendicular to the
torso on one hand and parallel to the floor on the other hand.
Try to pull your elbows as far behind the body as
you can for the best contraction.
4. The Narrow Grip Seated Row
The main difference between this one and its previous
version is the position of the hands, which obviously, due to its being
different works different muscles. Despite its being a really famous exercise,
the narrow grip rows don t work your back, but your outer lats. This is among
the classics of this routine, but it s quite overrated actually. Go for it, but
don t put all your hopes in it.
5. The Upright Cable Row
Step 1:In front of the seated upright row
machine, standing up, grab a straight bar cable that s attached to a low
pulley. Your grip should have the palms facing the thighs and your arms should
have less width than your shoulders between them. Let the bar rest on your
thighs. Keeping your back straight, make sure your arms are not over stretched
(your elbows should be slightly bent).
Step 2:Exhaling, lift the cable until it
touches your chin. Let your elbows conduct the motion, not your forearms. Keep
the bar to your chin for a few seconds.
Step 3: Slowly let the bar down again;
inhale as you do this.
Be careful not to use too many weights, because your
shoulders might get seriously injured.
Some Beginner s Seated Row Machine Variations
A Rookie s Seated Row exercise
We ll begin our rookie session with a good alternative for
women. This exercise is marked like a bonus, because it s indeed derived from
our post s subject, but it uses nothing more than a resistance band or tube and
our body. You can use the floor as a seating.
Step 1: Sit down on the floor with your legs in front
of you. Position the band at the bottom of your feet and hold its ends firmly.
Step 2: Keeping your back straight and your elbows a
little bent, start pulling the band back as you exhale. Your elbows should be
really bent at the end of this movement.
Keep your torso stable and your back straight while doing
it. You ll feel your arms and upper back working. Try to make at least 15
repetitions per set.
1. The Side Rows:
Step 1: Grab the handle with your right
hand, and place your left over it.
Step 2: Turn the handle in a vertical
position, so that your right hand eventually ends up above.
Step 3: Imagine yourself rowing, with a
paddle in your hand.
Step 4: In order to go forward on your left
side, bend your knees in.
Step 5: Pushing back with your legs,
pulling the handle back; your left elbow is leading this move.
Step 6: Once your legs are extended, lean
backwards 45 degrees.
This is one rep. Perform as many as you can, but no
less than 10.
2. The Leg Drives
Step 1: Sit up straight with you arms also
Step 2: Adjust the seat, moving it forward,
so that your knees form a 90-degree angle while you are holding the step 1
Step 3: Using your legs, push back until
they are fully extended.
Step 4: Lead backwards at a 45-degree
Step 5: Driving your hips forward, start
pulling the knees to your chest so that you return to the starting point.
This is one rep. Do at least 12 reps for one set.
3. The Pulls and Punches Exercise
Step 1: Grasping the handle of the machine
(your hands should be facing forward as you do this), extend tour arms and legs
so that the seat will end up pushed back.
Step 2: Sitting up tall and keeping your
elbows by your side, pull the bar back towards your belly.
Step 3: Push it back to its starting
This is one rep. This is a power exercise, so you
should try doing as many reps as you can during a 20-second span.
4. The Upright Rows
Step 1: Extend the legs in order to push the
seat all the way back while holding its handle to your lap with one hand at
Step 2: Using your abs, lean backwards, at
about 45 degrees.
Step 3: Start pulling the handle to your
chin, keeping you elbows outward (they must reach the shoulders ahead of your
Step 4: Hold the previous step for a few
moments and then direction the handle to its starting position.
This is one rep. You should perform at least 12 per
5. The Power Curls
Step 1: With both your palms facing forward,
grab the handle (you probably need to slide the seat all the way forward in
order to be able to do this).
Step 2: Bending you elbows, bring the bar
towards your upper body, extending your legs to push the seat backwards.
Step 3: As you are sliding the seat back to
the front, extend the arms frontally.
This is one rep. Perform at least 15 Arial.
In a nutshell the main warner regarding the seated
rowing machine involves the position of your back. Moreover there s one more
aspect that you should consider: the gym is not your arena, and there are some
routines that we ve presented here that require some wider bar borrowing. But
smile, have patience and be friendly and you ll get everything you need from