Hands down, my all-time favorite machine in a weight room is the Hammer Strength Iso Row. There’s something about being able to stand up, have your chest supported and row really heavy weight that’s just magical.
In this guide, I’m going to teach you how to do Hammer Strength Iso Rows including coaching points, muscles worked and a few alternatives.
How To Do Hammer Strength Iso Row
- Hammer Strength Iso Row Machine
- Weight Plates
- Latissimus Dorsi
- Teres Major
- Posterior Deltoids
- Start by either standing or seated* with your chest against the support pad.
- Reach forward, grab the handles and then brace your core and set your posture.
- Row the handles toward your chest, quickly pause at full contraction and then slowly lower back to arm’s length.
- Repeat until all reps are completed.
If doing rows seated, adjust the seat to the proper height so your chest is against the pad and you can row comfortably. For taller lifters, you can also do Hammer Seated Rows standing as well. Lower the seat out of the way and find a comfortable position for your feet to stand.
The rowing motion shouldn’t change whether standing or seated.
By far the biggest mistake I see with Hammer Rows is athletes I coach think that because there is a pad to support their chest, they don’t need to have good posture. This is wrong. You should still have the same posture – back and core engaged – as you would if you didn’t have a pad supporting you.
How Many Reps?
Hammer Iso Rows is an upper-body supplemental strength movement. Recommended rep range is 3 to 4 sets of 6 to 12 reps.
Hammer Row Benefits
For starters, Hammer Iso Rows is an amazing exercise for building back strength.
The biggest benefit of using a Hammer Row Machine is the chest being supported. Having the chest supported removes most of the strain from the low back (as compared to exercises like Barbell Bent Over Rows) which makes it much easier to use heavy weight.
Hammer Iso Row Alternatives
Don’t have a Hammer Row Machine? Here are a couple of alternatives you may be able to try out as a replacement.
Want more options? Here are 10 of my favorite Hammer Iso Row Alternatives.
Chest Supported Dumbbell Row
If you have dumbbells, the best substitution for Hammer Rows is Chest Supported Dumbbell Rows. They are very similar movements, just done with different pieces of equipment.
Both are great back exercises and both support the torso to help take strain off the low back.
Barbell Bent Over Row
Barbell Bent Over Rows are also very similar to Hammer Iso Rows in terms of building strength. The biggest difference is that Barbell Bent Over Rows don’t support the torso. However, this can also be looked at as a positive for developing low back and core strength.
Barbell Upright Row
Barbell Upright Rows are slightly different in that they are a vertical rowing movement as opposed to a horizontal rowing movement.
However, they can still make a great alternative for Hammer Iso Rows if you don’t have access to Low Row Machine. They’re also a great option for adding some variety to your back workouts and to focus a little more on the trapezius and the surrounding muscles of the upper back.
More Links and Info
If you’d like to see more back exercises, head over to the Upper Body Lifts section of our exercise library. There you’ll find dozens of chest, back and shoulder movements, all with step-by-step instructions.