• Photo for Step Back and Single Rows
    Photo Credit: Nicolas Smith

Step Back and Single Rows

By RealJock Staff

This exercise provided courtesy of Billy Polson, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.

This exercise pairs the leg-strengthening benefits of the lunge with the powerful cable row for your back. Use cables for greater external resistance, or tubes attached to a stationary point if you prefer to provide your own resistance.

Muscles Worked

Starting Position
Attach two cables at hip height on a cable machine (or two tubes to stationary points at hip height). Stand facing the machine with your feet hip-width apart and one handle in each hand, with your arms extended toward the machine and your palms facing inward. Bend your knees and press your hips slightly back into a slight sitting position. Keep the majority of your weight back on your heels, while still applying pressure through the balls of your feet (see Photo 1).


  1. From the starting position, step back with one foot about two to three feet behind you. Using the arm on the same side as your stepping leg, perform a row—pull your elbow behind you, squeezing across your shoulder blade and keeping your elbow bent. Your upper body will turn somewhat as you perform the row, but you should not pivot through your knee (see Photos 2 and 3).
  2. Allow your arm to return to the starting position as you bring your leg back to the start as well. Repeat on the same until you have completed 12 reps.
  3. For the Strong and Lean workout program, you will do this exercise in combination with the Bent Over Single Pull-Downs. After you have completed 12 reps of this exercise with one arm, do 12 reps of the bent over single pull-downs with the same arm, then return to this exercise to do 12 reps with your other arm (see Photo 4), followed by 12 reps with that arm of the bent over single pull-downs.
About Billy Polson: Billy Polson is the founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, which was voted the best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006. A competitive swimmer and triathlete in his own right, Polson has over 15 years of experience working as a coach and trainer, and was recently named by Men's Journal Magazine (December 2005) as one of the Top 100 Trainers in America.