How to Simulate a Cable Row at Home: 7 Alternatives

How to Simulate One a Cable Row Machine at Home–7 Alternatives


Simulating a cable row at home is easier than you might think. Let’s take a look at the top seven alternatives for the days you cannot make it to the gym.

Double Dumbbell Bent Over Row

For this exercise, you need two dumbbells or two weights. If you have nothing else, use full water bottles.


  1. Stand up straight, with one weight in each hand and your legs slightly apart.
  2. Lean forward with your knees slightly bent and push your hips back.
  3. Continue to bend forward until the dumbbells are parallel to your knees.
  4. Hold for a second before pulling your elbows up, pulling them next to your chest.
  5. Exhale and repeat for as many reps as you like.

Single-Arm Dumbbell Bent-Over Row

  1. Stand with one foot forward, knee slightly bent and secure on the ground.
  2. Push the other leg back slightly and lean forward until your body is parallel to the floor.
  3. Grasp a table at the appropriate height to prevent movement of anything but your lateral muscles.
  4. Lower the free weight until you fully extend your arm and can feel the stretch.
  5. Then slowly raise the weight until the arm is parallel to the ribcage.
  6. Raise it further while rotating the shoulder blades towards the center of the back, passing the start position.
  7. Repeat on the other side.

Barbell Bent-Over Row

  1. This exercise uses a barbell rather than dumbbells.
  2. Bend over as comfortable for you. A 45-degree to 90-degree angle is ideal.
  3. Extend your arms to the fullest position and inhale.
  4. Slowly pull the barbell up by raising your elbows.
  5. Hold, exhale, and then lower it again.
  6. Repeat.

Yates Row Reverse Grip

  1. Stand with your knees slightly bent, hip-width apart.
  2. Grasp the barbell with an underhand grip.
  3. Bend forward at a 45-degree angle.
  4. Lift the barbell towards your torso by flexing your elbows.
  5. You should also feel the scapulas drawing together.
  6. Return to the starting position in a fluid motion and repeat.

T-Bar Row

  1. With this exercise, you’ll need a barbell and a grip.
  2. Position the barbell so that it runs between your legs.
  3. Start with the knees slightly bent and bend from the waist at a 45-degree angle.
  4. Lift the barbell with the elbows while keeping your back stationary.
  5. Lower and repeat.

Inverted Row

  1. Position an exercise bar securely at about hip height so that there’s room for you to hang your upper body beneath it.
  2. Slide under the bar and grasp it firmly.
  3. Extend your legs forward and lower your upper body until you’ve fully extended your arms.
  4. Hold for a second, and then pull yourself up.
  5. Repeat.

Use Your Rowing Machine

All of the above exercises are simple enough, but each requires a different configuration or set of tools. With such a variety of activities, it’s easy to make mistakes when it comes to form. This, in turn, could lead to injuries.


A rowing machine is the simplest way to simulate the cable row at home, enabling you to work the same muscles and a whole lot more quickly.


The rowing machine will help you improve both your strength and cardiovascular fitness. It works every core stabilizer muscle and is a popular recommendation from medical professionals. It’s a versatile piece of equipment that can save you hours at the gym while giving you a challenging workout.


As with any other exercise on this page, maintaining good form is essential. If you’re not sure about the proper form when using a row machine, consider researching this topic or hiring a trainer to start you off.


Did you find this article about how to simulate a cable row at home interesting? The For-Knees website is jam-packed with similar useful information, posts, and reviews. Browse the website to find out more about exercise and supplements to improve your health.


Is a Leg Extension Machine Bad for Your Knees?

Leg Extension Machines–Good or Bad for Knees?


Is leg extension bad for knees? This question is a hotly debated topic in gyms, making the leg extension machine a controversial piece of equipment. There’s no other machine that isolates the quadriceps muscles quite so well.

Will a Physical Therapist Recommend a Leg Extension Machine?

The answer is that it depends on your injury. If, for example, you hurt your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), your physical therapist will be more likely to recommend a rowing machine.

How a Leg Extension Machine Could Hurt Your Knees

If your knees are perfectly healthy, this amount of shear force the machine places on the ACL is bearable. Where problems might occur is when the quadriceps put out a stronger force than your knee flexors can handle.


Under normal circumstances, this would be unlikely to occur. If, however, you’ve been doing a lot of these exercises to redefine your quads, it’s possible to create an imbalance in strength. This is because these machines target the quadriceps very well but do little for the other structures of the legs.


They do not, for example, engage the hamstring connected to the knee. This supportive tissue prevents you from wrenching your knee when it’s under a great deal of pressure. By performing leg extensions with heavy weights, you actually increase the risk of injuring your knee.


A further danger is that the kneecap may slip to one side or the other.


Using this machine while recovering from a knee injury could set your progress back significantly and result in knee pain. Considering the limited number of muscles you work with a leg extension and the risk for injury, a rowing machine makes better sense.

Why a Rowing Machine Is a Better Choice

Rowing, on the other hand, strengthens the knee muscles and works the quadriceps. In addition, it also flexes and extends the hamstrings, strengthening the supportive tissue around the knee.


Leg extensions will strengthen your quads but little else. Rowing gives your whole leg a workout and helps build its core strength. This improves the stability of the knee joint and reduces the risk of pain and injury.


After an ACL injury, rowing can help you recover when combined with other exercises.

Rowing Saves You Time

Rowing is a full-body exercise that blends resistance and cardio training. If you have a limited amount of time to spend in the gym, a rowing machine is a great place to start. You can work all the major muscle groups and raise your heart rate.


According to the CDC, using a rowing machine can burn between 3.5 and 7 calories per minute.

Is Rowing Safe?

Like with any exercise, there are risks worth considering. The primary cause of knee injuries while rowing, however, is poor form. It’s vital to learn more about the correct format for each exercise before trying them on your own.


To that end, it might be helpful to hire a personal trainer to teach you how to use the machine properly. You could hire them for a couple of sessions to get you off to a good start or continue to work with them.

Other Benefits of Rowing Machines

Some additional benefits of rowing machines include:


  • Minimal joint impact because you are not pounding the pavement
  • Complete muscle workout because you engage all the major muscle groups
  • High-calorie burn because of all the muscle groups you work
  • Compact design that you can fold up and put away

So, is a leg extension bad for knees? Read more about alternatives by browsing the For-Knees website. You’ll find interesting articles and honest reviews on a range of products.

Other Exercises for Bad Knees

Of course, while leg extension machines may cause issues, it’s also true that rowing machines, while an excellent alternative, are not the be all and end all. There are lots of other exercises for bad knees.







5 Reasons Why a Rowing Machine Is Good for Abs

Various Exercises You to Reduce Belly Fat


There are various exercises you can choose from when wanting to reduce your belly fat and work on your abs. While all of them have something to offer, a rowing machine might be the best option. This post will look at five reasons why a rowing machine is good for abs.

Is a Rowing Machine Good for Abs?

Can including a rowing machine in my workout help me achieve a six-pack of abs or a flat, toned stomach? The simple answer is yes. The following are five answers to “is a rowing machine good for abs?”

1.                 The Machine Targets Your Core

While a rowing machine is a full-body workout, it more specifically burns fat from your midsection. Rowing targets your glutes and stomach in one fell swoop. The machine constantly engages your core muscles throughout every stroke.

As you glide along on the machine, your core crunches and relaxes. This movement means that you are essentially executing continual mini sit-ups by working out on a rowing machine.

2.                 Rowing Is an Upper-Body Workout

On top of targeting your core, rowing is also an excellent upper-body workout. The machine provides a nice workout for your pecs and biceps, which further contributes to developing better abs and a stronger core.

3.                 It Burns Fat

Rowing is also a fat-burning workout. Additionally, it doesn’t just burn fat from your midsection. It reduces your entire body’s fat by supplying you with a workout that burns up to 800 calories in an hour.

Considering that you will not see your abs until you get rid of the top layer of fat, using this machine goes a long way in burning fat and building strong abdominal muscles.

4.                 It Is a Low Impact Exercise

While a high-intensity workout will have a more significant impact, it can often cause injuries. For instance, a high-intensity treadmill workout can result in injuries to your knees or ankles.

On the other hand, with a rowing machine, you can exercise at the highest intensity without fear of injuries because the exercise has a low impact on your body.

5.                 Offers Quicker Results

With rowing being a low-impact exercise, you can train as often as you wish. Also, just because rowing is a low-impact exercise does not mean it will not challenge your core and body. With these reasons combined, you can achieve your desired results much quicker.

Tips To Keep In Mind When Rowing

The following are a few tips to keep in mind when using your rowing machine to work on your abs.

Keep Your Back Straight as You Stroke

Avoid rounding or hunching your back or leaning slightly when rowing. Instead, keep your back straight and erect. Focus on sitting up straight and pulling your shoulders back so as not to have them cave forward.

Don’t Row With Just Your Arms

For a more effective workout, keep in mind that when rowing, 60% of strength should come from your legs, 20% from your arms, and 20% from bracing your core.

Don’t Rush Your Row

The perfect rowing stroke is one whose recovery is twice as long as the drive. Engaging your core will help you control your deceleration and heart rate and avoid rushing your row.

Start Your Journey To Better Knee Health

Though we have been looking at why a rowing machine is good for abs, it can also significantly improve your knee health. With the knee joint being one of the most important joints in your body, its optimal health can do wonders for your overall well-being and quality of life.

At For-Knees, we have resources that provide you with a multidisciplinary approach to improving your knee health. Visit our site or call us today at (707) 206-6196 to learn more.


The 5 Best Leg Exercises for Seniors With Bad Knees

While some things get better with age, our knees are, unfortunately, not one of them. The list of knee pain and injuries that coincide with aging is long. Fortunately, there are a few exercises that can help you improve your knee, leg and overall body strength and health. The following are the five best leg exercises for seniors with bad knees.

The Best Leg Exercises for Seniors With Bad Knees

The following leg exercises are perfect for senior citizens who wish to strengthen their knees. When performed consistently, you will notice significant differences in your knee strength.

Consider performing ten to twelve repetitions of these exercises at least three times every week, starting slowly and progressing over time.

1.                 Squats

Squats are a moderately difficult type of exercise that helps you strengthen your glutes, thighs, hips, calves, back, and abs.

To do them, stand up and place your feet shoulder-width apart, then, while hinging at your hips and placing equal weight on both legs, go down as if you were about to sit on a chair. Ensure that you do not go deeper than 90 degrees and that your knees do not go past your toes.

2.                 Sit-To-Stand

To perform this exercise, sit up in your chair and place your feet shoulder- or hip-width apart. Shuffle to the front of your chair and bring your feet back so that your heels are behind your knees.

Placing your hands on your chair or your thighs, lean forward and stand up. Fully extend your legs at the hip and knees and then sit down, ensuring that your chest is facing up throughout the exercise.

3.                 Chair Deadlift

While this exercise is more challenging than the previous two, it is one of the best leg exercises for seniors with bad knees.

Get a resistance band, place it on the floor, and put your feet on it. Facing your toes slightly outwards and aligning your knees with your toes, reach down and grab the resistance band.

Hold on to the band, keeping your arms straight and your shoulders back and down. From this position, stand up like you would when doing the sit-to-stand exercise. Ensure that your knees and hips are straight as you complete the movement, and then slowly sit back down.

4.                 Reverse Lunge

The reverse lunge is perfect because it allows you to work out one leg at a time.

Stand up tall and place both your hands on the back of a chair. Take a large step back, bend your knees, and drop your left leg down. Without letting it touch the floor, come back up and do the same with the opposite leg.

Ensure that you keep your body upright during the exercise. You must also make sure that your front foot’s knee does not go beyond the line of your toes.

5.                 Seated Knee Extensions

Also referred to as knee straightens, seated knee extensions are an easy strengthening exercise to do.

While sitting up straight on your chair, with your shoulders back, lift one leg and extend it at the knee. You should ensure that your leg is entirely straight to achieve full knee extensions.

Hold the leg briefly at the top of this movement, squeezing your muscles at the front of your thigh. Lower your leg back down, ensuring that the motion is slow and controlled. Do the same for the alternate leg.

A note of caution: While doing this as a straight leg exercise with no weight is fairly safe, if you use a knee extension machine and feel soreness, refrain from doing the exercise in this way.

Achieve Better Knee Health

While the wear and tear our knees experience over time can leave them vulnerable to pain and injuries, you can achieve better knee health with continuous exercise. While all these exercises are provento be helpful for knees, if you want an whole body workout for 85% of your muscles, plus fat burning and other benefits, you might want to consider using a rowing machine.  And here are some of the best rowing machines for seniors.



Side to Side Bent Knee-Ups: A Great Exercise for Washboard Abs

Getting Washboard “Six Pack” Abs Exercise


If you are looking for a great exercise to work your abs and give you that ridged, washboard look, side to side knee-ups are a great way to get that cut look. It is one of several workouts that will get your heart pumping and work your abs and lower body

Your stomach has four main muscle groups: external obliques, internal obliques, transversus abdominis, and rectus abdominis. A strong core helps your balance, makes you stronger, makes everyday tasks more manageable, and improves your posture. For older adults, a strong core can keep you walking on your own for much longer.


What Muscles Are Behind Washboard Abs?

Most people will tell you that the secret of getting great abs is through squats, deadlifts, hanging knee raises, and a few other exercises, along with a low body fat percentage. It is between 14-20% for women, while men must go as low as 6-13%.


The rectus abdominis muscle, which runs from the bottom of your ribcage to your hips, is responsible for that V-cut trademark of washboard abs. While squats and deadlifts work the posterior core muscles and are great for contributing to six-pack abs, unless you work out the rectus abdominis, you will not get that definition you are seeking.


How to Do Side to Side Bent Knee-ups

Side to side bent knee-ups can be done at a gym or anywhere where there is a bar that can hold your weight. Make sure you have enough room as you will be swinging your legs and will need enough room. A pullup bar in your doorway should give you adequate space.


  1. Grab the bar with an overhand grip with a firm hold. If your hands are sweaty, chalk or workout gloves can help.
  2. Lower until you are hanging and bend your knees; your knees should stay bent throughout each set.
  3. Exhale as you twist at the hips while raising your knees to the right or left. Your knees should be near the center while your feet are off to the side.
  4. Hold for 1-2 seconds, then inhale as you lower your legs back down with your knees still bent.
  5. Exhale and raise your knees again to the opposite side, hold for 1-2 seconds, then inhale as you lower your legs back down.


Make sure you have a firm overhand grip to prevent swinging, as this will decrease the effectiveness of the exercise. Your upper body should not move at all. With side to side bent knee-ups, you want to make sure you round your back to avoid injuring it.


For a hardcore side to side bent knee-up workout, try this routine:


  1. Complete 10-20 reps per side alternating between each side
  2. After each set, complete 3-6 fast mini-reps on each side
  3. Rest for 15-20 seconds
  4. Repeat three times


A great follow-up to this exercise is a back workout to keep you strong and healthy. You don’t want to neglect one area of your body while concentrating on another. Your knees are especially vulnerable, especially as you age, so be sure to add some exercises for your knees, as well.


If you are starting a new workout routine, you may not complete a full set. If you follow a well-rounded core exercise program, you will feel yourself getting stronger, and soon you will be able to finish this set more easily.


However, if you are looking for a different way to work your core and get a great full-body workout, try using a rowing machine. It is a low-impact exercise that works your core, lower and upper body muscles and gives you a great cardio workout.


Exercising your core is vital to staying healthy and fit throughout your life.




Stretches for Cycling Knee Pain: How Stretching Helps Your Knees

Stretching Helps Knee Pain from Cycling


Cyclists are all too familiar with knee pain after a long ride. If you are not adequately stretching before or after a bike ride, you may experience increased pain and a decrease in performance. If your knees are hurting due to improper knee alignment, you will not be able to get as much power on your down-pedal.


What Causes Knee Pain

If your knees are out of alignment, it can damage the soft tissue around your knees and is a precursor to your hips and ankles falling out of alignment as well.


There is a simple test you can do to check if your knees are out of alignment. Stand in front of a mirror with your feet facing forward. The front of your knees should be facing forward in this position. If they are not, they are misaligned.


If your knee pain is keeping you off of your bike, a rowing machine offers a great, low-impact, full-body workout until you can get back to your normal cycling activities.


Five Stretches to Help With Cycling Knee Pain

You will need a few props to help you with these stretches.


  • Chair or bench
  • Towel
  • Foam pad


If you struggle with your balance, do these stretches near a wall or table to help keep you upright. Hold each stretch for 30-60 seconds, then switch to the opposite leg.


Quadricep Stretch

  1. Stand next to a bench with your back toward it.
  2. Place a rolled-up towel in the crease of your knee. Then bend your leg back, so your foot is resting on the bench or chair.
  3. Lean backward while pushing your hips forward.


Hip Flexor/ITB Stretch

  1. With the chair behind you, place the top of your foot on the chair. Place your knee on the foam pad.
  2. Your other leg should be bent at a 90-degree angle directly in front of the other leg.
  3. Lean away from your back leg.


Gluteal Stretch

  1. Lay down on a mat with your knees bent and bring the right knee toward your chest.
  2. Place your right ankle over your left knee.
  3. Grab the left leg, either by the quad or shin, and pull it toward your chest.

Active Bridges

  1. Lay down with knees bent up and both feet on the ground hip-distance apart.
  2. Place a small strap just below your knee joint with a 1-2 inch give in both directions.
  3. Lay your arms on the ground with palms facing up.
  4. Squeeze your glutes and raise your hips without engaging your quadriceps or pelvic muscles.
  5. Keep your hips level and hold for 5-10 seconds, then lower back down. Repeat 10-15 times for three sets


Hip Crossover Stretch

  1. While laying with your back to the floor, bend your legs and place your right foot over your left knee.
  2. Twist your hips until your right foot is touching the floor, and then look over your right shoulder. If you can, place your right cheek against the floor.
  3. Hold for one minute, then repeat on the other side.


Counter Stretch With Feet Wide

  1. Stand in front of a table or chair with your feet spread 2-3 feet apart.
  2. With your feet facing forward, grab the chair or table with your arms straight and bend at the waist. Bend low enough that your arms are above your head.
  3. Tighten your quadriceps and hold for 1 – 3 minutes.


Poor Bike Fitting

If you have a new bike or have not had your bike professionally fit before, you should go in for a bike fitting to make sure it fits you perfectly. Your knee pain could be a result of a bike that is not right for your body type. A professional bike fit can adjust your bike to fit you and reduce the risk of injury.


If you are experiencing knee pain related to cycling and have some questions, visit our website to learn more about different exercises you can do to help keep your knees strong.