The cable pull through is an essential exercise that builds the powerful muscles of  the posterior chain which is majorly the  hamstrings, the glutes, and low back.

Now thoughout every training program there are exercises and movements that can be put together prior to main lifts, at the end of work outs or as corrective movements to help maintain and maximize muscle hypertrophy, neurological patterning and overall performance.

 The cable  pull  through  does well  to build the legs and its muscles all by itself, its also an amazing introductory variation to the deadlift which is..

The cable pull though is a frequently seen movement for hamstring development, increased gluteal hypertrophy and endurance, and re emphasising proper hip flex and extension mechanics.

The glutes

The glute muscles are basically three muscles that are what structure the buttocks. The job of the muscles are extension, abduction, external rotation

Gluteal muscles

The gluteus maximus is the largest of them. It makes up a large amount of the shape of the hips. It is a narrow and thick fleshy amount of a quadrilateral shape, and it leads to the prominence of the nates. The gluteus may be a wide, thick, radiating muscle, that’s situated on the outer surface of the pelvis. It is positioned close to the gluteus maximus and its posterior third is covered by the gluteus maximus, its anterior two-thirds is covered by the gluteal aponeurosis, this separates it from the superficial fascia and integument. The gluteus minimus is the least of the three gluteal muscles and is situated immediately under the gluteus medius.

Most parts of the gluteal muscle mass contributes partially to the shape of the buttocks. The other main contributing factor is that of the panniculus adiposus of the buttocks, that gives the buttock its characteristic rounded shape. The gluteal muscle bulk and tone can be enhanced with exercise. But it is mainly the disposition of the overlying panniculus adiposus that would cause declination in this region of the body. Exercise generally can contribute to fat loss and may cause reduction of size in subcutaneal fat storage locations on the body which incorporates the panniculus, so for thinner and more active individuals, the glutes will mostly contribute to the shape than someone who is less active with a fattier composition. The amount of body fat stored in different locations such as the panniculus is determined by genetic and hormonal profiles.

Gluteus maximus

The gluteus maximus comes from the posterior gluteal line of the inner upper ilium, and the rough part of the bone including the crest.The fibers are directed downward and lateralward; The muscle has two insertions: Those insertions that form the upper and larger portion of the muscle, together with the superficial fibers of the lower portion, end in a thick tendinous lamina, that passes across the larger trochanter, and it inserts into the iliotibial band of the fascia lata; and the deeper fibers of the lower part of the muscles are inserted into the gluteal tuberosity between the vastus lateralis and the adductor magnus. Its duty is to extend and to laterally rotate the hip, and also to extend the trunk.

Gluteus medius

The gluteus medius muscle appears on the outer surface of the ilium right between the iliac crest and the posterior gluteal line , and the anterior gluteal line ; the gluteus medius also comes from the gluteal aponeurosis that covers its exterior. The fibers of the muscle converge into a strong flattened tendon that enters on the lateral surface of the greater trochanter. The muscle’s tendon enters into an oblique ridge that runs down and up on the lateral surface of the greater trochanter.

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Gluteus minimus

The gluteus minimus is a fan-shaped muscle, that arisesfrom the outer surface of the ilium, between the anterior and lesser gluteal lines, and at the back, from the margin of the greater sciatic notch. The fibers converge to the depth of a radiated aponeurosis, and this ends in a tendon that is inserted into an impression upon the anterior border of the greater trochanter, and it gives an expansion to the capsule of the hip joint.

What you need to perform the cable pull through

 One would assume theres simplicity in performing the cable pull through  exercise but it doesn’t  work like that, to perform the cable pull through exercise you would need a cable pulley machine that has a height that’s adjustable  so that short people can participate too, just  kidding there but yeah it has to be adjustable to allow more people use it an make it more comfortable to use as well.

Apart from the fact that the cable pull through exercise makes you look like youre about to take a shit it has amazing benefits to the physical health.  

cable pull through muscles exercises for stronger back Benefits

The cable pull through exercise strengthens and builds the leg muscles, to be more emphatic it strengthens and builds the hamstring and builds the hamstring and glute muscles

The cable pull through also corrects mechanics of flexible movements in the waist region, it subconsciously teacges you how to properly bend your waist which is quite important considering the fact that a lot of people do not know how to bend their waists .

The cable pull through Is a really great exercise for increasing  time under tension, and eccentric muscle damage and muscular activation of the glutes and hamstrings considering the isolated nature of the movement even though it offers sport specific movement patterning, it can be done in higher volumes without neurological fatigue and stress to the lower back.

The cable pull through can be helpful in reinforcing proper hip flex and hinging patterning necessary  for  more advanced movements like deadlifts and pulls. The added tension in the eccentric phase can provide neurological and motor patterning feedback to help increase a lifters understanding of what positions should feel like .

The cable pull through is an exercise for the glute muscles through increasing time under tension and the ability of a lifter to actively engage the muscle under loading in a more controlled setting

Primarily the muscles that are worked in the process of the cable pull through exercise are trained with other hinging movements like deadlifts, however with the cable pull through, which can also be done with a resistance band there is a lower spinal compression/loading. It can be beneficial for a person that doesn’t want to over exercise their lower backs.

How to perform cable pull through exercises

The cable pull through exercise does a lot of good to the physical health as it works the hamstrings, it also works the glute muscles, it works the low back, it also works the core at the same time it works the upper back isometrically.

Now its pretty easy to think anyone can perform the cable pull through exercise properly but that’s mostly not always the case, the cable pull though exercise is mostly performed wrongly so youre lucky youre reading this article as the proper mechanism is outlined as you read on.

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Now the first thing to do of course is to get a cable pulley machine and attach the rope handle or another similar attachment to the machine, then you the pulley apparatus to the lowest setting and pick the required weight on the machine you have to remember to start out light when youre learning a new movement except you have plans to kill yourelf.

You should stand a couple feets away from the squat rack/cable stack so that theres no slack in the band/cables. Now the further you stand from the squat rack when using bands the harder it will be but if youre using cables weight stacks however, you do not need to stand father away because the only way to increase the loading Is to add more weight to the stack.

You should face away from the machine and grab the rope attachment with yiur palms facing each other in between your legs, now ideally you should use flat sole shoes to maintain a stable foot position, just saying because I don’t see why any serious minded person wont use flat  soles for this exercise, now any shoe with a squishy sole will not allow you transfer the force adequately from your feet to your hips.

To continue with the exercise you should take a few steps away from the machine so that the pulley begins to lift the weight off the rack, and make sure youre far enough so that the weight lifted does not come back in contact with the weight stack, also assume a position that is wider than your shoulder width with your feet straight or pointed out not more than 10-30 degrees, start the movement by bending at the waist and pushing your hips back towards the machine,  make sure your spinal alignment doesn’t change and also keep your spine neutral, make sure you keep pushing your hips back until you feel a subtle nice stretch in your hamstrings now pause for a bit and reverse the movement by extending at the hips and make sure that you squeeze and activate your glutes at the beginning of the movement now repeat this motion for the best result.

Now you should also avoid a common mistake made on this exercise which Is bending at spine this happens when people allow motion come from their spine now you must avoid that and focus on moving only at the hips and you  could practice that by standing 12 inches away from a wall, and try to make your butt come contact with the wall.

A lot of people overthink the complexity of doing the cable pull through and its so simple you could perform the exercise with a band, and just how to do it is tie a resistance band to a sturdy structure and perform the exercise the same way as described earlier. At this point the band will accommodate the resistance throughout the movement, that’s there will be less stretch on the band at the bottom of the exercise and more at the top.

Also a lot of people think the cable pull through cant be done without the machine that’s laughable because you actually can do the cable pull through without the machine, you can do the exercise with a band as described earlier or alternative methods.


If the cable pull through exercise hurts your lower back its basically because youre not doing it right, you should focus on bending at the waist and not at the spine. You should put your spine in a neutral position without changing its angle throughout the exercise and leave all the tension to be felt in the hamstring and glutes, but if it still hurts then try an alternative.

While performing a cable pull through exercise you should aim to perform 12 repetitions with 65% of your body weight. And make sure to maintain a balance while integrating the cable pull through into your routine.

People that need to perform the cable pull through

Power athletes would need the cable pull through to increase their muscle hypertrophy and glute activation and maintain proper hip flexion and the flexibility of their hamstrings in performing this exercise within the fullest ranges of motion. Power athletes ie weightlifters and strongman athletes all rely on hamstring and glute strength, , deadlifting performances and hip flexion is a great activation exercise to increase such outcomes.

Also people that are interested in functional fitness and body building, the cable pull through is a good exercise bring and addition to glute training volume for increased muscle hypertrophy, endurance, and to enhance muscle activation.

The glutes are mostly very active in almost every functional fitness movement and exercise thereby making this movement pattern a great one to streghten with the cable pull through.

The cable pull through exercise is also meant for people interested in general health fitness, this movement can be used as a regression and fundmental strengthening exercise for more advanced movements like deadlifts, and squatting. This exercise allows everyone and anyone to feel proper positions and allows coaches to isolate ranges of movements in hip hinge patterning that may be the cause of weakness or limitations in more advanced deadlifting and hip flexion or extension progressions.

Variety of cable pull through

There are two major cable pull through variations that can be done to enhance glute, hamstring and posterior strength, muscle development, and musle activation.

The paused cable pull through variation entails a lifter pausing above the repetitions, and forcing on a maximal voluntary contraction. With this glute activation can be emphasized, making for a greater muscle damage and growth.

Another cable pull through variation is the tempo cable pull through. This uses tempos either during the lifting or slow lowering it demands muscle coordination and increases the time under tension. It’s a good variation to incease muscle hypertrophy and reinforce proper hip flexion patterning for more advanced movements like deadlifts and good mornings.

Cable pull through Alternatives

Cable pull through alternatives can be done to vary programming challenge and others;

The barbell hip thrust for instance can be done to target similar muscle groups as the cable pull through, this alternative is used to increase glute hypertrophy and strength, and is usually used with significantly more weight.

Also the Romanian  deadlift is an instrumental posterior chain strength and hypertrophy movement for strength, power, and fitness athletes. This involves higher loading and much more spinal compression, it offers a sport specific strength training component to a training program if the goal is also to increase glute and hamstring training volume while limiting lower back stress, this exercise may actually not be the best option.

The kettlebell swing as as well now is a ballistic functional exercise that increases the glute hamstring, and the posterior chain explosiveness, muscle hypertrophy, and athletic potentials. This movement has high amounts of eccentric loading to increase muscle hypertrophy


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