Single-arm cable seated row

The single-arm cable seated row is a version of the cable row movement that trains the muscles of the upper back one side at a time. It targets a wide range of muscles including the lats (latissimus dorsi), traps, rhomboids, and rear deltoids. It also targets the biceps to a lesser degree. The single-arm row can work well in a variety of rep ranges but is most popular in muscle-building workouts or as an accessory movement for strength workouts.


  1. Uses equipment common in commercial gyms
  2. Cable provides constant tension throughout the movement, including at peak contraction
  3. Easy to quickly switch weights for dropsets
  4. Working the back one side at a time allows you to focus on balance between sides and feel the proper muscles contracting

Single-arm cable seated row Images


Single-arm cable seated row Instructions

Single-arm cable seated row muscle diagram
  1. To get into the starting position, first sit down on the machine and place your feet on the front platform or crossbar provided making sure that your knees are slightly bent and not locked.
  2. Lean over as you keep the natural alignment of your back and grab the single handle attachment with your left arm using a palms-down grip.
  3. With your arm extended pull back until your torso is at a 90-degree angle from your legs. Your back should be slightly arched and your chest should be sticking out. You should be feeling a nice stretch on your lat as you hold the bar in front of you. The right arm can be kept by the waist. This is the starting position of the exercise.
  4. Keeping the torso stationary, pull the handles back towards your torso while keeping the arms close to it as you rotate the wrist, so that by the time your hand is by your abdominals it is in a neutral position (palms facing the torso). Breathe out as you perform that movement. At that point you should be squeezing your back muscles hard.
  5. Hold that contraction for a second and slowly go back to the original position while breathing in. Tip: Remember to rotate the wrist as you go back to the starting position so that the palms are facing down again.
  6. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions and then perform the same movement with the right hand.

Variations: You can perform this movement with a high pulley as well and standing up. You can also perform it doing a full rotation of the wrist. In other words, at the starting position you will have the palms of the hands facing down and at the end of the movement they will be facing up. Great movement to perform for a variety of purposes.