Hello and welcome everyone to another edition of Fey Fitness! In today’s Stronger Back Series I will be teaching you how to do a beginner level back exercise called a Single Arm Cable Machine Bent Over Row. Don’t let the ridiculously long name scare you away, this exercise is amazing for people of any fitness level to work on their back. However, I especially like having beginners use this exercise as the machine itself provides placement for your legs and arms- thus taking all of the guesswork out of maintaining proper form so you can focus on engaging your latissimus dorsi and other muscles.
Additionally, this exercise is perfect for those of us with Atrial Fibrillation, as it will not spike our heart rate during the movements. Just be careful getting down onto the ground and back up again if you have severe AFib, or problems with your blood pressure. Remember, slow and steady wins the fitness race!
Why Do a Single Arm Cable Machine Bent Over Row?
- Using a cable machine allows you to achieve a greater range of motion and work the back muscles (in this case the latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, lower traps and erector spinae) more effectively.
- Breaking the exercise up and focusing on one side at a time allows for intense focus to each side of your back individually, so beginners can feel the muscles engaging throughout the movement to work on form and efficiency of movement.
- Using a machine provides beginner level placement points for the legs and arms- thus taking all of the guesswork out of maintaining proper form so the user can focus on engaging the latissimus dorsi and other muscles.
- By increasing our muscle mass and lowering our body fat we reshape our back’s landscape. Reshaping the upper body in this manner can make us appear slimmer because the “V” shape starts at the back by being widest near the shoulders and tapering in at the waist. This is useful in creating that hourglass shape so many women want; and that “V” shape creates the desired shape so many men are after.
How to Perform a Single Arm Cable Machine Bent Over Row:
- Place your right knee and shin on the lower bench of the machine.
- Bend forward with a straight back and rest your right forearm on the higher arm rest. Optionally, if the machine has a handle for your right hand, feel free to grasp it for extra stability.
- Roll the shoulders down and back. Keep them from creeping up towards the ear during the exercise to maintain proper form and engage the correct muscles.
- Use your left hand to grasp the handle on the cable. Engage your latissimus dorsi and use this muscle to draw the cable up towards your torso. PRO TIP: You may feel some tension in your arm as these muscles engage to hang on to the hand grip.
- Pause at the top of the movement before slowly releasing the cable back to the starting position.
- Repeat for 12-15 reps before switching side to repeat steps 1-5 on the other side of the body.
- Continue for 3 sets.
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