The seated cable row machine is something that you’re likely to see in a local gym or health club. This handy item is often a part of the neat rows of fixed weight machines in their own fixed weight training area, out of the way of the elliptical machines and treadmills. People use these machines for toning and training various muscle groups.
Seated Cable Row: How it Works
If you look at the seated cable row machine, you’ll see that it works on the principle of directing weight loads, usually weight plates, against a cable. There is a bench for you to sit on, and you will face the cable, which usually has a handle or bar end for easy gripping. When you pull in on the cable, the weight will provide resistance.
Using the Seated Cable Row
To use the seated cable row machine, start in a comfortable sitting position. Your back should be relatively straight, and your arms should easily reach the handle of the cable. You’ll want to start out with very low weight, so that you can get a feel for how the machine works without overloading and possibly straining muscles or even injuring your back.
Proper form is important for the seated cable row machine because doing this exercise wrong can have a negative impact on your back, especially if you have existing back problems. What you want is to be able to feel that your arms are doing the work. In a smooth, slow and controlled motion, bring your arms back, pulling the handle of the cable toward the center of your chest, and you’ll feel the weight working against your muscles. If it feels like there is pressure on your back, adjust your position to relieve the back and put the burden back on your arms.
Always ask your resident trainer about using the seated cable row machine before you start out with this station. For the best chances at avoiding injury, start with a low weight and add weight slowly. Remember that doing more repetitions of an exercise with lower weight can be more effective than trying to do fewer repetitions with a lot of weight working against your muscles.
The seated cable row can be a great exercise for developing your arms and upper back in order to help you do more of other outdoor activities, such as kayaking, rowing a rowboat, or cross-country skiing. You may not think you’ll be rowing a boat anywhere anytime soon, but getting your arms and back pumped up does more for your body than just that: it provides more core strength and overall ability for lots of the tough tasks you might do around your house or apartment. Think about adding this common fixed weight activity to your fitness schedule.