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Cable Rear Delt Row (Stirrups) 101 Video Tutorial

Gym Modified Variation Strength


Cable Rear Delt Row (Stirrups)
Cable Rear Delt Row (Stirrups)

Exercise Synopsis

Target Muscle Group


Secondary Targets



Force Type

Pull (Bilateral)

Required Equipment

Cable Machine

Fitness Level











The Cable Seated Rear Delt Row Stirrups is a targeted shoulder exercise that also engages the lats, utilizing a cable machine for resistance. To perform this exercise, sit facing a cable machine with the stirrups attached to the low pulley. Grasp the stirrups with a pronated grip, extend your arms, and sit tall. Initiate the movement by retracting your shoulder blades and pulling the stirrups toward your upper chest, ensuring your elbows move outward. This targets the rear deltoids with additional activation in the lat muscles. The cable resistance provides a constant tension throughout the range of motion, contributing to improved shoulder strength and development. Incorporating this exercise into your shoulder workout routine can enhance rear deltoid isolation and overall shoulder stability.

How to Perform

  1. Start by sitting facing a cable machine, with the stirrups attached to the low pulley.

  2. Grasp the stirrups with a pronated grip, keeping your arms extended and sitting in an upright position.

  3. Exhale as you initiate the movement by retracting your shoulder blades and pulling the stirrups toward your upper chest, bending your arms in the process.

  4. Pause for a moment at the top of the movement to maximize the contraction in your rear deltoids and engage the lats.

  5. Inhale as you slowly return to the starting position, ensuring your arms are fully extended, and your shoulders are stretched forward.

  6. Repeat the exercise for the desired number of repetitions to effectively target the shoulders and activate the lats.

  7. Maintain control throughout the entire range of motion, and avoid using momentum to ensure proper muscle engagement.

  8. Incorporate this exercise into your shoulder workout routine to enhance rear deltoid isolation and overall shoulder stability.


  1. Setup and Positioning:

    • Sit facing a cable machine with the stirrups attached to the low pulley.

    • Adjust the bench or seat to ensure your body is stable and in an upright position.

  2. Grip and Starting Position:

    • Grasp the stirrups with a pronated grip, keeping your arms fully extended.

    • Maintain a straight back and engage your core for stability.

  3. Initiate the Movement:

    • Exhale as you retract your shoulder blades, pulling the stirrups toward your upper chest.

    • Bend your arms during the rowing motion, focusing on squeezing your rear deltoids.

  4. Pause and Contraction:

    • Hold the position for a moment at the top of the movement, maximizing the contraction in your rear deltoids.

    • Ensure your lats are engaged to enhance the overall effectiveness of the exercise.

  5. Return to Starting Position:

    • Inhale as you slowly extend your arms, returning to the starting position.

    • Keep control throughout the movement to work the muscles through the full range of motion.

  6. Maintain Proper Form:

    • Avoid using momentum or swinging your body to perform the exercise.

    • Emphasize controlled and deliberate movements to target the intended muscle groups.

  7. Range of Motion:

    • Focus on achieving a full range of motion, allowing your shoulders to stretch forward during the extension phase.

  8. Repetition and Sets:

    • Perform the desired number of repetitions, maintaining proper form throughout.

    • Consider incorporating this exercise into your shoulder workout routine for comprehensive shoulder development.

  9. Adjust Resistance:

    • Modify the weight on the cable machine to ensure challenging resistance without sacrificing form.

  10. Consistency and Progression:

    • Be consistent with your training and gradually progress in resistance to promote continuous muscle development.

How Not to Perform

  1. Avoid Overarching the Back:

    • Do not arch your back excessively during the rowing motion. Maintain a neutral spine to prevent lower back strain and ensure proper engagement of the shoulders and lats.

  2. Refrain from Using Excessive Weight:

    • Avoid using weights that are too heavy. Overloading the cable machine can lead to compromised form, reducing the effectiveness of the exercise and increasing the risk of injury.

  3. Don't Neglect Shoulder Blade Retraction:

    • Do not neglect retracting your shoulder blades. Ensure that you initiate the movement by pulling your shoulder blades together, emphasizing the engagement of the rear deltoids.

  4. Avoid Rounded Shoulders:

    • Do not round your shoulders forward. Maintain a proper posture throughout the exercise, keeping your shoulders back and down to target the intended muscles effectively.

  5. Refrain from Using Momentum:

    • Avoid using momentum to pull the stirrups. Perform the exercise with controlled and deliberate movements, preventing swinging or jerking motions.

  6. Don't Grip Too Tightly:

    • Avoid gripping the stirrups too tightly. Maintain a comfortable grip to prevent unnecessary tension in your hands and forearms, allowing the shoulders and lats to do the work.

  7. Avoid Rapid or Jerky Movements:

    • Do not perform the exercise with rapid or jerky movements. Focus on a smooth and controlled rowing motion to isolate the targeted muscles and reduce the risk of injury.

  8. Refrain from Using Incorrect Hand Position:

    • Do not use an incorrect hand position on the stirrups. Ensure a pronated grip and proper spacing to effectively target the rear deltoids and lats.

  9. Don't Ignore Core Engagement:

    • Avoid neglecting your core muscles. Engage your core throughout the exercise to stabilize your body and prevent unnecessary strain on your lower back.

  10. Refrain from Ignoring Breathing Patterns:

    • Do not forget to coordinate your breathing. Maintain a controlled breathing pattern, exhaling during the rowing motion and inhaling during the return phase to enhance overall stability and focus on muscle engagement.


Variations of fitness exercises refer to different ways of performing a specific exercise or movement to target various muscle groups, intensities, or goals. These variations aim to challenge the body differently, prevent plateaus, and cater to individuals with varying fitness levels.


Cable Machine






Alternative exercises in fitness refer to different movements or activities that target similar muscle groups or serve the same training purpose as the primary exercise. These alternative exercises can be used as substitutes when the original exercise is unavailable or challenging to perform due to various reasons such as equipment limitations, injuries, or personal preferences.