Wide grip cable row is a variation of the cable row that is done with a wider grip. This way it targets the back better unlike with a narrower grip which mainly targets the biceps.
This move is generally a strength training exercise that works your back and upper arms thus, building your upper body strength.
For its execution, your arms need to be parallel to the floor with the elbows more out to the sides. Your outer lats are targeted more and a straight line is created across your rhomboids, middle traps, and other back muscles.
A toned and strengthened upper body is crucial for daily movements like pulling. Additionally, it also improves posture, protects your shoulders, and reduces your injury risk.
Most people naturally default to the close-grip bar on cable rows. If you are one of these people, the wide grip cable row can be a nice change of pace for you.
This is because, as discussed above, it shifts some of the focus to the outer lats. Therefore, you need not do the exercise with other back machine exercises unless you’re going to change things like grip or target rep range.
You can do the move either by pulling a weighted handle on a seated row machine, by pulling a resistance band using a wider grip or on a seated cable row machine.
HOW TO DO WIDE GRIP CABLE ROW
Here are the proper steps for performing the wide grip cable row.
- Start by in a seated position while facing the cable row machine. Place both feet on the foot rests.
- Grip the bar slightly wider than shoulder width then slide your butt back until your knees are almost extended. Your arms should be fully extended and trunk leaning forward.
- This should be your starting position.
- Breath out, pull the handle in towards your abdomen as you slightly lean back with a straightened back. At the top of the movement, pull back your shoulders and stick out your chest.
- Pause at this point for a few seconds and squeeze your back muscles.
- Breath in, lean forward to return the bar back to the initial position. Ensure that you keep your arms fully extended and your lower back leaning forward.
- Repeat the movement for the desired number of repetitions.
WIDE GRIP CABLE ROW MUSCLES ENGAGED
The wide-grip seated cable row generally works the muscles of the back, shoulders, and biceps. At the time it develops core stability and spinal alignment.
Using a wide grip increases resistance placed on the upper back and rear shoulder.
WIDE GRIP CABLE ROW BENEFITS
BUILDS UPPER BODY STRENGTH
The move works multiple muscle groups of the upper body. These include the latissimus dorsi in your middle back, the rhomboids in your upper back, the lower trapezius, and the erector spinae.
The biceps are also incorporated as stabilizers during the movement. As such, the exercise builds upper body strength.
The exercise further promotes better posture. You are encouraged to use correct form while doing the move and this involves keeping your back straight and knees bent.
This positioning works the muscles that are responsible for improving your everyday posture.
REDUCES LOWER BACK PAIN
The positioning of the exercise alleviates strain on your lower back as major focus is put on your upper back. This is as compared to other compound exercises like barbell rows, dumbbell rows, deadlifts, or bench presses where strain is placed on the lower back.
INCREASED CORE STRENGTH AND STABILITY
By engaging the core throughout the move for stability, this muscle gets strengthened. Having a strong, stable core is beneficial for many other exercises and daily activities.
WIDE GRIP CABLE ROW ALTERNATIVES
THE ONE-ARM BENT-OVER ROW
The one-arm bent-over row is a type of multi-joint exercise that works the back, arms and core. The move works each side of the body separately.
Consequently, it corrects any muscle imbalances while increasing challenge to the core.
THE RENEGADE ROW
The renegade row is another multi-joint exercise that builds strength in the back, shoulders, triceps, and biceps. Being a two-in-one exercise, it also actively works the core throughout the range of motion.
THE ONE-LEGGED DUMBBELL ROW
The one-legged dumbbell row is another multi-joint, full-body exercise that specifically targets the back, quads, glutes, and hamstrings. By so doing, it develops overall strength, stability, and balance. It
THE SEATED CABLE ROW
The seated cable row is a type of isolated exercise that particularly targets the middle and upper back. It helps to improve posture and shoulder muscle balance.
WIDE GRIP CABLE ROW MISTAKES TO AVOID
Try not to shrug your shoulders toward your ears as this shifts the emphasis from your lats to your traps. Ensure that you keep your shoulders back and down as you pull the weight to focus on the targeted muscles.
Do not round or arch your back as this could cause pain or injury to your lower back. Ensure that you maintain a neutral back by engaging your abdominals and focusing on keeping your spine straight.
Also, do not use momentum as this will result in your torso moving. Consequently, your targeted muscles won’t feel any tension.
Engaging your core throughout the move can help stabilize your torso better.
This goes hand in hand with swinging torso. Rapid and jerky movements do not fully activate your muscles,
Make sure you go slow for each rep for optimal results.
PARTIAL RANGE OF MOTION
A partial range of motion means that you only extend your arms partially. This may allow you to lift more but you will not work your targeted muscles properly.
Make sure that you complete a full rep in order to gain optimal benefits.
Locking your knees is stressful on the joints, so it’s best to slightly bend your knees.
The wide grip cable row is a great back exercise. With consistency and correct technique, you will reap serious gains.