Kinematics and Kinetics of the Seated Row and Implications for Conditioning

Document Type

Journal Article


National Strength and Conditioning Association


Computing, Health and Science


School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Science




Originally published as: Cronin, J. B., Jones, J. V., & Hagstrom, J. T. (2007). KINEMATICS AND KINETICS OF THE SEATED ROW AND IMPLICATIONS FOR CONDITIONING. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 21(4), 1265. Original article available here


Optimizing transference of gym-based strength and power gains to sporting performance necessitates a physiological and biomechanical understanding of the weight-training exercise as well as the sporting activity. With this in mind, this paper describes the kinematics and kinetics associated with a seated row. The maximal strength and concentric power-load spectrum (30-100% 1 repetition maximum [1RM]) for the cable seated row was assessed using Olympic rowers (n = 8). In terms of temporal characteristics, peak force across all loads occurred within the first 25% of movement time. Peak power across loads occurred within 35-45% of movement time. With regard to position, peak force occurred within 8.3% and peak power within 27-35% of the start of the concentric phase. To estimate the load that maximized mechanical power output, a quadratic was fitted to each subject's power output vs. 1RM. In terms of mean power, an estimated load of 81.4% (± 9.7%) 1RM was found to maximize power output. A 10 and 20% change in load each side of this maximum resulted in a 1.8 and 7.3% decrease in power output, respectively. The predilection of research to train all subjects at 1 load is fundamentally flawed due to interindividual maximum power differences (range in this study = 69-100% 1RM). Also, the importance of this measure would seem questionable, given that loads either side of the load that maximize power output do not change power output substantially