cable machine back workout

21 Best Cable Back Exercises for Strength & Hypertrophy

August 13, 2021

Using a cable machine for back exercises can give you some amazing gains in building a stronger, thicker and wider back. Performing back exercises with cable machines can also help to boost your other larger compound lifts such as deadlifts or overhead press. By using different attachments, angles and weights, the cable machine can target all the major and smaller muscles of your back.

Cable exercises for the back enable you to move your arms freely thus reducing possible stress on your joints plus they provide constant tension on your muscles, something that dumbbells can’t do. In this post we go over the 21 best cable machine back exercises to build a back that you will be proud of. We also have a cable machine only back workout...What I’m trying to say is that we got your back with this one!

best pulley machine back exercises

Are Cable Machines Good For Back Strengthening Exercises?

Yes, cable exercises for the back are great to build muscle and strength in back muscles. The cables promote smooth movement when executing a variety of back exercises with multiple combinations of angles, weights, attachments and body positions.

Walk into any gym and you will see both the biggest guys and girls using the cable machine for back exercises as well as newcomers who aren't so familiar with the world of weightlifting. This is because cable machines are super versatile, offering something for everyone.

Perhaps the number one reason why cable machines are a great tool for back exercises is that they provide continuous tension similar to resistance bands. One of the key components of building muscle is time under tension. Using cable machines means there is tension being applied to your muscles on both the eccentric and concentric portions of each exercise.

Related: 8 Resistance Band Back Exercises & Full Length Back Workout

Benefits Of Doing Back Cable Exercises

Briefly mentioned above there are numerous benefits of using a cable machines for multiple bodyparts but this rings especially true for back exercises. Check out  some more benefits of cable back exercises below.

Builds Strength & Muscle: If done right and with intensity back exercises with a cable machine can generate some serious muscle strength and size gains. There’s a reason why every serious gym in the world has cable machines; they work. Great for hypertrophy rep ranges of 6-20, the cable machines allow you to squeeze out that last rep or two that’s needed to stimulate muscle growth.

Suited for All Fitness Levels: Both advanced lifters and novices can get a lot of out doing back exercises with a cable. Advanced lifters might want to target a specific smaller supporting muscle such as the teres major/minor or the infraspinatus. Beginner lifters can use the cable machine to do back exercises as the cable helps to keep movements consistent in the right range of motion compared with free weights that are less forgiving. Also, some cable machines might even have pictures or labels with a description of how to do the exercise.

Helps Maintain Proper Form: The cable machine can help prevent injuries by aiding in ensuring proper lifting technique and form. When using barbells or dumbbells form is paramount because you have to control the weight the entire time. Back exercises with a cable machine will help you move through a full range of motion without vying off the intentional path.

Controlled Range of Motion: One primary difference between doing back exercises with free weights and a cable machine is that you’re able to change up angles and positions. Gravity is always fighting against free weight whereas cable machines make it possible to approach the same exercise at a different angle such as lat rows which you can do by pulling down from the weight above or at an angle like in bent over rows. Cable back exercises can be done easier without jerky movements.

Constant Tension on Muscles: Cable pulley machines apply constant tension on your muscles. You will have to work on both sides of a movement i.e lat pulldowns you engage your back and arm muscles to pull the weight down but you also activate the muscles by controlling the weight on the way back up. This leads to increased time under tension (TUT) which is a necessary component of building strong lean muscles.

Extremely Versatile: You can move your arms in many directions when using the cable machine to do back exercises, this means you can target the muscles from multiple angles easily. You can also switch up your grip of the attachment on the cable machine with ease to perform a multitude of exercises effectively and safely.

Great for Isolation: The combination using the cable machine with multiple attachments, body positions, angles and other equipment like a workout bench make it easy to isolate specific muscles compared with free weights. This is important when doing back exercises because people often have trouble with targeting muscles like the teres major/minor or the rhomboids.

what are the back muscles

Anatomy of the Back

We won’t go into depth here on the anatomy and function of each muscle in the back as there are 40 of them (20 on each side). However, it is important we at least gloss over some of the larger superficial muscles in your back that these cable back exercises will hit starting at the upper back and working our way down.

Trapezius: A.K.A the traps, this triangular broad shaped muscle stretches from the occipital bone (base of skull) to the lower thoracic vertebrae to the scapula. Its main function is to support the arm and move the scapula. One of the most noticeable and prominent muscles of the back; if you want a good looking, strong back you need to build these bad boys.

Rhomboids: Getting its name from the rhombus (quadrilateral shape) the rhomboids are comprised two muscles; the rhomboid major and minor. The main function of the rhomboids is to aid in the movement of the scapula. Located under the traps they stretch from the spine to the medial region of the scapula. This muscle doesn’t get a lot of love so it’s important that you focus on targeting this muscle using various back exercises and angles found below.

Teres Major: The larger of the teres muscles, the teres major attaches to the scapula and the humerus and is located above the latissimus dorsi. The main function of the teres major is to assist in the extension and medial rotation of the humerus. Building a strong teres major will add to the top part of the coveted "V" shaped back.

Teres Minor: The other smaller teres muscle, this narrow-rounded muscle is part of the rotator cuff. It starts at the scapula and inserts into the humerus and the joint capsule. The main function is to control the deltoid action and prevent the humeral head from moving upward when the arm is abducted.

Latissimus Dorsi: The latissimus dorsi is the largest and widest muscle in the back and the largest muscle in the entire upper body. Also called the “lats” this muscle wraps around our back from our sides to our midback where it is partly covered by the trapezius. The main function of the lats is extension, adduction, horizontal abduction, medial rotation of the shoulder joint, flexion from an extended position and more. The lats are the showstoppers of the back as this muscle is the one that gets the most attention.

Erector Spinae: Starting from your lower spine stretching up to your neck. This muscle is responsible for straightening and rotating the spine. The corner stone of your lower back, a strong erector spinae is necessary to keep our body functioning at its best.

What is a cable machine?

Invented by Jack LaLanne, one of the most prominent names in fitness history; the cable machine was then improved upon by Harold Zinkin in the 1950’s with the creation of the Universal Gym Equipment, a home workout machine that notably featured the cable or pulley system.

The cable machine or sometimes called the pulley machine is made of a steel frame that has stacks of weight plates that are attached to a cable system. Cable machines can be in single stacks like a Lat pulldown machine or double stacks that allow for exercises where the user can grab one pulley with each hand. You can attach various pieces to the cables including pull up bars, stirrups(handle) V bars, ropes, straps and more. The cable can be adjusted at various height levels. The combination of various height levels, attachments and weight adjustments provide a plethora of exercises that can be done, including upper body, core and lower body.

You simply select the amount of weight, usually in increments of 5-10 pounds, select attachment then adjust the height of the cable. Cable machines enable both advanced lifters and complete novices many benefits.

Related: 16 Best Cable Shoulder Exercises For 3D Delts

21 Best Cable Exercises For A Brolic Back

We put together 21 of the best cable back exercises will hit all the major muscles in your back. Let's jump into them now...

1. Cable Lat Pulldown

One of the most common cable back exercises; the lat pulldown is a fantastic exercise to add strength and muscle to your lats. This movement might not be as effective as a pullups in terms of building muscle but you can easily change the weight and grip placement so you can isolate certain areas of the back better. The lat pulldown is a great exercise because it puts constant tension on your muscles.

pull down cable back exercises

How to:

  • Attach lat pulldown bar then sit on the bench with the thigh pad over your knees
  • Grab bar with both hands using an overhand grip slightly wider than shoulder width
  • Keep your head back and chest up starting with your arms completely stretched out
  • Pull down until the bar reaches your chest while squeezing your shoulder blades together, hold at the bottom briefly
  • Slowly return to starting position
  • Repeat for desired reps

Note: Pull bar with elbows, try not to rock much during movement. You can also use a wide grip too. This will engage the lats to a higher degree but the amount of weight you’ll lift will be less than medium or close grip pulldowns as your arm muscles aren’t activated as much.

Muscles Worked: Lats, Rhomboids, Traps, Biceps, Rear Delts, Teres Major/Minor

2. Cable Incline Pushdown

The cable incline pushdown is a great movement to improve scapular stability and strength. The lats are heavily engaged in this exercise but also hits other muscles such as shoulders, pecs and teres major. This is a good exercise to do before deadlifts as it enforces proper scapular positioning that is crucial for a proper deadlift form.

 are cable exercises good for back

How to:

  • Set up bench on incline of 45 degrees in front of pulley and attach a bar then set at a height above the incline bench
  • Sit down with your back against the bench facing away from the cable
  • Grab the bar with both hands using an overhand grip, shoulder width apart
  • Starting with your arms straight above you where the bar is over your face
  • Push down on the bar towards your knees keeping your elbows slightly bent until your arms are parallel with your thighs
  • Slowly return to starting position while squeezing your lats together
  • Repeat desired reps

Note: This exercise can also be done with EZ bar attachment or rope. Make sure you can get full extension of the arms and don’t go too heavy where you jeopardize form.

Muscles Worked: Lats, Pec Major, Rear Delts, Teres Major

3. Cable Single-Arm Bent Over Row

The single arm bent over row might be even better for your back than a regular barbell row because this is unilateral where you can focus on the working muscles, one side at a time. You will be able to highlight muscle imbalances by doing this movement while also getting a greater range of motion. This is a challenging movement that will work your core and stabilizing muscles to execute properly.

cable back exercises

How to:

  • Set the set at ground level and attach a stirrup
  • Step away from cable and get in a staggered stance grab the stirrup with hand on the same side with the back leg. Place your inactive hand on your front knee
  • Keeping your knees bent, lean forward so that you arm is stretched out
  • Pull up and back through your elbow until your hand is close to your ribcage
  • Slowly return to starting position
  • Repeat for desired reps
  • Switch sides

Note: Keep your core engaged throughout the movement.

Muscles Worked: Lats, Traps, Rear Delt, Teres Minor/Major, Biceps, Pec Major, Obliques, Hamstrings, Glutes

4. Cable Lying Pullover Extension

This exercise is perfect for a deep stretch of the shoulders and lats which can expose any lack in range of motion. The cable pullover can help to increase the back, chest and serratus anterior strength and size. Arnold Schwarzenegger swore by this exercise, that should give you an idea of how effective this exercise is. You should focus on really letting your back and chest muscles do the work here with moderate to high rep range so that you can get a great stretch to stimulate growth while making sure your form is on point.

cable back rope exercises

How to:

  • Attach rope to cable and set it at level close to the ground and set up a bench in front of the cable
  • Lie down on your back with your head towards the cable machine and grab the rope with a neutral grip
  • Starting with your arms stretched out back behind your head with elbows slightly bent
  • Pull rope straight over your head until your arms are straight above your chest
  • Slowly return to starting position
  • Repeat for desired reps

Note: This exercise can also be done with a straight bar in the same manner using an overhand grip. This variation will slightly alter how the back muscles are targeted.

Muscle Worked: Lats, Triceps, Chest, Shoulders

Related: 15 Best Cable Chest Exercises

5. Cable Neutral Grip Lat Pulldown

This cable back exercise is perfect for building the width of the lats. The neutral grip lat pulldown promotes full range of motion of the lats. Concentrate on squeezing your back muscles at the bottom of the movement. 

exercises for back

How to:

  • Set up the cable at chest level with handle attachments
  • Kneel down in the center facing the machines but slightly behind the cables
  • Reach up, grabbing both handles with a neutral grip
  • Keeping your back straight and chest up pull your elbows down and back towards your sides until your hands are close to your shoulders. Squeeze your shoulder blades together at the bottom
  • Slowly return to starting position
  • Repeat for desired reps

Note: Squeeze your shoulder blades together and try to not to rock too much, focus on using your back muscles to pull the cables down.

Muscles Worked: Lats, Rhomboids, Rear Delts, Biceps

6. Cable Lat Pulldown with V Bar

This lat pulldown variation uses a neutral grip that enables a wide range of motion. You should be able to lift a heavier weight using this exercise compared with regular lat pulldowns. You should be able to pack on some serious muscle with this cable back exercise.

 how can you workout back with cables

How to:

  • Setup V bar attachment then get into position on the seat with your knees under the knee pads
  • Reach up to grab the V bar with both hands using a neutral grip
  • Starting with your arms fully extended, pull down keeping your chest up until your elbows are close to your sides and your hands are just above your chest
  • Slowly return to starting position
  • Repeat for desired reps

Note: Make sure to keep your back straight and chest up throughout the movement. You can also do this exercise from a kneeling/sitting position if your gym doesn’t have a seated cable machine.

Muscles Worked: Lats, Rhomboids, Shoulders, Biceps

7. Cable Rope Extension Incline Bench Row

This variation of the row can help to isolate the upper back. By lying face down on the bench, you won’t be able to cheat and use momentum to pull the cable back. Focus on pulling back through your elbows to lessen the engagement of your biceps.

cable back workouts

How to:

  • Set up a bench at 45 degrees facing the cable machine
  • Attach a rope to the cable towards floor level
  • Lie down face first on the bench and grab the rope with a neutral grip
  • Starting with your arms stretched out then slowly pull the rope towards your lower chest as far as possible
  • Slowly return to starting position
  • Repeat for desired reps

Note: Allow your arms to fully extend at the beginning and make sure to contract your shoulder blades at the top of the movement.

Muscles Worked: Lats, Rhomboids, Teres Major/Minor, Biceps

8. Bent Over Single-Arm Cable Pull

A perfect exercise to develop unilateral strength while also getting a deep stretch. Your core will be challenged in this exercise as it is a unilateral back exercise where core engagement is vital to keep proper form.

cable exercises for back

How to:

  • Set up the stirrup at waist height
  • Grab stirrup with an overhand grip then get into a staggered stance
  • Stand away from cable then hinge forward until your torso is parallel to the ground with your arm stretched forward
  • Pull back through your elbow and rotate wrist until you end up with an underhand grip while staying close to your side
  • Hold briefly at the top then slowly return to starting position
  • Repeat for desired reps
  • Switch sides

Note: Brace yourself with your inactive arm and focus on only having your arm move throughout the movement.

Muscles Worked: Lats, Rhomboids, Teres Major, Pecs, Obliques, Biceps

9. Cable Squat Row

This compound exercise is great for building muscle and burning calories. It is a combination of a squat and a row so you’ll be working the largest muscles in both your upper and lower body within one exercise. Maximize your workout in a short amount of time using the cable squat row.

back exercises with cables

How to:

  • Set up cable with rope attachment just lower than hip height
  • Get into squat position with your arms fully extended grabbing the rope with a neutral grip
  • Keeping your weight in your heels in one motion stand up and pull the rope back until your hands reach your sides
  • Slowly lower back into squat position while letting your arms straighten out
  • Repeat for desired reps

Note: Keep your core engaged throughout movement, make sure you’re far enough from the machine so your arms can be fully extended. Choose a weight that allows you to stay leaning back on your heels.

Muscles Worked: Lats, Rhomboids, Quads, Glutes, Biceps

Related: Front squats vs Back Squats

10. Cable Shrug

The cable shrug is an excellent exercise to target the trapezius muscle on the upper back. You can isolate the traps to further activate the muscle, stimulating growth. Doing shrugs with a cable machine gives you the ability to perform multiple variations with different body angles to vary the degree of contraction in the traps.

best cable back exercises

How to:

  • Attach a rope or bar to the cable towards ground level
  • Grab the rope with a neutral grip and stand back until your traps are stretched
  • Stand up straight while keeping your shoulders relaxed
  • Shrug your shoulders up and back as high as possible, briefly hold and contract traps at the top
  • Slowly lower your arms back to starting position
  • Repeat for desired reps

Note: If you’re not able to squeeze at the top, lower the weight a bit so that you can get maximum contraction.

Muscles worked: Traps, Forearms

11. Cable Crossover Lat Pulldown

This is a great exercise that can really help you widen your upper back. The cable crossover lat pulldown is a back exercise that you shouldn't fixate on moving heavy weights. Really concentrate on squeezing your shoulder blades together at the bottom of the movement.

 dual cable back exercises

How to:

  • Set up both sides of the cable machine above head level and attach handles to both cables
  • Grab each cable with an overhand grip with opposite arms by reaching across your body
  • Get into position in the center just behind the cables
  • Start with your arms above your head with your wrists crossed over each other
  • Pull down and back through the elbows while squeezing your shoulder blades together until your hands are close to your shoulders with your elbows at your sides
  • Slowly return to starting position
  • Repeat for desired reps

Note: If you’re too tall you can do this exercise kneeling in the center of the cables.

Muscles Worked: Lats, Rhomboids, Rear Delts, Teres Major/Minor, Biceps

12. Cable Single-Arm Row

Single-arm cable rows is a great exercise because it is unilateral where you will work one side of your body at a time. Unilateral exercises like this can help to pinpoint muscle imbalances and then correct them. This movement will also engage your core and stabilizing muscles which can help prevent injuries in the future.

cable exercises for back fat

How to:

  • Sit on bench and adjust cable height to chest level and attach a handle
  • With your back straight and your chest up grab the handle with a neutral grip with your arm straight out in front of you
  • Pull back towards you, keeping your elbow close to your side until your hand is at your side
  • Slowly return to starting position
  • Repeat for desired reps
  • Switch sides

Note: Try to keep your back straight throughout the movement, you can place your inactive hand on your hip for extra stability.

Muscles Worked: Lats, Traps, Rhomboids, Rear Delts, Biceps

13. Cable Twisting Standing Row

The cable back exercise involves numerous muscles as it requires you to slightly rotate at the waist. Because this is a unilateral exercise you will have to engage your core throughout the movement. Besides being a great back exercise, this movement also works your hips, glutes and other lower body muscles.

pulley machine back exercise

How to:

  • Attach a handle to the cable just below the chest then grab the handle with one hand using an overhand grip
  • Step back and get into a staggered stance, knees slightly bent. Your arm should be out straight and your waist is rotated towards the cable.
  • Keeping your elbow close to your body, pull back towards your waist while rotating your waist to the same direction
  • Pause briefly at the top of the movement then slowly return to starting position
  • Repeat desired reps
  • Switch sides

Note: Make sure the rotation is in your waist not hips. You can place your inactive hand on your other hip for added stability.

Muscles Worked: Lats, Teres Major/minor, Rhomboids, Rear Delts, Pec Major, Biceps, Obliques

14. Cable Pull Through

This is a great exercise to strengthen the posterior chain which can translate to better deadlift performance. The muscles targeted in cable pull throughs are mainly responsible for propelling you forward so it’s important that they function flawlessly.

cable exercises for lower back

How to:

  • Set up the rope attachment close to the ground
  • Straddle the rope facing away from cable grabbing the rope with a neutral grip with palms facing each other
  • Step forward so the rope is taut and your feet are shoulder width apart
  • Slightly bend your knees then hinge forward at the hips until your back is parallel with the ground
  • Keep your arms straight and stand up straight pulling the rope through your legs
  • Hold briefly at the top contracting your glutes then slowly lower back to starting position
  • Repeat desired reps

Note: Don’t overextend your lower back at the top of the movement, pull the rope using your lower back, glutes and hamstrings; not your arms.

Muscles Worked: Erector Spinae, Gluteus Maximus, Hamstrings, Soleus

15. Cable Close Grip Row

A variation of the seated row, the close grip row shifts the focus to the mid back. With this exercise you should be able to do lift heavier weight compared with the wide grip row because your lats are doing most of the work here. This exercise can pack on some serious muscle if done right. 

back cable exercises

How to:

  • Attach a V bar to the cable then sit on the bench and place your feet on the foot rests
  • Grab the bar with a neutral grip and push back until your arms are stretched and your knees are slightly bent
  • Keeping your back straight and chest up with your shoulders forward, pull back through your elbows until your hands are at your sternum
  • Briefly hold at the top then slowly return to starting position
  • Repeat desired reps

Note: Don't use your biceps to pull back and try to limit any rocking motion.

Muscles Worked: Lats, Rhomboids, Traps, Teres Major/Minor, Rear Delts, Biceps

16. Cable Wide Grip Row

Wide grip rows can make your back thicker because the majority of the work is done by the muscles in the upper back. These upper back muscle will grow thicker rather than wider. The key here is to not put too much stress on the shoulders, instead focus on using your back muscles to pull the weight towards you.

 

best cable exercises for back

How to:

  • Attach the wide grip bar to the cable
  • Sit on the bench and grab the bar with both hands using an overhand grip with your arms wider than shoulder width apart
  • Push back until your arms are straight with your knees slightly bent
  • Lean back slightly with your back straight and your chest up then pull back through your elbows until the bar is just under your sternum
  • Hold briefly at the top then slowly return to starting position
  • Repeat for desired reps

Note: Don't rock back and forth and start with a lighter weight so you can focus on form. Keep your elbows out at 30 degrees, think of it like you're doing a bench press backwards.

Muscles Worked: Lats, Teres Major/Minor, Rhomboids, Traps, Erector Spinae, Infraspinatus, Pecs

17. Cable Deadlift

The cable deadlift mimics free weight deadlifts and is a great compound exercise to strengthen the lower back, glutes and legs. This exercise can be done as pictured below or with a single weight stack with a bar attachment. Deadlifts on the cable machine can help you to improve your form as the weight is equally constant throughout the movement. 

low back cable exercise

How to:

  • Set up stirrups close to ground level if you're using a dual cable machine or use a bar if using a single cable machine
  • Stand facing away (facing) the cable machine
  • Grab the stirrups or bar with an overhand grip
  • Squat down into starting position with your back straight
  • Push into the ground with your feet bringing your body up, once your hands reach knee level bring your hips forward while straightening out your back until standing straight up
  • Slowly lower to starting position in the same manner
  • Repeat desired reps

Note: Keep your core engaged throughout the movement.

Muscles Worked: Hamstrings, Glutes, Erector Spinae, Traps

18. Cable Bent-Over Row with Bar

This is an amazing compound exercise that works the back muscles and core muscles like the rectus abdominis to keep you stable and upright. You can use this same exercise with different hand placements to target upper or lower back muscles. If you switch to a wide underhand grip you will emphasize your rear delts more.

 back cable machine workout

How to:

  • Set up bar attachment close to the ground
  • Stand behind bar and grab it with both hands  a little wider than shoulder width using an overhand grip
  • Hinge at the hips and lean forward over the bar until your torso is parallel with the ground
  • Keeping your knees slightly bent and your back straight pull up on the bar through your elbows until they are parallel with the ground
  • Slowly lower to starting position
  • Repeat for desired reps

Note: Try to not rock and use momentum to lift the bar. Keep your core engaged throughout the movement.

Muscles Worked: Lats, Rhomboids, Teres Major/Minor, Trap, Rear Delts, Biceps, Infraspinatus, Glutes, Hamstrings

19. Kneeling Cable High Row

This high row variation offers a wider range of motion due to using the rope attachment. The kneeling cable high row also works the upper back muscles form a different angle with can help support the growth of a wider back.

 

best back cable exercises

How to:

  • Attach a rope to the cable and set at head level
  • Kneel on the ground a few feet back, facing the cable machine
  • Start with your arms fully extended up in front of you holding the rope with a neutral grip
  • Pull through your elbows down and back and retract your shoulders until your elbows are at your sides
  • Briefly pause then slowly return to starting position
  • Repeat for desired reps

Note: Try not to lean too far back, instead focus on pulling the rope with your back muscles. The kneeling component makes it a little easier to improve your mind-body connection.

Muscles Worked: Lats, Rear Delts, Teres Major/Minor, Rhomboids, Biceps

20. Standing Cable Twist Row

This back exercise includes some transverse plane action as you will be twisting at the waist as you pull the weight back.  Working in multiple planes of motion is beneficial for daily life activities. All too often people tend to neglect the transverse plane so this is a great way to spice up your back workout a bit.

back workouts with cables

How to:

  • Attach the V bar to the cable at head level
  • Stand in a semi-staggered stance, away from the cable machine and grab the bar with both hands using a neutral grip
  • Starting with your arms fully extended pull back through your elbows and rotate slightly at the waist towards your front foot's side
  • Briefly hold then slowly return to starting position
  • Repeat for desired reps (rotating an equal amount to both directions)

Note: Try to contract your obliques as you rotate at the waist not the hips.

Muscles Worked: Lats, Rear Delts, Rhomboids, Teres Major/Minor, Pecs, Obliques

21. Standing Cable Lat Pushdown

This back exercise provides a deep stretch in the lats and shoulders. The lat pushdown not only works your back and shoulders but also engages your chest and triceps. Don't go too heavy on this one to start, all too often people try to lift too much weight here and end up with bad form when their back rounds and they are only using arms and shoulders to pushdown.

back exercises with cable machine

How to:

  • Attach rope or bar above head level
  • Step back so that you can lean forward slightly to reach up with extended arms and grab rope with a neutral grip (bar with overhand grip)
  • Brace your core while pulling down with your arms straight until your hands reach thigh level
  • Briefly pause then slowly return to starting position
  • Repeat desired reps

Note: Keep your elbows locked throughout the movement.

Muscles Worked: Lats, Teres Minor, Rear Delts, Triceps, Pecs

**Most of these same exercises can be done with resistance bands! Check out our 17 Resistance Band Pull Exercises)**

Sample Cable Back Workout

As you saw above many exercises engage both primary and secondary muscles so in order to build an all-around strong back we will need to hit all areas.

Starting from the lower back you can do exercises like cable deadlifts or cable pull throughs to strengthen the posterior chain.

For mid back, focus on exercises where you hands are closer together like close grip rows.

For the upper back choose exercises like wide grip rows, single-arm bent over rows and cable shrugs.

Lastly, don't forget to mix in at least one of the cable back exercises with transverse plane motion like standing row with twist.

You can follow the sample back workout using a cable machine or you can mix and match a few of the cable back exercises above to create your own workout. Whatever you decide to do make sure you try to hit all major muscles of the back.

Cable Lat Pulldown 3 sets x 8 reps
Cable Lying Pullover 
2 sets x 12 reps
Cable Deadlift
3 sets x 6 reps
Seated Close Grip Row
3 sets x 8-12 reps
Cable Shrug 4 sets x 6 reps
Standing Cable Twist Row
3 sets x 10 reps (each side)


Note:
Take 60-90 seconds rest between sets and up to 2 mins between deadlift sets. This cable back workout should take around 60 mins assuming you're proper warmed up with some dynamic stretches.

do cable exercises build muscle

Conclusion

We hope that we introduced you to some new cable back exercises that you haven't seen or tried before. The 21 best back exercises with cables can support you on your journey of building a stronger, healthier back. Remember to perform a variety of back exercises with the cables in conjunction with different attachements and from multiple angles. The same holds true for cable exercises and freeweights; make sure you're doing the exercise with proper form and intensity. Now we'll let you get back to it... see what we did there.

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