How to Seated Row

About the Seated Row

The lever row, or the hammer strength row as it is sometimes referred to, is an exercise which targets many muscles of the upper back, including the large latissimus dorsi muscle which composes much of the muscular structure of the back. The biceps are also recruited during the lever row, although a hammer or pronated (palms facing down) grip will reduce its involvement.

When performing the lever row always keep your torso stationary. It is common to see gym-goers drive at the hips when they perform the exercise, an indication that the weight they are using is too heavy for them to handle.

A benefit of the lever row compared to the free weight rowing alternatives is the ease in which a spotter can aid the athlete if they begin to fail on the exercise. Having a training partner able to assist with the last few repetitions of a set can help the athlete fatigue the muscles beyond what they are accustomed to.

How to perform


  1. Set the correct resistance on the machine
  2. Ensure the seat and resting pads are set correctly
  3. Sit on the seat and rest your chest on the pad whilst keeping your torso erect
  4. Grasp the handles


  1. Without rocking the torso, pull the handles towards you until peak contraction is reached
  2. Slowly reverse the movement to return to the starting position
  3. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions

Other Back Exercises