Cable Machine Exercises: One Arm Seated Row

The one arm seated row is a great exercise to do in order to improve your bicep strength as well as your core and back strength. This exercise can even be helpful at augmenting your shoulder strength when done appropriately as well. This makes it a highly versatile and very worthwhile exercise to consider adding in to your standard workout routine.

The seated row, whether done with one arm or both arms, is done using a cable machine. The cable machine attaches a cable that you can pull outward from the machine to a set of weights that increase the resistance. For this exercise, you’ll need to be seated at an upright bench (one that has a back to it and that you can rest your own back up against). The bench should also have footholds to place your feet in for balance as well.

1. Exercise Basics

Before you begin, it’s a good idea to adjust the height and positioning of the bench so that you’ll be able to comfortably reach the cable without any problems. Set the weight on the cable machine to a relatively light weight to begin, as it’s best to plan on increasing the weight gradually as you work. Sit on the bench with your back resting up against the back of the bench and hold the cable in one hand. Your elbow should be bent, and your elbow should be held close in to your side. The other free arm can be resting at your side.

To execute the exercise, lean your torso forward while simultaneously arching your back slightly. As you do so, extend the arm that you’ll be exercising forward as well. Many people find that it’s helpful to rotate your arm slightly inward as you do so. The fully extended position of the exercise should involve you leaning as far forward as is comfortable. Slowly bring yourself back to the resting position to complete one repetition of this exercise.

2. Safety and Injury Prevention

One of the keys of the one arm seated row is that you complete the exercise in a safe manner. This will help to ensure that you don’t injure yourself as you do this motion. Do not lean too far forward, and be sure to slightly arch your back as you do. This will help to prevent potential back injury. It’s also important that you not overload the cable machine with too much weight, as this can cause you to strain your arm or other parts as well.

3. Modifications

One of the best modifications for this exercise is to incorporate both arms. After you’ve completed the single arm cable row with both arms, it’s a good idea to perform the same exercise while holding on to the cable handles with both arms. The positioning for both arms is the same, as is the leaning forward movement as well. This is a good coordination exercise.


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