T Nation

Seated Row Grip


In numerous articles over the years I've seen authors advocate different types of grips for the seated cable row i.e. palms down, palms up, parallel. I've seen them advocate pulling the bar to the lower part of the sternum and some higher up towards the top of the sternum.

For those that use this exercise, what grip do you use and where do you pull the bar? What works best for you if you've tried it several ways?



I feel the best squeeze in my back when I bring the handle to my lower sternum. I'd say whatever gives you the best squeeze, and feels best.

I also alternate grip to switch things up: Close-grip palms in, wide grip palms in, wide grip palms down. Personally, palms up hurts my wrists so I don't do them.

I think there are many right answers, just use what feels right and don't settle on just one.


The big thing to remember on rows is to make sure your shoulder blades are being squeezed back and down. Go with whatever setup makes you feel that the most.


Higher means more rear dealt and less lat involvement,and vice versa. At least so I understood.


I like to switch grips on each set staring with my weakest and working toward the strongest. Same with pull-ups.

  1. Very wide pronated.
  2. Wide neutral.
  3. Close supinated.
  4. Very close neutral (D handles).

The key is to focus on your back muscles and engage scapular retraction. I like to try and crush an imaginary object that is between my shoulder blades. Don't go too far past full scapular retraction though. Stop there and SQUEEZE. Going further is rough on your shoulder capsule.


Mind muscle connection is everything when training for back detail and thickness (I believe load and stretch are everything as far as back width goes but thats another story).

For back, use more than one exercise and multiple directions, multiple grips and positions. I don;t think its possible to over-train the UPPER and MIDDLE back (naturally or assisted) if you train it properly. The more the better imo.


i like to use the rope attatchment used for rope press downs on triceps, because it enables a long range of motion pulling the elbos right back


thats not a bad idea my friend


I really appreciate the replies gentlemen. Looking forward to putting it to use on back day. Many thanks.


I use that like 1 foot-1.5 foot bar attachment with a narrower then shoulder width grip.

Bars for cable rows>vhandle