Wide-grip cable row

Exercise details

  • Target muscles: The back in general
  • Synergists: Latissimus Dorsi, Teres Major, Erector Spinae, Rhomboids, Middle and Lower Trapezii, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor, Posterior Deltoid, Pectoralis Major, Brachialis, Brachioradialis
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Force: Pull

Starting position

  1. Sit facing the cable row machine and place your feet on the foot rests.
  2. Grasp the long bar with a wider-than-shoulder-width grip and slide your bottom backward until your knees are almost straight. You torso should be leaning forward and your arms should be fully extended.


  1. Exhale as you slowly lean backward, straighten your back, and pull the bar to your abdomen. Pull your shoulders back and stick out your chest at the top of the movement.
  2. Hold for a count of two.
  3. Inhale as you slowly lean forward and return the bar to the starting position, with your arms fully extended and your lower back bent forward.
  4. Repeat.

Comments and tips

  • Do not arch your back beyond feeling a mild stretch.
  • Do not swing your torso back and forth.
  • To allow your lower back time to adapt, start light and add weight gradually.
  • Many people think that your biceps acts as a synergist in rowing exercises such as this one. In fact, it only acts as a dynamic stabilizer, along with the long head of your triceps brachii.
  • Most people will tell you to keep your back straight and your chest out. That’s known as the straight-back wide-grip cable row. It’s a different exercise, one that doesn’t dynamically work your erector spinae (spinal erectors). The exercise described above (the wide-grip cable row) does dynamically work your spinal erectors.

Note: The illustration is for the straight-back wide-grip cable row. See the video for a wide-grip cable row demonstration.

Wide-grip cable row video


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