Standing cable row exercise

Standing cable row

Exercise details

Main muscles activated

Muscles activated by standing cable row


Starting position

  1. Attach a double-row bar (or two stirrups/handles) to a cable pulley that is a little lower than waist high.
  2. Grasp the double-row bar with both hands and step back until the cable is pulled taut and your arms and shoulders are stretched forward.
  3. Flex your hips and knees so that you are almost in a seated position.


  1. Keeping your elbows close to your body, exhale as you pull the double-row bar to your lower abdomen.
  2. Hold for a count of two, stick out your chest, and squeeze your back muscles.
  3. Inhale as you return the double-row bar to the starting position, with your arms and shoulders stretching forward.
  4. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.

Comments and tips

  • Pull with your elbows, not with your biceps.
  • You can either keep your back straight and vertical, as in the illustration, or allow your back to flex and extend. In the former case, your spinal erectors (erector spinae) act as stabilizers, whereas in the latter case, they act as synergists.
  • Compared with the seated cable row, the standing cable row stimulates the recruitment of many more stabilizer muscles in your legs and core, especially when lifting heavy. However, if you want to lift very heavy, or if you want to emphasize your back muscles, use the seated cable row.
  • See also the straight-back seated cable row.

Standing cable row video


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