THE CABLE PULL-THROUGH TUTORIAL: A SIMPLE EXERCISE FOR GLUTE & HAMSTRING DEVELOPMENT
The cable pull-through is a great compound exercise that trains the powerful muscles of the posterior chain which includes the hamstrings, the glutes, and the low back.
It is considered to be a great introductory variation to the deadlift, and a formidable builder of the legs all by itself.
In order to perform the cable pull-through, you will need a cable pulley machine that has an adjustable height.
CABLE PULL-THROUGH FORM
CABLE PULL-THROUGH BENEFITS
Strengthens and tones the leg muscles, especially the hamstrings and glute muscles
Teaches the appropriate mechanics for bending at the waist
- Strengthens the back muscles without providing any compressive axial loading
MUSCLES WORKED DURING THE PULL-THROUGH
Upper Back (Isometrically)
PERFORMING THE PULL-THROUGH WITH PROPER TECHNIQUE
Lower the pulley apparatus to the lowest setting
Pick the desired weight on the machine (remember to always start out light when learning a new movement)
Face away from the machine and grab the rope attachment with your palms facing each other in between your legs
- Ideally, you should use flat sole shoes such as Converse Chuck Taylors, Nike Metcons, or Rebook Crossfit Nanos, to maintain a stable foot position. Any shoe with a squishy sole will not allow you to transfer force adequately from your feet to your hips.
Take a few steps away from the machine so that the pulley begins to lift the weight off the rack. Ensure that you are far enough so that the weight lifted does not come back in contact with the weight stack
Assume a stance that is wider than shoulder width with your feet straight, or pointed out no more than 15-30 degrees
Begin the movement by bending at the waist and pushing your hips back towards the machine.
Do not allow your spinal alignment to change, keep your spine neutral
Keep pushing your hips back until you feel a nice stretch in your hamstrings
Pause for a second and reverse the movement by extending at the hips
Ensure that you squeeze and activate your glutes at the top of the movement
Repeat for the desired amount of reps
By the way, be sure to check out our FREE E-book that goes over all of the best compound exercises for your entire body!
COMMON PULL-THROUGH MISTAKES
BENDING AT THE SPINE
Do not allow any motion to come from your spine.
Focus on moving ONLY at the hips. Practice by standing 12 inches away from a wall, and try to make your butt come in contact with the wall. This can only be achieved through hip flexion
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can I Do Cable Pull-Through With A Band?
Yes, the pull-through can be performed with a band. Just tie a resistance band to a sturdy structure and perform the exercise the same way as described above. The band will accommodate the resistance throughout the movement; i.e, there will be less stretch on the band at the bottom of the exercise, and more at the top.
You can see a demonstration in our post – 20 Full Body Resistance Band Exercises.
Try and get different sized bands, as they all provide different amounts of resistance. This set is amazing.
Can I Do Cable Pull-Throughs Without The Machine?
Yes, you can do this exercise with a band as described above. Or you can select one of the alternative exercises listed below. They will all train the same muscle groups through hip extension.
Which Exercise is Better? Cable Pull-Through Vs. Hip Thrust?
Both exercises are great for glute development, however, the hip thrust targets the hamstring muscles more. With that said, you will be able to lift a lot more weight with the hip thrust. Bret Contreras has popularized the weighted hip thrust exercise.
The Cable Pull-Through Hurts My Lower Back. What Do I Do?
This is likely due to improper technique. You must focus on bending at the waist and not at the spine. Your spine should remain in a neutral position without changing its angle throughout the exercise. All of the tension should be felt in the hamstrings and glutes.
If this exercise still hurts, then use one of the alternatives below.
Whats An Ideal Cable Pull-Through Weight?
Aim to perform 12 repetitions with 65% of your body weight
How Can I Integrate The Cable Pull-Through In My Training?
Check out The WCT Best Workout Template For Busy Professionals to find a simple way to add the cable pull-through and other great exercises into your routine.
CABLE PULL THROUGH ALTERNATIVES
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