How To Do One Arm Cable Row Properly

If your aim is to build your upper body strength, the look no further than the one arm cable row exercise. It is a form of exercise that will hit your back and upper arms effectively.

The target muscles of this routine are part of the upper posterior chain of the body and for them to have maximum muscle growth and strength, they require sufficient stimulation.

Other than a weighted horizontal cable machine with a bench and footplates that is required for this exercise, it can also be performed on a stand-alone piece of equipment or part of a multi-gym.

This article reviews everything you need to know about the one arm cable row exercise.

HOW TO DO ONE ARM CABLE ROW PROPERLY

As mentioned earlier, you will need a cable row machine with weights to perform this exercise.

Set up by attaching a grip handle to a slightly low pulley on a cable machine.

Using an overhand grip, grab the handle in your right hand and sit up straight with your arms positioned out front. This is your starting position.

Exhale and begin to pull the handle towards your waist. Remember while pulling, you have to rotate it such that your palm is facing you as it reaches to your side.

Hold for a count or two and return to the starting position with slow and controlled movements.

Repeat this in order to complete one set and go on for the desired number of sets before changing to the other hand.

ONE ARM CABLE ROW TIPS TO CONSIDER

Ensure that you pull the cable back as far as you can and hold for a count. To know if you are doing it correctly, you should feel some stretch in your back.

Maintain a back straight throughout this routine.

When performing the pulling movement, begin with your palm facing downwards but as you pull, slightly twist your hand such that your palm is facing you or your side.

ONE ARM CABLE ROW MUSCLES WORKED

LATISSIMUS DORSI

This is one of the biggest back muscles and is divided into two segments symmetrically along the backbone.

This muscle is located at the back and is also partially covered by the trapezius. When flexed, it serves to help the arm in adduction, extension and rotation.

Once injured, this muscle is usually the cause of chronic neck and shoulder pain. Because of its size and position, its injury can lead to dire consequences.

RHOMBOID MAJOR

This muscle is located in the back and serves to keep the shoulder blade or scapula attached to the rib cage.

On top of this, it also rotates the scapula, retracting it towards the spine.

TRAPEZIUS

This muscle is also among the biggest muscles of the back. It goes across the back and serves to give the body a good posture.

This postural muscle is also an active movement muscle and is used when tilting the head and neck, twisting the arms and shrugging and steadying the shoulders.

BICEPS BRACHII

Commonly known just as the biceps, this is a skeletal muscle that is involved in moving the shoulder and elbow.

ONE ARM CABLE ROW BENEFITS

This is a compound exercise that works numerous muscles at the same time. Other than the back muscles being its main focus, it also hits the forearm and upper arm muscles.

It is considered a strength training despite being referred to as row- which is an aerobic. It also helps with day-to-day life activities like lifting.

This exercise will teach you to engage your abs, and use your legs while maintaining a straight and stable back. This can help in preventing strain and injury.

A straight back will also help you in other exercises such as squats.

ONE ARM CABLE ROW ALTERNATIVES

SINGLE ARM DUMBBELL BENT OVER ROW

This alternative will work your lats and traps. Remember to keep the dumbbells closer to you for maximum benefits.

BARBELL BENT OVER ROW

As you do this alternative, be keen not to move your back. Instead, only your arms should be moving.

COMMON ONE ARM CABLE ROW MISTAKES TO AVOID

Just like any other exercise, the one arm cable row workout also requires proper form and technique in order to be effective.

To achieve this, be sure to avoid the following common mistakes while on set. If need be, feel free to talk to your trainer if you require one-on-one help.

FLARING YOUR ELBOWS OUTWARDS

Avoid flaring your elbows outwards as this will instead engage the biceps, lats and rhomboids and these are not the focus of the routine.

Be keen to keep your elbows against your body in the pulling phase.

SHRUGGING SHOULDERS

As you pull, be keen to avoid shrugging your shoulders towards your ears as this will put too much focus on your trapezius muscles and this is not what we want.

Always maintain your shoulders back and down.

ROUNDING YOUR BACK

No matter what, always avoid rounding your back during this routine.

In order to maintain a neutral back, always engage your abdominals and focus on keeping your spine straight.

SWINGING YOUR TORSO

Avoid swinging your torso as this will reduce the amount of work on the targeted muscles. Consider bracing your core as a hack to limiting torso movement.

USING MOMENTUM

In order for this exercise to be effective on the targeted muscles, you have to avoid rapid movements or using momentum while pulling.

The rapid movements will reduce the impact on target muscles. Use slow calculated moves while pulling.

CHEAT REPS

For optimal benefits of this routine, avoid cheat reps. Each rep should complete the required full range of motion for proper work on your muscles.

LOCKING YOUR KNEES

Avoid locking your knees as this will cause stress on your knee joints. Instead, you are advised to have them slightly bent.

CONCLUSION

One main advantage of the one arm cable row is that you will be working one arm at a time, which will come in handy in fighting muscle imbalances.