Machine one-arm row

Exercise details

  • Target muscle: The back in general
  • Synergists: Latissimus Dorsi, Teres Major, Rhomboids, Middle and Lower Trapezius, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor, Posterior Deltoid, Sternal (Lower) Pectoralis Major, Brachialis, Brachioradialis
  • Dynamic stabilizers (not highlighted): Biceps Brachii, Triceps Brachii (Long Head)
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Force: Pull

Starting position

  1. Adjust the machine’s seat and chest pad for optimal comfort and range of motion.
  2. Sit on the machine.
  3. Position your chest against the front pad.
  4. Plant your feet firmly on the floor.
  5. Grasp the handles. Your arms and shoulders should be stretched forward.


  1. Keeping your back straight, exhale as you pull one of the handles to the side of your waist.
  2. Hold for a count of two, stick out your chest, and squeeze your back muscles.
  3. Inhale as you slowly return the handle to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.
  5. Repeat the exercise with your opposite arm.

Comments and tips

  • Pull with your elbow, not with your biceps.
  • The machine one-arm row is great for developing unilateral functional upper-body strength.
  • To encourage the recruitment of more stabilizer muscles, especially in your core, place your free arm behind your back. See video.


Machine one-arm row

Machine one-arm row with free arm behind back


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