How To Do Squatting Cable Rows

You may see a lot of people in the gym doing cable rack rows and you may also see a lot of people doing squats.

Both exercises are great for your body, so why not combine them?

I'm a strong believer in functional training.

I feel that the fluid, natural movements will not only keep you from risking injury but the results will be recognized a lot quicker in your daily life.

I prefer to combine movements so that you get more of a full body workout with one exercise.

How To Perform A Squatting Cable Row

If you combine the two exercise you'll get what I call a squatting cable row, or a squat to cable row.

You probably don't see a lot of people doing this exercise but I've been doing it for a while and I love how it works my body. The fact that you use your legs as you're rowing allows you to lift at a heavier weight, which means you'll stress your back muscles even more on the negative than you would if you were rowing normally with a lighter weight.

Starting Point
Starting Point
Mid Point
Mid Point

I prefer to use two stirrup handles when doing this exercise, so that when you reach the mid point, you can spread the stirrups apart. That makes the movement feel even more fluid.

  • So attach your stirrup handles to the cable, pick a weight that you'd like to start at and stand facing the cable rack.
  • Grab both stirrups and squat down with your arms straight out in front of you.
  • Now you'll want to stand up and, as you stand, pull the cable to your ribs. Do this in one fluid motion so that once you're standing straight up the stirrups are right against your ribs.
  • Then squat back down and let your arms go straight as you drop down.

If you watch the video on the right you can see the correct movement. The only difference is that he's using a different type of machine that allows him to use two cables at once. I just added it so that you could see an example of the movement in motion.

As you start lifting at heavier weights with this exercise you'll notice that you lean back into the weight as you stand so that you don't lose your footing. There's nothing wrong with that as long as you can keep your back straight.

You don't want to flex too far back at your hips as you stand or hunch over as you squat back down. Try to keep your back straight so that you're still rowing properly.

I hope that this has sparked a little curiosity towards functional training for you and that you'll try this exercise out. I've been doing squatting cable rows and other functional exercises for years and I won't be dropping them from my workouts any time soon. So read up on functional training, find what exercises interest you and get out there and put them to the test.

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What Functional Exercises Do YOU Do? 4 comments

GmaGoldie profile image

GmaGoldie 6 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

Wonderful! The legs have the longest and largest muscles - very critical muscle group to target. The video is great - 8 seconds and we are set to go.


Bendo13 profile image

Bendo13 6 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado Author

Glad you liked what you read, GmaGoldie! This exercise is great because you get a total body workout with just one machine. Makes rows a lot more functional.


tyciol 5 years ago

Hm, this seems like a nice variation but most of the emphasis is still going to be on the row.


Bendo13 profile image

Bendo13 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado Author

To a degree, yes tyciol but the fact that you use your legs too helps you be able to row more weight. Which will help you on the negative too. It makes things more fluid and brings your whole body into it for a more functional movement.

This is similar to how with a push press your legs help out your shoulders, but this is a movement with a lot more control and less explosiveness.

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