How To Perform Cable Pull-Through With Perfect Technique

  • By: gymtrix
  • Date: January 7, 2023
  • Time to read: 7 min.
How To Perform Cable Pull-Through With Perfect Technique

The cable pull-through is a great compound exercise that will strengthen your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back.

As one of the best exercises to learn proper glute activation, as well as an excellent introductory variation to the deadlift, it is highly recommended for any strength training routine.

To execute this exercise correctly, you must have access to a cable machine with adjustable height.

With the appropriate setup in place, this exercise allows you to tone not only the extremities that make up your posterior chain but also their midsections; working all of these muscles out at once is a great opportunity for explosive growth in your strength and muscular development!

What Is a Cable Pull-Through?

The cable pull-through is a very effective compound exercise that works your hamstrings, gluteus maximus, lower back, and other big muscles in your back.

It’s also a great way to get your glutes to grow bigger and to learn the hip hinge movement that you need for other compound exercises like the Romanian deadlift (RDL) and the barbell hip thrust.

To perform a cable pull-through properly, begin by standing with your back towards a cable pulley machine. Then, hinge your hips and grab the rope attachment between your legs then pull it forward with a controlled motion.

With regular practice and the right form, you can get the most out of this exercise to build strength and endurance in these important muscles.

How To Perform The Pull-Through With Proper Form

Step 1: Begin by attaching a rope handle to the low pulley of a cable station. The rope should be long enough for you to comfortably grab the ends with your hands, so make sure that the rope is properly adjusted to your height before beginning. 

Step 2: Once you have secured the proper length of the rope, position yourself with your back facing the weight stack and grip both ends of the rope in each hand. Make sure that your feet are shoulder-width apart and remain firmly planted on the floor as you hold onto the rope.

Step 3: With the rope securely between your legs, bend over at your hips and knees so that your torso is at a 45-degree angle. Keep your spine straight during this step, and don’t round or arch it as you lower yourself into place.

Step 4: Once you’re ready and secure in your position, begin the exercise by thrusting your hips forward and raising your torso to standing. Make sure to squeeze and engage your glutes as you start this movement to get the most out of this exercise. 

Step 5: When you’re back in a full standing position, take a short break before doing Step 4 again. Keep doing this until you’ve done the number of reps you want.

Maintain proper form throughout each rep by maintaining proper posture, engaging your core muscles, and remembering to squeeze your glutes as you propel yourself up to standing position. 

Step 6: At any time during this exercise, if you feel pain or discomfort in any area of body then immediately stop performing the cable pull-through exercise for safety reasons.

Listen to what your body is telling you and adjust form accordingly if needed. don’t put too much strain on yourself unless it’s comfortable; otherwise, you risk potential injury instead of benefiting from doing this exercise correctly.

How to Work out Safely and Avoid Injury

Before you start an exercise program, it’s important to talk to your doctor if you have a health problem from the past.

When doing each exercise, you need to make sure you do it the right way to get the best results and stay safe, depending on your own needs.

When exercising, always make sure you’re in control and can handle the weight; pause immediately if you feel pain or discomfort.

To further progress your muscle and strength building goals, be sure to include rest periods, warm-ups, and nutrition into a workout routine you’re comfortable with.

By remembering these steps, you’ll be able to rest for 24 to 48 hours between training sessions, which will help your body recover from workouts.

Benefits of the Cable Pull-Through

The cable pull-through is a great exercise to add to your workout routine, regardless of whether you are using cables or bands.

Even though this lift is small, it can make big gains because it works big muscle groups like the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back.

Develop larger, more powerful glutes and hamstrings

A cable pull-through is an ideal exercise to have in your workout routine if you’re looking to strengthen your hamstrings and glutes while avoiding strain on your spine.

This isolated, low-impact movement allows you to increase the time spent under tension within each repetition, specifically targeting the eccentric phase.

Since this exercise doesn’t cause much compression, it can be done more often than other exercises that work the same muscles. 

Reinforce the Hip Hinge

Reinforcing the hip hinge is invaluable for any athlete.

The barbell pull-through is a great way to get used to and good at this pattern because it helps you keep a better posture than deadlifts, which can be hard for beginners.

Also, adding a cable or band increases the resistance during the eccentric phase. This helps athletes learn how to properly hinge at the hip, which improves their performance. 

Increased Posterior Chain Muscle Activation

By doing the cable pull-through exercise as part of your workout routine, you can get your back muscles to work harder.

This exercise is tailored towards targeting and emphasizing the eccentric strength of the glutes without over straining your body’s overall energy.

The cable pull-through puts slow and controlled focus on the targeted area, which when done properly will not only provide quality training volume but also give your lower body a great resistance workout.

Muscles Worked by the Cable Pull-Through

Cable pull-throughs can be a great choice for those looking to target their hinging muscles with the same degree of effectiveness as a deadlift, kettlebell swing, or clean but with much less impact on the spine.

This exercise is especially helpful because it takes pressure off the spine while still working important muscles in the back.


The cable pull-through is a deceivingly good exercise for helping your glutes get stronger and grow.

By extending the hips, the glutes contract to bring the torso up and keep the glutes under constant tension.

This keeps a strong contraction going during the concentric phase and helps make each rep of this exercise as effective as possible.


The hamstrings are an incredibly important muscle group during strength training. They are in charge of extending the hip and even take some of the eccentric stress during a cable pull-through.

Proper exercise form is critical for reducing injury risk, particularly in this type of lift.

Many lifters wait until they feel their hamstrings stretch out before properly contracting their glutes to start the concentric phase of the lift as they stand back up.


Can I do pull-throughs with a resistance band?

The pull-through exercise is an excellent way to target the gluteus muscles and core while providing a range of motion that stimulates the connective tissues.

While it can be performed with a barbell, using an elastic band adds a unique dynamic that requires constant resistance throughout each repetition.

By tying an appropriately sized band to a sturdy structure, you can create tension in the muscle fibers so that even at full extension there will still be resistance applied to the movement, which will encourage greater contraction at the top of the rep for maximum activation.

The lighter weight used allows for a slower tempo throughout your reps to really make sure you are engaging your hips and glutes correctly throughout each set.

Can I Do Cable Pull-Throughs Without The Machine?

Although cable pull-throughs are typically done using a machine, there are other ways to target the same muscle groups.

You can attach a band around a sturdy base and perform an exercise similar to cable pull-throughs. Alternatives such as good mornings may also do the trick.

Whatever you choose, the key is to keep proper form in mind while caring out the exercises. That way, you’ll be able to get the most out of your workouts without risking injury from improper technique.

My lower back aches from pulling the cable through. How Do I Proceed?

When performing exercises that involve bending over, proper technique is essential. The most important part of technique is focusing on bending at the waist rather than the spine.

It is imperative to keep your spine in a neutral position that does not change angles during the exercise as this could lead to injury.

All of the tension should be felt in your hamstrings and glutes as these are the primary muscles used in exercises such as these.

By paying close attention to your form, you can better ensure results while protecting yourself from potentially serious injuries.

What’s the best way to grip the bar when doing cable pull-throughs?

The best way to grip the bar when doing cable pull-throughs is with an overhand grip. This will allow you to keep your palms facing down as you perform the movement, which will help to target your muscles more effectively.

How many sets and reps should I do when doing cable pull-throughs?

The number of sets and reps you should do will depend on your fitness goals. If you’re looking to build muscle, aim for 3-5 sets of 8-12 reps.

If you’re trying to increase your strength, go for 4-6 sets of 6-8 reps. And if you’re just looking to get a good workout, 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps will do the trick.

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