Seated Cable Row Alternative

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 Alternative Exercises to Seated Cable Rows

The seated cable row is an oldie that is well-known for increasing back and biceps strength and growth. You'd be hard-pressed to locate a gym without a seated cable row machine!

The sitting cable row is an activity that is intended to improve and maintain one's posture, in addition to the cosmetic advantage of having a strong and developed back. It's difficult to do so in today's world since we're primarily slumped over computers, tablets, and phones.

Is the seated cable row the ultimate back and biceps workout? Not in the least. There are other exercises that target the same muscles and are just as effective as this one!

Wide Grip Seated Cable Row


'Back and Biceps Day' Is All About

The seated cable row is one of those workouts that has been around for so long and has shown to be effective that people cannot imagine doing anything else. I'd want to go through the principles of 'back and biceps day' before I go into some of the fantastic alternatives to the seated cable row.

Pull exercises are essential for successfully training your back and biceps.

Pull exercises demand the muscles to contract during the concentric phase of the action by drawing weight towards the body, then stretch during the eccentric phase by releasing the weight. Any action that demands the back and bicep muscles to lift weight in either a horizontal or vertical plane is beneficial for both strengthening and mass gain.


Inverted T-RX Cable Row

The bodyweight row, also known as the inverted row, works your biceps and most of your back muscles. The inverted row works everything from your latissimus dorsi to your rhomboids, trapezius, and all the stabilizer muscles around them.

This exercise is especially suitable for beginners because it makes use of your own body weight and does not place undue stress on the back. A racked barbell, T-RX cables, or rings can be used to perform inverted rows.

Hold on to the T-RX handles and hang backwards on them with outstretched arms to do this exercise correctly.

From here, move your feet forward, maintaining your body in a straight line, until you are carrying the load of your body weight that is safe for you to draw. It will be easier the more vertical your body is, and the more horizontal you go, the more difficult it will be.

Perform an inverted row by lifting your body weight upwards on the cables, elbows skimming over your sides, and shoulder blades pushed together, while keeping your arms shoulder-width apart, core tight, and neural spine. Before returning to the starting position, hold for a second.

Under resistance, repetitions should be gradual and controlled for as long as possible. For 8 to 10 repetitions, try 3 seconds up, 3 seconds down.


Single Arm Dumbbell Row

A unilateral workout, the single arm dumbbell row allows you to load and work one side of your body at a time. These workouts are excellent for developing equal strength and bulk on the left and right sides of the body.

This sitting cable row substitute works the latissimus dorsi, as well as the back deltoids, upper and lower trapezius, and rhomboids. The single arm dumbbell row is an excellent first-time back workout since it gives stability without the need of a machine.

One dumbbell of a suitable weight and a bench for support are used in this workout. Support your body weight on the bench while performing the single arm dumbbell row safely. Maintain a neutral spine and neck.

Starting with your weaker arm is a smart idea. Row the dumbbell upwards towards your ribs with an extended arm, elbows skimming over your sides and drawing your scapular back and down.

At the pinnacle of the movement, hold for a second before gently returning to the beginning position. For 12 to 15 reps on each side, try this exercise.


Incline Dumbbell Row

The Incline Dumbbell Row is as near as you can come to a sitting cable row!

The primary difference with this option is that a bench supports your complete body weight. By relieving the strain on your core, you may isolate your upper back. The seated cable row, on the other hand, needs a lot of core work to keep you stable.

You'll need to lie face down on an elevated/incline bench with a dumbbell in each hand beneath the bench to do this workout. Straighten your legs and place your toes on the floor. Pull the dumbbells in a straight line towards you until your shoulder blades are pressed together and your hands are at the bottom of your rib cage.


T-Bar Row

The T-Bar Row is one of my personal favorites. I believe this exercise to be really beneficial as a strength workout, and I would gladly forego the machines in favor of this sitting cable row.

This exercise is not recommended for beginners since it demands a large amount of core and lower body strength to do safely. When performing this exercise, technique should always come first.

To complete this exercise, you'll need an Olympic barbell, some weight plates, and a narrow grip (v-grip) handle. It is ideal to use a landmine attachment, but if you don't have one, you may just position the barbell in a corner.

Load the opposite end of the bar with a proper amount of weight after it is in the landmine attachment or in the corner. Straddle the bar by hooking the handle around the barbell's collar and holding it with two hands.

From here, tilt forward at the hips with a small bend in the knees until your upper body is at 45 degrees to the floor. Pull the bar towards your chest while keeping a neutral spine, starting with your arms fully extended.

The weight plates should be at your chest at the height of the action, and your shoulder blades should be pressed together with elbows tucked in. Lower the bar until your arms are completely extended, then raise it again. To optimize strength development, I like to do this exercise in sets of 5 for 5.


Pendlay Row

The pendlay row is another classic exercise for building considerable back bulk. This is a powerful workout that targets both your upper and lower back while also needing full posterior chain and core engagement for stability.

The main drawback to this exercise is the technique, which is difficult to master even for seasoned lifters. As a result, this workout is not recommended for beginners. To complete this workout, you'll need an Olympic barbell, weight plates, and a lot of technique. It's crucial to remember that this lift must be performed on adequate flooring.

Each repetition begins with the barbell on the ground as a dead weight. Keep the bar close to your body and use a pronated, medium to broad grip to hold it. Your knees should be somewhat bent, and your hips should be pivoted, with your torso parallel to the ground.

When you begin, your thoracic spine should be contracted and your shoulders extended. Maintain a neutral position for your head and neck. Flex your elbows to draw the bar towards your belly (in a straight line) as rapidly as you can, keeping your core completely engaged to stabilize through your lower back.

Your shoulder blades should be fully retracted at the apex of the action. The movement should be regulated, and the position of your knees and hips should always be maintained. It's critical that you return the weight to a dead weight on the ground between reps.


Last Word

One of my favorite training days has to be back and biceps day! I'd hate for individuals who don't have access to a seated cable row machine to feel left out…. Because, very honestly, they aren't!

I hope you found this post interesting and that you will try out some of the suggestions. Remember that a weak back may lead to a slew of (painful) problems, thus back strength and mobility should be prioritized at all times.

As you can see, targeting all of the muscles in your back without using a seated cable row machine is simple. This makes it simple to execute efficient back and bicep workouts at home, even if you only have a basic home gym set up.

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