Cable Rows are a great exercise to strengthen your mid-back and improve your posture…when done correctly.
So today I will run through the proper way to perform rows so you can effectively work the right muscles (rhomboids, lats, mid traps).
Set-up a low cable system with a v-bar or something similar. Set your weight. Sit with your legs straight out in front of you (but not locked out). Grab the bar and hold it with your palms facing each other to allow for a neutral grip. Start with your shoulders rounded forward (so your back muscles are put in a stretched position).
As you exhale, pull the bar back until your body is at 90 degrees upright. Squeeze your shoulder blades back together. Your elbows should be back behind your body and a few inches outward from your torso. Your hands should be near your hips.
Hold that concentric contraction for a second before slowly returning to the start position over 3-4 seconds.
Things to Avoid:
Do not lean your torso back any farther than 90 degrees or else you are not isolating your mid-back. Leaning back makes it easier and uses other muscle groups than the ones you are supposed to be targeting.
Do not bend and straighten your legs with each pull. Keep the legs still and isolate the movement to your mid-back muscles only. This is not a leg exercise.
See it in action here: