T Nation

Single Arm Training on Hammer High Row


Any thoughts and/or advice regarding performing single arm (uni-lateral) training on the Hammer Strength Iso-Lateral High Row Pull Down machine for both strength/power and mass building? I am now up to handling four plates for 4-5 solid reps; I really like the feel of this machine when coupled with weighted chin-ups/pull-ups or cable rope pulls with my torso leaning forward.


IMO these "machines" are designed to be used unilaterally. You can get much better control of the weight by anchoring your body down with your free hand.

Im not sure what kind of advice youre looking for. Just hold the handle and rep the weight one arm at a time. Then do the other side.


I have been anchoring myself as you said via that black handle above the knee brace... however, yesterday I tried holding both handgrips and just alternated my arms; pulling one arm down at a time... the stretch in the shoulder, arm, and back felt pretty good but I was wondering if anyone else performs them this way and/or if it is simply better to just brace with the black handle???

I appreciate the response BONEZ217; sorry for not being more clear.


Ah ok. Well thats sounds like a fine way to do it. I dont do things that way because I find it easier to focus all of my attention on the muscle if I do it one side at a time. But alternating wouldnt be better or worse. Just different.


I find myself performing 10-15 sets of 3-8 reps on this machine; what are you doing?


I dont use that particular machine. My gym has HS DY row. But I got up to 5pps for 8 reps or so and stopped doing it after that.

I'D never do that many sets on any one exercise. I use a bodybuilding split.


Chyea look at the mus-kles, he does a BB split :wink:

sigh Bored.


I hold both handles and do 1 arm at a time, like 8 left 8 right. I find that if I dont hold both I tend to throw my torso into it.

Btw 5 plates for 8 on this machine is fucking beastly


I also do them this way for the same reason. If my target number of reps is 12 for example, I like to do 4 left, 4 right, 4 left, 4 right, and so on until I get 12. I like the stretch on the non-working lat, and also the little bit of rest.


Why would you want to go unilateral? The only thing that would make that machine better would be if they fused the movement arms to prevent you from wasting your time by going unilateral.



Do you think my 185lb body can remain in one place without anchoring myself down when pulling 4pps?

Chest stays against the pad so you can get the deepest stretch and fullest contraction.

nm youre being sarcastic


Ok... But why not? I was thinking unilateral for improved strength gains and to correct muscle imbalance... I am weaker on my left pulling side.


Sorry if this is off topic, but this is the one HS lat machine that I like the least. There seems to be an angle progression from pulldown to row with these models. I like the one before it (pulldown) and the two row machines after. I have a hard time feeling my lats on this one.


See the thigh restraints on the machine? The same thing that anchors you down in a lat pulldown station.


You will typically be able to lift less, not more for a unilateral movement. That fact that you're using both arms balances the force through your body and keeps you stable, whereas you have to do all kinds of twisting, contorting and stabilization to use one arm only.


Wait have you ever used these machines?

The thigh pads do nothing to keep your back from drifting away from the machine, in the direction youre pulling. The thigh pads on a lat pulldown apply pressure in the exact opposite direction of the weight, anchoring you in place.

Just because you pull unilaterally doesnt mean you are using one arm only. You hold the other handle to pullyourself against the pad while your other arm does the never mind this is a lost cause. Everyone do what they want. These machines were designed to be used unilaterally.


I haven't tried it unilaterally, but may give it a shot next time. I do strict vertical (chest against pad), and sometimes lean back 45 degrees. Does anyone see an issue with leaning back for higher loads?


See the black handle above the thigh restraints on the machine. The same thing that Bonez holds to perform one of his unilateral pulls... sorry couldn't resist.