- Target muscle: None; the back in general. See synergists
- Synergists: Upper and Middle Trapezius, Rhomboids, Latissimus Dorsi, Teres Major, Posterior Deltoid, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor, Brachialis, Brachioradialis, Sternal (Lower) Pectoralis Major
- Dynamic stabilizers: Biceps Brachii, Triceps Brachii (long head only)
- Mechanics: Compound
- Force: Pull
- Adjust the height of the Smith machine bar so that it is set at the height of your lower thighs.
- Grasp the bar with a shoulder-width pronated (overhand) grip.
- Lean forward at a 45-degree angle by flexing your hips and knees.
- Unlatch the bar from the rail by rotating it.
- Keeping your back neutral, exhale as you pull the bar up to your waist.
- Hold for a count of two and squeeze your back muscles.
- Inhale as you lower the bar to the starting position.
- Repeat for more repetitions.
- 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.