Exercise of the Week: Half-Kneeling Cable Rows

We’ve talked previously about horizontal pulling verse vertical pulling movements and why horizontal pulling movements can be more beneficial for you based on the average person’s movement (or lack there-of) during the day.


With our first horizontal pulling movement we talked about, you were using bodyweight to perform the movement. Understanding how to control your body in a basic movement pattern like that is important as it will translate well into the real world. Now, we want to start to teach ourselves how to control external weight in this horizontal pulling fashion. Like anything else, we like to start with the basic at TF to make sure you get it down.


A Basic Horizontal Pulling Movement That Offers Great Bang-For -Your-Buck


At TF, we like to start by teaching certain exercises with as few joints as possible. What I mean is, the joints you have to stabilize through, the less difficult it is for you to “get” the exercise. A good example would be side planks. We talked about these last week. If you are unable to side plank from your feet, it makes sense to side plank from your knees. When you are side planking from your knees, you eliminate a joint (from the knees down in this case) that you have to stabilize through.


Cable rows are a great way to start using external weight in a rowing exercise. When we start people with cable row, we start in the what we call the half-kneeling position. The half kneeling position is great because it allows you to incorporate a couple of things that are beneficial to your body:


#1. It requires you to stabilize through your hips.

#2. It eliminates most of the body half of the body, so you don’t have to worry about controlling yourself from head to toe while learning.

#3. It allows you to work your body in a unilateral fashion (one side at a time) so that you can start to bring up the weaker side of your body.


When you put the half kneeling position and cable rows together, you have a great way to start implementing horizontal rowing into your program.


Don’t be afraid to do these a couple of times a week. Start light to begin with and try to move up every other week. A good repetition progression may look like this:


Week 1 – 3 sets of 8 repetitions

Week 2 – 3 sets of 10 repetitions

Week 3 – 3 sets of 12 repetitions

Week 4 – 3 sets of 8 repetitions with a higher weight


Then just repeat this cycle. This is pretty basic when it comes to getting stronger. None the less, it is a great way to progress yourself forward.

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Jerry Scarlato
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Jerry Scarlato

Owner, Fitness Coach at Thrive Fitness
Jerry Scarlato is a Personal Trainer and Entrepreneur who lives in Northern Kentucky. He runs 2 businesses related to health and wellness: Thrive Fitness and Thrive Online. Jerry has been involved in the fitness for his entire adult life, including playing sports through college. Along with being an Entrepreneur, Jerry is a content creator,
Jerry Scarlato
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