Smith machine Yates row exercise
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Smith machine Yates row

Exercise details

Main muscles activated

Muscles activated by Smith machine Yates row


Starting position

  1. Adjust the height of the Smith machine bar so that it is set at the height of your lower thighs.
  2. Grasp the bar with a shoulder-width pronated (overhand) grip.
  3. Lean forward at a 45-degree angle by flexing your hips and knees.
  4. Unlatch the bar from the rail by rotating it.


  1. Keeping your back neutral, exhale as you pull the bar up to your waist.
  2. Hold for a count of two and squeeze your back muscles.
  3. Inhale as you lower the bar to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for more repetitions.
  5. When you have finished, rotate the bar to latch it back onto the rail.

Comments and tips

  • Use the Smith machine Yates row to strengthen and build your upper back and arms, and to develop upper-body strength.
  • As with all rowing and pull-down exercises, pull with your elbows, not with your biceps.
  • Keep your body still; do not allow your torso to sway up and down.
  • If the stoppers of the Smith machine prevent a full range of motion, stand on a plate or box.
  • For more biceps activation, use an underhand (supinated) grip.
  • Using a barbell instead of a Smith machine is preferred for this exercise; however, many people find that using the Smith machine helps them to avoid cheating by swaying up and down.
  • To learn the difference between a Yates row and a bent-over barbell row, see the Comments and tips section of the underhand Yates row.

Smith machine Yates row video

This is the best video demonstration I could find of the Smith machine Yates row. Unfortunately, the form is quite poor, with lots of swaying of the torso.


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