Machine high row exercise

Machine high row

Exercise details

Main muscles activated

Muscles activated by machine high row exercise


Starting position

  1. Adjust the high row machine’s seat and chest pad for optimal comfort and range of motion.
  2. Sit in the machine, with your legs secured under the leg pads and your chest braced against the chest pad.
  3. Grasp the handles using a pronated (overhand) grip. Your arms should be fully extended and your shoulders should be stretched forward.


  1. Exhale as you pull the handles backward until your elbows are behind you and your shoulders are pulled backward.
  2. Hold for a count of two and squeeze your back muscles.
  3. Inhale as you allow the handles to return to the starting position, with your shoulders stretched forward.
  4. Repeat.

Comments and tips

  • Pull with your elbows, not with your biceps.
  • The machine high row is a pull exercise. The movements of most pull exercise are either horizontal or vertical. The machine high row is different because the movement is diagonal. As a result, compared with other pull exercises, it hits your muscles from a different angle.
  • The high row machine is isolateral, which means that each arm has an independent lever and must therefore manage its own weight, just like when training with dumbbells. The benefits of isolateral exercises are that you can use a different weight on each side to fix muscle strength imbalances, you can train one side at a time (unilateral training) or both sides at the same time (bilateral training), and you can perform alternating repetitions. Most important, isolateral exercises don’t allow your strong side to make up for your weak side.
  • Since you can use the high row machine both unilaterally and bilaterally, alternate between the two methods to get the benefits of both worlds.
  • The machine high row is also known as the leverage high row, lever seated high row, and hammer strength high row.
  • See also the seated cable row.

Machine high row video


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