How To Do High Cable Row Properly

High Cable Row is a high cable variation with different ways of doing the workout but all target muscles on the upper body.

Most of the cable variations are not that much of a challenge. They act as finishers in workout programs because the use of less weight than usual is advisable to concentrate on a better form and technique.

Less weight lets you concentrate on muscle contraction and activation. This helps you develop muscles quicker and master the technique better.


With a number of variations, you will do the technique while standing so you can engage more muscles. Also, you  increase body balance when you continue to master the technique.

In case of any injuries or assistance with the set-up, inform your trainer/gym instructor for more advice.

How to do it.

  • Set the cable machine pulley on the highest level. This will depend on your height. if you are a bit short, you can set it above your head height. Set weights that best match your fitness level.
  • Grab the cable handles or rope extensions with palms facing each other and take a few steps behind to create tension on the cable.
  • Stand in a staggered position, one foot in front of the other for better balance. Make sure to extend your arms and slightly bend the elbows while holding the handles. This is your starting position.
  • Exhale as you row the cable handles towards your chest. Slightly flare your elbows out as you pull it towards you.
  • Make sure to pinch your shoulder blades together to prompt muscle contraction, which facilitates activation of the primary muscles.
  • Inhale as you release the tension on the cable and return to your starting position. Keep your chest out as you do this.
  • Throughout the technique, maintain a straight back and slightly pull your torso forward when rowing the cable towards your chest. Doing this creates balance and muscle tightening at the back.
  • Do 3 sets of 10-12 reps.



Best known as Posterior Delts, the rear shoulder muscles primary function is extension, external rotation and abduction of the arm and shoulder joint.

The muscle helps abduct the arm so that your arms will not go all the way back and dislocate. Strengthening and developing the arms protects your shoulder joints from severe injuries.


Being larger than the bicep muscles gives you more reason to build the muscle as it improves arm appearance and strength. For beginners it may be challenging to work out the triceps but with time, the muscles will pick up and improve in performance.

Strong upper arm muscles increases your workout intensity and opens more opportunities for challenging and advanced workouts.


The trap muscle is an extensive muscle that starts at the base of the neck and crosses over to the shoulders and to the middle back.

Traps are best recognized as shoulder blades that protrude at the shoulders from the back of the neck. When rowing the handles towards your chest, squeezing the shoulder blades (Traps) contracts the muscles, which activates and eventually develop with time.



As much as High Cable Row isolates the rear deltoid muscles and triceps, it still works on multiple upper body muscles. Forearm flexors are worked on too especially when pulling the cable handle towards your chest and holding the position to activate the muscles.

Constant row and muscle activation facilitates muscle development, which bulks your upper body muscles and gives you that toned and strong look.


Bracing your back muscles tightens them and prompts you to straighten your back when doing the exercise. This helps reinforce a straight back and a healthy spine.

A good posture gives out confidence and a strong backbone. A strong back helps reduce the risks of back pain due to curving the spine while sitting or working out.



Pull-ups are best known for their guaranteed muscle activation and development. You can almost never go wrong with this workout that is why it is a great alternative for High Cable Row.

How to do it:

There are gym equipment with already set bars for pull-up, if not, use a bar fixed up on a wall for pull-ups.

  • Grab the bar in an overhand grip with hands shoulder-width apart and hang freely crossing your feet at the ankles. This is your starting position.
  • By now you core is tight and shoulders already feeling the tension.
  • Inhale as you bend at the elbows and slowly pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar. avoid swinging while pulling up.
  • Hold the position and then lower yourself down as you exhale back to your starting position. Make sure your shoulder blades remain back and down throughout the workout.
  • Do 2 sets of 8-10 reps.



There is really no gain in rushing a workout; it is just like rushing a good thing that needs time to be better. Muscle activation takes time and some people take longer to see results after countless times of working out.

Doing motions in a slow and smooth technique guarantees muscle activation that quickens muscle build up and development.


No one can stress this more than trainers and gym instructors. Maintain a neutral spine while working out, this way, your back muscles tighten and reinforce a good posture that helps you have a healthy spine free of pain and tension.


It can be argued that upper body strength is measured by how toned and strengthen your arms and chest look, which I am sure most agree. Bulk muscles mean hours of intense lifts, pulls, and heavyweights.

High Cable Row is a great workout that engages your muscles and allows you to finish your upper body/shoulder workout program with a bang.

Focusing on form and technique gives you leverage in concentrating on how each movement will activate your muscles and develop them.