Seated Row Machine and your muscles worked


Seated Row Machine:

The seated row Machine or Seated row is probably one of the most effective exercises for targeting your back muscles that include, the trapezius, rhomboids, and latissimus dorsi. Since this exercise is a compound exercise, it targets more than one joint and activates several other muscles as well such as the biceps, triceps, hamstrings, glutes and adductors. Below is an instructed guide on how to do a Seated row:

How to do it:

  1. Set the weight on the seated row machine and attach a close-grip bar or V-bar to the cable. Sit on the machine bench, knees slightly bent and feet against the footrest.
  2. Now grasp the bar with a neutral grip with your palms are facing each other, keeping your back straight and your chest forward throughout the exercise.
  3. Pull your shoulders back, bend your elbows and pull the bar close as much as you can to your lower chest and exhale.
  4. Slowly bring your shoulders forward, twist your back and extend your arms until the bar is close to your feet and inhale. Repeat to complete the reps.

Muscles worked by Seated Row Machine:

Although seated row is considered to be a general back exercise because it hits so many back muscles as mentioned above like the trapezius, rhomboids, and latissimus dorsi. However, the main muscles that are activated by the Seated Row Machine are your erector spinae in your lower back along with your middle and lower trapezius in your upper back, your rhomboids and latissimus dorsi in your middle back and your teres major in your outer back. See, told’ ya, ‘several muscles’.

Seated row also strengthen your shoulder muscles that include posterior deltoids, infraspinatus and teres minor, your brachialis and brachioradialis in your arms and your pectoralis major, sternal head or lower chest muscles.

And as you perform the seated row on a routine basis, you will also need to use several secondary muscles as stabilizers. How? Well, for instance, your biceps and the long head of your triceps, both located in your upper arms, serve as dynamic stabilizers which means that they help stabilize the shoulder as you row. Your hamstrings, gluteus maximus and adductor Magnus in your lower body also serve as stabilizers in this exercise. However, the Seated row machine strengthens these muscles to a lesser degree because they stay contracted through the movement to help maintain your posture.

One arm Seated Row Machine

Moving on, the nest on the list is, ‘One seated one-arm seated row’. One arm seated row is a very effective compound exercise that targets all muscles on the back. Your back is one of the most neglected regions, while the fact that these muscles make up the upper posterior chain and require sufficient stimulation for muscle growth and strength. And this exercise is perhaps one of the best for accomplishing the full-back development that you have been neglecting to date.

However, you must ensure that you’re using proper form to safely and effectively execute this movement to get the full benefits. Single-arm training offers the benefit of unilateral development which is needed in every training program. Speaking of the form, we have already discussed it earlier briefly in this article in the execution part, so that you start on the greener side rather than the shadow one. Below are instructions on how to do a one-arm seated row.

  • How to do it:
  1. Sit on the machine, Place your chest against the front pad, plant your feet firmly on the floor. And grasp the handles. Make sure that your arms and shoulders are stretched forward.
  2. Now keep your back straight, and exhale as you pull one of the handles towards your waist.
  3. Hold on in that position for a moment and then stick your chest out and squeeze your back muscles.
  4. And inhale as you slowly return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat the exercise on the other side to complete the rep.


That’s all you need to know about Seated Row Machine, however, if you don’t have a seated row machine then don’t worry. Why? Well, that because you can also do several other row exercises that will target the same set of muscles. You can use dumbbells, a barbell or kettlebells to perform bent-over rows and in case if you have an access to a pulley machine then you can also do one-hand standing rows. Perhaps, you can also try doing the exercise without any weights by performing inverted rows using a fixed horizontal bar.

Each of these exercise alternatives will target your muscles from a slightly different angle but the results will be more or less the same. So, there isn’t any room for hesitation. Also, try to change up your exercises periodically to keep your muscles challenged and continue your strength gains.