High-Cable Rope Row
Body part worked: lats, mid back
When to do it: Near the end of your back workout or upper-body day
How to do it: Attach a rope handle to the top pulley of a cable station and grasp an end in each hand. Stand back and bend your hips back (keep your lower back arched) until your arms are extended over your head. Your weight should be back on your heels to counterbalance you and you should feel a stretch in your lats. Pull the rope toward your belly and allow your torso to come up a bit as you row. You’ll finish with the handle at your sternum.
Benefits: The combination of a pulldown and rowing movement works the back in two planes of motion. It also gives you a good stretch in the lats, which are typically tight from sitting in front of a computer. If you can’t do chinups and you’re bored of lat pulldowns (which I often am), high-cable rope rows are a good alternative.
Prescription: Three sets of 10–15 reps
For a 12-week workout program that includes all these exercises and more, pick up The Truth About Strength Training by Men’s Fitness training director Sean Hyson. It’s on sale this week at truthaboutstrengthtraining.com
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