How To Perform Cable Pull-Throughs With Perfect Technique

  • By: gymtrix
  • Date: September 20, 2022
  • Time to read: 9 min.

Cable pull-throughs are a great exercise for targeting the posterior chain muscles the muscles on the back side of the body. They can be performed with a variety of different set-ups and equipment, making them versatile and accessible for most people.

When done with proper technique, they can be an incredibly effective way to build strength, power, and muscle. However, many people make common mistakes when performing this exercise, which can limit its effectiveness.

In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about cable pull throughs, including how to do them with perfect technique, common mistakes to avoid, and ways to progress and make them more challenging.

By the end, you’ll have all the tools you need to integrate this exercise into your own workout routine.

What are cable pull-throughs?

The cable pull-through is a weightlifting exercise that primarily targets the hamstrings and glute muscles. It is considered a more advanced exercise, as it requires good flexibility and coordination.

The benefit of doing cable pull-throughs is that they strengthen and tone the leg muscles, especially the hamstrings and glute muscles.

They teach the appropriate mechanics for bending at the waist (aka the hip hinge), which is an important movement pattern for activities such as lifting heavy objects or squatting down.

Why are they beneficial?

When you’re looking for exercises to really target your hamstrings and glutes, cable pull-throughs should be high on your list. This simple but effective exercise can be done with a number of different variations, making it a great choice for people of all fitness levels.

The beauty of cable pull-throughs is that they can be performed with a variety of different weight loads, making them perfect for both beginners and experienced athletes alike.

You can also adjust the difficulty of the exercise by altering your stance for example, if you want to focus on targeting your glutes more, step further away from the pulley.

Despite being an incredibly effective exercise, cable pull-throughs are often overlooked in favour of more popular exercises like squats and lunges. However, if you’re looking to really target your hamstrings and glutes, then this is definitely an exercise worth adding to your routine.

How to perform them with proper technique

Cable pull-throughs are an underrated exercise that can help improve your posterior chain strength, glute activation, and posture. They can be done with a band, rope, or cable machine.

The first step is to choose the right band, rope, or cable machine. When selecting a band, make sure it is challenging enough so that you can feel the tension in your glutes and hamstrings at the top of the movement.

The same goes for selecting a rope or cable machine make sure it is challenging enough so that you feel the tension in your glutes and hamstrings throughout the entire range of motion.

Once you have chosen the appropriate band, rope, or cable machine, stand with your feet hip-width apart and attach the band, rope, or cable to a sturdy anchor point.

Next, hinge at your hips and slowly lower yourself down towards the ground. Keep your back straight and ensure that your glutes are engaged throughout the entire range of motion.

Once you reach the bottom of the movement, forcefully contract your glutes and hamstrings to pull yourself back up to the starting position. Make sure to keep your back straight and your glutes engaged throughout the entire range of motion.

The common mistakes people make when doing them

One of the most common mistakes people make when doing cable pull-throughs is not maintaining a neutral spine.

It’s important to keep your back straight and your abdominals engaged throughout the entire range of motion to avoid putting unnecessary strain on your lower back.

Another common mistake people make is not hinging at the hips properly. To maximise the effectiveness of this exercise, you need to ensure that you are hinging at your hips and not your waist.

This means that you should be lowering your body down by pushing your butt backward, rather than bending forwards at the waist. This will help ensure that you are targeting your glutes and hamstrings effectively.

Finally, many people make the mistake of not using enough weight. To really feel the benefits of this exercise, you need to make sure that you are using a weight that is challenging enough.

If you’re not feeling the tension in your glutes and hamstrings, then chances are you need to increase the weight.

Cable pull-throughs are an incredibly effective exercise for targeting your hamstrings and glutes. However, as with any exercise, it’s important to ensure that you are using proper technique.

By following the tips above, you can avoid common mistakes and ensure that you are getting the most out of this exercise.

Tips for getting the most out of your pull-throughs

1. Make sure you are using a challenging weight. If you’re not feeling the tension in your glutes and hamstrings, then increase the weight.

2. Keep your back straight and your abdominals engaged throughout the entire range of motion to avoid putting unnecessary strain on your lower back.

3. Hinge at your hips and lower your body down by pushing your butt backward. This will help ensure that you are targeting your glutes and hamstrings effectively.

4. Contract your glutes and hamstrings forcefully to pull yourself back up to the starting position. Make sure to keep your back straight and your glutes engaged throughout the entire range of motion.

By following these tips, you can ensure that you are getting the most out of your cable pull-throughs. This exercise can be an incredibly effective way to build strength in your posterior chain and improve your glute activation.

How to progress and make them more challenging

If you find that you are able to do cable pull-throughs with perfect technique and you’re looking for a way to make them more challenging, then there are a few options.

One option is to increase the weight that you are using. As mentioned above, it’s important to make sure that you are using a challenging weight in order to really feel the benefits of this exercise.

If you can do 15 reps with perfect form using a particular weight, then it’s time to increase the weight and lower the number of reps that you do.

Another option is to add resistance bands around your knees. This will help to further engage your glutes and hamstrings, making the exercise more challenging.

Finally, you could also try doing single-leg versions of the exercise. This will help to further improve your balance and coordination, as well as increasing the load on your glutes and hamstrings.

Cable pull-throughs are a great exercise for targeting your glutes and hamstrings. By following the tips above, you can ensure that you are using proper technique and getting the most out of this exercise. If you’re looking for a way to make them more challenging, then try increasing the weight or adding resistance bands.

Variations of the exercise

There are a few different variations of the cable pull-through that you can try. The standard pull-through is done with a straight bar or cable machine, while the unilateral variation uses a single-handle attachment. You can also do a kneeling or standing pull-through.

The standard pull-through is a great exercise to target your glutes and hamstrings. It’s especially effective for beginners because it’s easy to learn and doesn’t require any special equipment.

To do the standard pull-through, stand in front of the cable machine with your feet hip-width apart and hold the bar with an overhand grip.

Bend your knees slightly and hinge forward from your hips until your torso is parallel to the floor. Keep your back flat and extend your hips and knees to bring yourself back to standing.

The unilateral variation is a great way to add some variety to your workouts and target those smaller muscles in your glutes and hamstrings.

To do the unilateral variation, stand next to the cable machine with your left side facing it. Hold the handle with your left hand and step away from the machine so there’s tension on the cable.

Bend your left knee and hinge forward from your hip until your torso is parallel to the floor. Extend your hips and knee to come back to standing, then switch sides and repeat.

If you’re looking for a more challenging version of the pull-through, try doing it kneeling down instead of standing up. This variation is especially tough on your glutes and hamstrings.

To do it kneeling, kneel down in front of the cable machine with your feet together. Hold the bar with an overhand grip and extend your hips until you’re in a tall kneeling position.

Bend your knees slightly and hinge forward from your hips until your torso is parallel to the floor. Extend your hips and knees to come back to standing.

If you want an even harder version, try doing the standing pull-throughs instead of kneeling ones. This will really challenge your glutes and hamstrings.

To do them standing, stand in front of the cable machine with an overhand grip on the bar. Step away from the machine so there’s tension on the cable.

Bend your knees slightly and hinge forward from your hips until your torso is parallel to the floor. Keep your back flat and extend your hips and knees to come back to standing.

Putting it all together – a sample cable pull-through workout routine

To get the most out of your cable pull-through workouts, it’s important to put together a routine that targets all of the major muscle groups in your body.

Here’s a sample workout routine that you can try:

1. Standard Pull-Throughs – 3 sets of 10-12 reps

2. Unilateral Pull-Throughs – 2 sets of 10 reps each side

3. Kneeling Pull-Throughs – 2 sets of 12-15 reps

4. Standing Pull-Throughs – 1 set of 8-10 reps

Start with the standard pull-throughs to warm up your muscles and get used to the movement. Then move on to the unilateral variation to really target those smaller muscles.

For the last two sets, try the kneeling and standing variations to really challenge your glutes and hamstrings. Remember to rest for 60-90 seconds between each set.

Cable pull-throughs are a great exercise to add to your workout routine. They’re easy to learn, and challenging, and they target all of the major muscle groups in your body. Give them a try and see how they help you meet your fitness goals!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What muscles do cable pull-throughs work?

Cable pull-throughs target your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back. They’re a great exercise for building strength and power in these key areas.

Should I use weight when doing cable pull-throughs?

It’s not necessary to use weight when doing cable pull-throughs. In fact, many people find that they can get a great workout without any added resistance.

However, if you want to make the exercise more challenging, you can add weight by holding a dumbbell or kettlebell in front of your chest as you perform the movement.

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.

Can I do pull-throughs with a resistance band?

Yes, you can do pull-throughs with a resistance band. However, many people find that the bands don’t provide enough resistance to really challenge their muscles. If you’re using a band, it’s important to make sure that it’s securely attached to something sturdy so it doesn’t move around as you exercise.

What’s the best way to warm up before doing cable pull-throughs?

It’s always a good idea to warm up before any type of workout, and this is especially true for exercises like cable pull-throughs that target your glutes and hamstrings.

A simple way to warm up before performing this exercise is to do some light cardio such as jogging or walking for 5-10 minutes. You can also do some dynamic stretches such as leg swings or lunges to get your muscles ready for the workout ahead.

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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