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How To: Shotgun Row

Shotgun Row

The shotgun row or one arm cable row is a great isolation exercise for the back, and often used as a 'finisher', the last exercise performed on your back workout to burn out the muscle (the shotgun row is often the exercise of choice for this as it's quick and easy to superset or dropset unlike heavy barbell based exercises).

Movement: Isolation

Targets: Back

Required: Cable Machine & Handle Attachment

Optional: N/A

Shotgun Row Form:

Set up your cable machine with a low pulley handle.

Start with a wide stance, grasp the low pulley handle and step back until your arm is fully extended while your shoulder is forward.

Flex your elbow and pull your shoulder backward, as you begin to pull the cable in towards your torso supinate your wrist (twist your wrist until your palm faces up).

Flex and hold the contraction for 1 second before proceeding for the next repetition.

Common Shotgun Row Mistakes

Using Partial Range Of Motion

Each repetition should begin with your arms fully extended below your torso and end with the barbell up against your torso with your shoulder blades squeezed together.

Jerking Your Body To Complete The Repetition

The duration of the repetition should be slow and controlled, the top (contraction) portion of the repetition is by far the hardest, and if you're jerking your entire body to get the contraction this is a clear sign it's time to lower the number of repetitions per set.

See also
How To: Barbell Overhead Press

Not Squeezing The Shoulder Blades Together

Every back exercise comes down to getting the correct contraction - the contraction is a result of squeezing your shoulder blades together and tensing your back muscles as you've pulled the weight towards your torso. You cannot get this contraction without squeezing the shoulder blades.

I feel as if I repeat this point far too often, however for years I was merely training my back without contracting the muscles correctly... needless to say for a few years my back lagged behind the rest of my physique in terms of both size and strength.

Similar & Substitute Exercises 

  • Bent Over Row
  • Seated CableRow
  • Lat Pulldown
  • Pull-Ups

Any Questions Regarding The Shotgun Row? Ask Below!

Scott J.
Scott J.
I’m SJ. I’m a fitness enthusiast and published author. I transformed my body from a skinny fat 135lbs with 18% body fat to a solid 192lbs at 8% body fat. I became qualified in a field I was passionate about. I founded several online businesses that allow me to pursue ideas and projects in my life that I am passionate about without having to constantly worry about money. I published several eBooks explaining the training and dieting techniques I used to achieve the body I have today. I learnt a plethora of new information on dieting and fitness by reading and applying what I read, to find out what does work and what doesn’t work, because as I’m sure you’ve noticed the health and fitness industry is full of non-sense claims and BS. I found out what was true and what worked for me and applied that knowledge. And you bet I had fun during the whole process.

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