Sports Training

Seated Row Exercise Without Machine

Rowing machine workouts are also one of the best workouts for your quads. As an adept exercise lover myself, it is possible to flawlessly execute the routine without the machine and enjoy the same benefits.

After in-depth research and experience on machine free seated rowing I have put together my research and notes here for you to get a quick summary of the things worth noting.

What Is Seated Row Exercise?

Seated Row Exercise can build the upper body strength

The sitting variation of the row is an excellent exercise for increasing upper-body strength. It's a strength training exercise that targets mainly muscle groups but mainly your back and upper arms.

When working out, you get to pull the rowing machine’s weighted handle and achieve this in the process. You can also accomplish it by pulling a resistance band or using a seated row machine.

This workout will purposely focus on your upper body, which is necessary for everyday activities such as tugging. A solid upper body helps with your posture,  protects your shoulders, and lowers your chance of injury.

Video: Seated Row Exercise Demonstration

Here’s a video tutorial on how to properly execute the seated row exercise and it’s variations.

Muscles Worked With Seated Row Exercise?

Carry out the Seated Row Exercise with your muscle

Mostly the sitting row exercise is executed with a thin grip. However, you may incorporate the wider grip in your routine as this focuses on the minor back and evenly tones your arms muscles rather than the lats.

Muscles worked on  include the:

  • Middle trapezius, upper trapezius, and lower trapezius (upper back between shoulders)
  • Rhomboids are the most common type of rhomboids (between shoulder blades)
  • Deltoids in the back (back shoulder)

You'll need a seated cable machine with a straight-bar attachment to complete this version. With your arms slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, grip the bar. Carry out the sitting row as usual.

Other exercises that work these same areas include, overhead cable curls, the single arm French press, and dumbbell or barbell bench presses.

Can The Seated Row Exercise Be Done Without A Machine?

Do this Seated Row Exercise without the use of any machine

Yes, it’s possible to do this exercise without the use of any machine.

However, if you don't use the appropriate form, you'll finish up placing all of the strain on your arms and shoulders instead of your lats.

Video: Seated Row Exercise Without Machine Demonstration

Watch this tutorial for a visual demonstration

Here are a few guidelines to help you accomplish this:

  • Power should not be coming from your arms and shoulders when working out.
  • Have your chest puffed out, back straightened, knees slightly bent, and body still to reap much of the exercise.
  • Tighten your abs and avoid rocking back and forth.

Seated Row Using Dumbbells

Doing seated rows with dumbbells

I adore single-arm dumbbell row workouts, and I believe that everyone should do them. I am a fan of using dumbbells with this exercise as it provides better muscle strengthening, stability, and mass development.

The single-arm dumbbell action trains the stabilizer muscle groups around the shoulders and guarantees that the entire back is built. Compared to other workout exercises, it's a lighter action that lends itself to more excellent rep sets for muscle growth and motor skill development.

How To Execute The Exercise

Have the dumbbell in one hand and use the other to support your upper body. You will need a flat bench or any flat surface.

Position yourself with your hips square and ensure your back is straightened and the dumbbell at arm's length.

Pull your shoulder back and bend your arm, pushing your elbow past your body's line.

Squeeze at the top, pause briefly, and consider bringing your elbow back and across your body.

Lower the weight slowly and controllably to complete the rep at the starting position.

That counts as one rep.

Resistance Band

Perform Seated Row Exercise with a resistance band

If you don't have access to equipment, you may also perform seated rows with a resistance band.

This variant, like sitting rows on a machine, works the lats and rhomboids.

How To Execute The Exercise

Get on the floor in a sitting position with your legs crossed, and knees bend slightly in front of you.

Have the band wrapped up over your feet, the ends clasped together.

Firm your core as your palms are facing inwards,

After exhaling, pull the band to a point your hands are over your thighs, your elbows tucked in, and pause.

Breath in, and after 3 seconds, extend your arms slowly.

Inhale and count to three before extending your arms gently.

Perform a set of 12 to 15 repetitions.

Begin with a low-intensity resistance band. You can utilize a thicker band as you gain strength. Having the resistance band wrapped over your hands increases the intensity as well.

Landmine Row

landmine row

If you have a barbell, this is a simple movement you can perform without the machine. To achieve the same consequences, you may use a landmine bar attachment or just stack it into a corner.

This is a return to the dumbbell-style single-arm rowing. This replicates the single-arm dumbbell row without the need for numerous dumbbells. On the other hand, this barbell variant is easier to load, especially if you just have a barbell on hand.

You can stand parallel to the barbell or at a 90-degree angle, whichever is most comfortable for you. Standing over the barbell, you may also do a landmine t-barrow.

How To Execute The Exercise

Place a barbell in a corner or use the landmine attachment. Stand at the end of the bar and hold it in a slightly bent-over posture on one side.

Stabilize yourself using your hips and core while holding the end of the barbell at arm's length. Don't move your trunk during the workout.

Ensure your elbows are in line or just behind your trunk simultaneously, rowing the weight towards you.

Keep your hips square at the start of the action, and don't rotate to finish the exercise.

Hold the highest position for a few seconds before gently descending back to arm's length and completing the exercise.

Common Mistakes To Avoid

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Doing Seated Row Exercise

The seated row, with or without gym equipment, like all workouts, requires appropriate form and movement to be efficient and safe. If you need one-on-one assistance, speak with a personal trainer. Avoid these frequent blunders for the most significant outcomes:

  1. Quick motions. Perform each rep gently to engage your muscles properly. Avoid abrupt and rapid movements
  2. Knees are locked. Locking your knees is hard on your joints; therefore, it's preferable to bend them gently.
  3. Elbows turned outward. During the pulling phase, keep your elbows against your body (except during the wide-grip row). Lifting your elbows up and out activates the biceps rather than the lats and rhomboids.
  4. The range of motion is limited. For maximum benefit, each exercise should go through the whole range of motion. While a restricted range of motion allows you to lift more weight, partially extending your arms does not engage your muscles effectively.
  5. Rounded back. Maintain a neutral back position at all times. Engage your abdominals and maintain your spine straight to avoid rounding or arching.
  6. Shrugged Shoulders. Keep your shoulders backward and down as you lift the weight. Shrugging your shoulders toward your ears draws too much attention to the traps.
  7. Swinging torso. Try not to move your torso. Otherwise, the muscles the exercise is focusing on will not be tense. During the training, brace your core to assist in stabilizing your torso.

Seated Row Workouts - What are the Benefits?

Seated row exercise is an excellent way to improve your Strength

Seated row exercise is an excellent way to improve your back, shoulder, and arm strength.

This exercise can enhance your core strength and balance since you use many different body areas to support your movements.

 It can even improve your general form when performing other workouts that need you to keep a straight back and move slowly.

Even if you are not an outstanding athlete, improving your back muscles may be pretty beneficial in your daily life. Having strong back muscles is especially helpful in preventing accidents while attempting to carry large things, something many of us must do on a regular basis.

Sitting cable rows may be perfect if you wish to improve your upper-body strength.

Remember to complete each step correctly and mix them with other exercises for a full-body workout to avoid injuries. Remember that the cornerstones to a healthy lifestyle are frequent exercise, a well-balanced diet, and enough sleep.

The seated cable row, since it’s a pulling exercise, the seated cable primarily targets the back muscles, especially the latissimus dorsi, or "lats."

The biceps and triceps are involved in the exercise; this ensures that the forearm and upper arm muscles are also worked on. The hamstrings act as stabilizing muscles and also come into action during the workout.

If you are after strength, the seated row exercise is fit for you as it is a strength-building program, not an aerobic rowing session.

Although it's called a row, it's not the conventional rowing action you'd find on an aerobic rowing machine. Because you bring items near your chest multiple times during the day, it is a useful workout.

Avoiding strain and injury by learning to engage your abs and legs while keeping your back straight. This posture is essential in other workout routines such as deadlifts.

Should I Include The Seated Row into My Workout Regimen?

The Seated Row into My Workout Regimen Is Most Preferrable

The seated cable row exercise is a blend of upper body exercises preferred by both athletes and non-athletes to work out on back muscles.

Since it uses a three-point base of support as it includes both feet and buttocks on a bench rather than the conventional two-point base of support which incorporates both feet on the floor, the seated cable row is believed to exert less force on the spine than other rowing exercises.

You can combine this exercise with dumbbell or barbell shrugs for comprehensive upper body workout and you can also add leg presses, hack squats, and regular squats to get get a well rounded full-body exercise. 


Because of its ease of teaching and learning, athletes at the early phases of strength improvement training are frequently encouraged to try the exercise.

Proper instruction, posture, and exercise practices are required to improve safety and efficacy.

When working out using the seated row exercise, you should be free of any back discomfort and if you have had issues with your back, seek an alternative exercise. Happy working out.

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