Home Blog Strength Exercise of the Week: Standing 1-Arm Cable Rows

Strength Exercise of the Week: Standing 1-Arm Cable Rows

Written on November 11, 2009 at 6:00 am, by Eric Cressey

The standing 1-arm cable row is one of my favorite exercises for shoulder health; here’s how to do it correctly.


Click here to purchase the most comprehensive shoulder resource available today: Optimal Shoulder Performance – From Rehabilitation to High Performance.

Sign-up Today for our FREE Newsletter and receive a detailed deadlift technique tutorial!


5 Responses to “Strength Exercise of the Week: Standing 1-Arm Cable Rows”

  1. Ken Wurtzler Says:

    I noticed his wrist has no rotation – do you want to avoid any arm rotation?


  2. Derek Says:

    do you guys usually start with the shoulder blades retracted and depressed and keep them there through the movement….or do you move from protracted to retracted during the movement?

  3. Chris Brown Says:

    Eric- Great idea with using the other hand — I’ll have to give it a try with my clients!!

    Is that something you move away from once they have demonstrated that they can effectively control their scapular movement?


  4. Rob Says:


    When programming this, you mentioned the 8-12 rep range……I can definitely see that range and the fact that coming back from an injury or correcting posture is a different ball of wax than working with a relatively healthy athlete.

    As far as athletes with no major issues present, would you program this as a secondary or tertiary movement on a day involving upper back training after a “more stable” upper back movement like a seated cable row, a chest-supported row, a 1-arm DB row with non-working arm on a bench, etc.?

    And on another note, I noticed that in the finished position, his elbow was positioned behind the torso and a bit behind the shoulder (as opposed to the elbow being under the shoulder in the finished position). Is this mostly a product of the degree of elbow flexion because he appeared to be pulling to a point on his torso just below the nipple line (as opposed to pulling lower on the torso/more toward the hip on the same side)?

    The second question has to do with when people talk of stopping humeral movement when the scapula is fully retracted as opposed to further hyper-extending on a fixed scapula.

  5. Chris Says:


    His elbow is moving pretty far behind the torso. Wouldn’t this cause a bit too much anterior humeral glide and stress the front of the shoulder capsule?

    I just want to make sure that my understanding of proper push-pull patterns and mechanics is correct.


  • Avoid the most common deadlifting mistakes
  • 9 - minute instructional video
  • 3 part follow up series