Straight-back wide-grip seated cable row exercise

Wide-grip cable row

Exercise details

Main muscles activated

Muscles activated by wide-grip cable row exercise


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 and squeeze your back muscles.
  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.
  • 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.
  • See also the standing cable row, the seated cable row, and the bent-over barbell row.

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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