Here at Vertex, we use a number of excellent machines. One of my favorites is the Hammer MTS Row. I also happen to think that it is one of the tougher exercises to do, but only because it usually comes right after the leg press.
The Row targets the muscles of the upper back. The prime movers are the latissimus dorsi, the biceps brachii along with the mid-trapezius and the rhomboids.
Proper execution of the exercise starts with good posture. Sit with your hips forward on the seat. Your ribcage should be against the chest pad (but not jammed into it). Your chest will be held high and your shoulders will be down.
The first move after the trainer hands you the handles is to squeeze your shoulder blades together and then you pull your elbows back, keeping them close to your sides. Pause at the position of full contraction and return to the starting position. As always, the movement should be performed in a controlled manner until such a time that no more repetitions can be completed with perfect form. As with all of the exercises here at Vertex, intensity is the key!
Because the chest press is often over emphasized in workouts and with much of our time now spent in front of a computer, it is easy to have a pain in the back and neck. Doing the seated row can help prevent and even fix the problems associated with poor posture. When you are looking at starting a strength training program, make sure that the seated row is included!