Cable machines are present in almost each chain fitness center. Whereas they can be utilized for a mess of workout routines, rows are a few of the most typical actions carried out on them.
However attempting to determine which attachment to make use of for cable rows will be difficult, particularly when you’re new to understanding or utilizing a cable machine for the primary time after solely coaching with a barbell and dumbbells.
So what attachment do you have to use for cable rows? Relying on the coaching stimulus you’re hoping to realize, you should utilize a V-grip attachment, a straight bar, a lat pulldown bar, a stirrup deal with, or a rope attachment. Every attachment is greatest suited to totally different grips, which impacts the muscle mass which might be focused and the quantity of weight you’ll be able to carry.
On this article, I’ll stroll you thru the significance of selecting the best attachment for cable rows and talk about the principle variations between every attachment. I’ll additionally describe every attachment in additional element so you’ll be able to decide which one is greatest for the totally different workout routines which will present up in your coaching program.
Significance of Deciding on the Proper Attachment for Cable Rows
An important causes for utilizing the best attachment for cable rows are:
- Concentrating on totally different muscle mass
- Lifting mild vs heavy weights
1. Concentrating on Totally different Muscle tissues
Your grip varies based mostly on which attachment you utilize. As such, totally different attachments will work totally different muscle mass within the again or will goal sure muscle mass greater than others.
There are three major muscle mass of the again which might be focused with rowing workout routines: the trapezius, the rhomboids, and the latissimus dorsi.
The rhomboids are a pair of muscle mass on the prime of your again close to your shoulder blades whereas the trapezius muscle mass (or traps) run alongside your shoulders and the bottom of your neck.
The latissimus dorsi (or lats) are the muscle mass that run alongside the center and decrease again. When somebody has a large again, it’s usually as a result of they’ve well-developed lats.
Sure cable attachments will work the lats greater than rhomboids and traps and vice versa as a result of they have an effect on your hand placement and grip width. Nevertheless, it’s additionally essential to notice that the biceps play a task in lots of pulling workout routines as effectively, and every cable attachment will work them to a various diploma.
Questioning if rows alone are sufficient to coach the again and biceps? Get our skilled opinion in Are Rows & Pull-Ups Sufficient For Again And Biceps?
2. Lifting Mild vs Heavy Weights
Though everyone is totally different, most individuals can use extra weight when doing rowing workout routines with a slim grip. Many people also can use extra weight with an underhand grip than an overhand grip as a result of the biceps provide extra help.
As such, your selection of cable attachment will impression how a lot weight you’ll be able to carry on a given pulling train. This in flip can have an effect on which workout routines you do on particular coaching days.
For instance, if you should utilize extra weight for rows with a slim grip, chances are you’ll need to do this variation with an applicable attachment on a heavy again or pull day and do wide-grip rows with a distinct attachment on a lightweight coaching day.
These identical ideas apply to the lat pulldown as effectively. When you’re unsure what sort of grip you should utilize for lat pulldowns, take a look at Shut vs Vast Grip Lat Pulldown: Which Is Higher?
The 4 Variations Between Cable Row Attachments
The primary variations between the assorted cable row attachments come all the way down to 4 factors:
- One- or two-handed
Some of the apparent variations between cable row attachments is their size. Straight bar attachments are likely to run about 20” lengthy whereas a lat pulldown bar that’s curved on the ends runs about 48” lengthy. V-grip attachments and stirrup handles usually have handles which might be 7”-8” lengthy.
The totally different lengths have an effect on your hand placement, which in flip impacts which muscle mass you goal. For instance, the longer size of the lat pulldown bar lets you use a wider grip to work your lats extra. However a shorter straight bar attachment or a V-grip attachment will work extra of your center again (the traps and rhomboids) since you use a narrower grip.
Totally different cable row attachments permit you to make the most of totally different grips. You may both use a pronated grip (additionally referred to as an overhand grip), a supine grip (or an underhand grip), or a impartial grip (together with your palms dealing with one another).
With some attachments, you should utilize both a pronated or supinated grip. However with different attachments, you’ll be able to solely use a impartial grip.
Some cable attachments like a rope attachment or straight bar attachment can be used with fats grips to enhance your grip and forearm energy. Study extra about the advantages of grip coaching in my article Fats Grip Coaching: How & When To Use & Does It Work?
The form of the assorted cable attachments is one other apparent distinction. A straight bar cable attachment is clearly straight. However some bars like a lat pulldown bar curve down on the ends so you’ll be able to gauge how broad to position your arms.
You’ll doubtless additionally come throughout rope attachments, that are usually used for workout routines like tricep pushdowns and face pulls. However you can even use them for cable rows to realize a bigger vary of movement since they allow you to tug your elbows again additional. These are normally one single piece of rope threaded throw a metallic fastener that type a V- or U-shape.
In search of extra workout routines to do on again day? Discover out if it’s secure to coach the again and chest on the identical day in Work Out Again And Chest On The Identical Day?
4. One- or Two-Handed
Most cable attachments are supposed to be held with two arms. There’s just one, the stirrup attachment, that’s superb for one-handed use.
One-handed rows have many advantages, equivalent to serving to you tackle weaknesses between your two sides. If you would like to have the ability to do one-handed rows, you’ll have to have a stirrup attachment useful.
5 Attachments You Can Use For Cable Rows
5 attachments that you should utilize for cable rows are:
- V-grip deal with
- Rope attachment
- Straight bar
- Lat pulldown bar
1. V-Grip Deal with
The V-grip attachment is the commonest one used for seated cable rows. It’s typically additionally referred to as a double D attachment. It’s made from two square-shaped chrome or metal elements which might be fused collectively to type a V.
It’s one of the crucial versatile attachments as a result of you should utilize it for seated rows, close-grip lat pulldowns with a impartial grip, or T-bar rows. Nevertheless, the form of the deal with means you’ll be able to solely use one grip with it — the impartial grip.
When used for cable rows, the V-grip deal with primarily works the lats, rhomboids, and traps with some help from the biceps.
When you’re on the lookout for a V-grip attachment so as to add to your assortment of fitness center gear, I like to recommend the Yes4All double D attachment. It really works effectively with each cable machines and a barbell connected to a landmine for T-bar rows. It’s additionally inexpensive, and the rubber handles will permit you to keep a safe grip.
The way to Do Rows with a V-Grip Attachment
- Regulate the pulley on a cable machine so it’s on the lowest setting and fix the deal with to it
- Sit in entrance of the machine and place your ft on the footpads
- Bend ahead to seize the deal with with each arms, then sit together with your torso upright and your arms prolonged
- Bend your elbows and pull the deal with in the direction of you, stopping as soon as it’s near your abdomen
- Hold your arms low to have interaction your lats extra
- Straighten your arms and lean ahead a bit to return to the beginning place, sustaining management of the load your complete time
When you don’t have entry to a cable machine or simply need some selection in your coaching, take a look at these 15 seated cable row options.
2. Rope Attachment
The rope attachment is a thick, braided rope threaded by means of a metallic hook that may connect to a cable machine. The ends usually have rubber stoppers to forestall your arms from slipping off.
As I discussed earlier, it’s primarily used for tricep pushdowns or face pulls. You may even use it for weighted cable crunches or overhead tricep extensions. However you should utilize it for cable rows for a bigger vary of movement to contract the lats extra. Doing cable rows with the rope attachment can even work the rhomboids and traps with the biceps offering some help.
The Harbinger tricep rope is an effective possibility when you’re on the lookout for a rope attachment of your individual. It is available in two lengths, 26-inch and 36-inch. When you’re solely utilizing it for rows, both measurement works. However if you wish to use it for cable crunches or overhead extensions, I like to recommend the longer measurement. No matter which measurement you get, this rope attachment is sturdy and can final for a very long time.
The way to Do Rows with a Rope Attachment
- Regulate the pulley system on a cable machine to the bottom setting and safe the rope attachment to it
- Sit in entrance of the cable stack and place your ft on the platforms
- Lean ahead to seize the rope with each arms, then sit again together with your torso upright and your arms straight out in entrance of you
- Start to bend your elbows as you pull the rope in the direction of you, ensuring that your arms transfer in a straight line and don’t journey up or down
- Pull so far as you’ll be able to. It’s best to discover that your elbows can go a number of inches additional previous your torso than they will if you use the V-grip attachment
- Return to the beginning place by straightening your arms. You may let the load pull you ahead a bit so you are feeling a stretch in your again, however do your greatest to not use an excessive amount of momentum or let the weights slam down.
3. Straight Bar
The straight bar attachment is a brief, straight bar that’s greatest for if you need to do rows with a narrower grip. It’s one other versatile device as a result of you should utilize it for upright rows, tricep pushdowns, straight-arm lat pulldowns, and extra.
Utilizing the straight bar attachment for rows with an overhand grip will really feel much like rowing on a rowing erg. You’ll be capable to hit the lats and traps in addition to the rear deltoids (the muscle mass in the back of your shoulders).
When you use the bar with an underhand grip, you’ll really feel much more engagement in your biceps. This generally is a helpful variation when you’re quick on time and aren’t in a position to do lots of bicep isolation work.
The Synergee straight bar cable attachment is a wonderful selection when you want one in your personal fitness center. It is available in 4 totally different lengths starting from 12” to twenty”, has knurled handles, and comes with rubber ends to forestall your arms from falling off.
It’s additionally designed to swivel as you progress by means of every rep, which helps put your wrists, forearms, and elbows in a extra snug place.
The way to Do Rows with a Straight Bar
- Set the pulley system on a cable machine to the bottom setting and fix the straight bar to it
- Sit in entrance of the machine and place your ft on the platforms
- Bend on the waist to seize the bar with each arms, utilizing both an overhand or underhand grip, relying on which muscle mass you need to goal extra
- Lean again once more so your torso is upright and your arms are straight out in entrance of you
- Pull the bar in the direction of you as you progress your arms in a straight line, stopping as soon as the bar hits a spot between your sternum and stomach button
- Straighten your arms to return to the beginning place. Lean ahead barely so you are feeling a stretch in your again, however keep away from utilizing an excessive amount of momentum to start your subsequent rep.
Do you know that having a robust again may also help enhance your bench press? We cowl this in additional element in Does a Sturdy Again Assist Bench Press? (Sure, right here’s how).
4. Lat Pulldown Bar
A lat pulldown bar is a protracted bar that’s straight within the middle and has lengthy ends that curve downward. The advantage of utilizing a lat pulldown bar for rows is that it’s simpler to change the width of your grip. A wider grip will work your lats extra whereas a narrower grip will goal extra of the traps and rhomboids.
As you are able to do with the straight bar attachment, you can even take an underhand grip with the lat pulldown bar if you wish to work extra of your biceps.
A wonderful lat pulldown bar that you could be need to think about in your personal fitness center is the FITNESS MANIAC lat pulldown bar. This bar is exclusive in that it has D-shaped handles on the finish, which presents extra choices so that you can use totally different grips when doing rows. The straight half additionally has rubber handles to forestall your arms from slipping.
The way to Do Rows with a Lat Pulldown Bar
- Set the pulley system on a cable machine to the bottom setting and safe the lat pulldown bar to it
- Sit in entrance of the machine and put your ft on the footpads
- Seize the bar with each arms with both a large or slim grip and your arms in an overhand or underhand place
- Earlier than you begin your rep, ensure you’re sitting again together with your torso straight and your arms prolonged in entrance of you parallel to the ground
- Transferring your arms in a straight line, pull the bar in the direction of you till it hits the center of your abdomen
- Return to the beginning place by straightening your arms and leaning ahead a bit so you are feeling a stretch in your again
In search of extra methods to coach your lats? Try a few of my favourite dumbbell workout routines that focus on the lats.
The stirrup attachment is greatest suited to single-arm rowing. It’s a square- or rectangular-shaped metallic attachment with only one deal with. You should use it for almost any train that you are able to do on a cable machine, however you’ll be able to solely maintain it in a single hand.
Doing rows with only one arm at a time lets you work each side of the physique evenly since your stronger aspect can’t compensate in your weaker aspect. The one-arm cable row works your lats in addition to the smaller stabilizer muscle mass surrounding the rotator cuff and shoulder blades.
The Rogue single deal with cable attachment is a wonderful stirrup attachment for doing single-arm rows. It has lengthy nylon straps and a knurled metal deal with with the identical knurling that’s used on the Bella barbell. The nylon straps are grommeted to permit the deal with to maneuver freely to assist make rowing actions extra snug in your joints.
How To Do Rows with a Stirrup Attachment
- Set the pulley system on a cable machine to the best setting and fix the stirrup deal with to it
- Stand in entrance of the machine together with your ft shoulder-width aside. Stand far sufficient away from it so your arm will be absolutely prolonged at first of the rowing motion.
- Attain as much as seize the deal with, ensuring that your wrist, forearm, and shoulder are in a straight line
- Pull the deal with down and again in order that it reaches some extent across the prime of your armpit
- Straighten your arms to return to the beginning place
For extra concepts on how one can prepare your again with a barbell, dumbbells, or different machines, take a look at my prime 10 hammer energy row options.
Regardless that most cable row variations goal the lats, traps, and rhomboids, every attachment would require a distinct sort of grip. This impacts how successfully every of your again muscle mass is labored in addition to how a lot your biceps come into play.
As such, your selection of cable attachment will rely in your coaching targets. Attachments that require a slim grip are greatest for heavy again coaching and focusing on the rhomboids and traps extra. Attachments that require a large grip are greatest for coaching with mild weights and focusing on extra of the lats.
As effectively, any attachment with which you should utilize an underhand grip can even allow you to work your biceps extra. This will turn out to be useful if you don’t have lots of time to work out and need to hit as many muscle teams as attainable.
About The Writer
Amanda Dvorak is a contract author and powerlifting fanatic. Amanda performed softball for 12 years and found her ardour for health when she was in faculty. It wasn’t till she began CrossFit in 2015 that she grew to become fascinated by powerlifting and realized how a lot she loves lifting heavy weights. Along with powerlifting, Amanda additionally enjoys operating and biking.