Optimal Height for Seal Rows

This is just a quick followup to my earlier post about seal rows. A reader named Steven asked for details about the plyoboxes that I use, and my “perfect” height for seal rows.

Obviously, the perfect height will vary with your height, limb length, etc. I’m tall (6’5″) with fairly long arms, so my setup tends toward one extreme.

I currently own three plyoboxes. One is a 12x14x16 box from Titan Fitness. The others, which measure 12x16x18 and 20x24x30, are from a local-ish eBay seller. I use the latter two for my seal row setup.

Seal row setup

I set the 12x16x18 box on my lifting platform on its tallest (18-inch) edge, and I put 20x24x30 box on the floor adjacent to my platform on its shortest (20-inch) edge. From there, I set the bench across the two and put the barbell underneath, but on the platform.

The net result is a couple of 18-inch “pillars” on which to rest my bench. I use the Rogue flat utility bench for these lifts, so that brings the total height to 36 inches. This, combined with a bar loaded with standard diameter 45 lb plates, puts things at just the right height for me.

For reference, when I extend my arms in front of me, the distance from my fingertip to my clavicle (i.e., collar bone) is around 35 inches. I have to sort of stretch and wriggle back and for a bit to get a good grip around the bar. But, from there, I simply retract my scaps and start pulling.

As previously noted, you can fine tune your height by increasing the bench height with plates, dropping the barbell height by using smaller diameter plates (e.g., 25 or 35 lb plates [if you have them] instead of 45 lbs), etc.

If you have a power rack, you might also be able to rig something up by laying a (padded) board across the safety pins. This would give a highly adjustable platform from which to work, so you could dial in just about any height. It would, however, take a bit of work on your part to make something that is both comfortable and sturdy enough. I’m happy with my boxes.

In terms of box recommendations, there are tons of options out there. The boxes that I got on eBay were a great deal because I picked them up in person, and didn’t have to pay for shipping.

That being said, the Titan plyobox that I bought is surprisingly nice, and it wasn’t terribly costly. I’m actually thinking of getting another.

Workouts & Training
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