Back cable exercises are excellent for strengthening your back muscles and increasing their endurance. By performing the following back cable exercises, you can target tension in the muscles of the mid-back, lats, and serratus anterior (to help support the shoulder blades) and even increase your core strength to improve posture.
The spine and back muscles work together to provide support for the body and allow movement. The bones of the spine (vertebrae) are stacked on top of each other and separated by cushions (intervertebral discs). A strong network of muscles extends from the neck to the lower back, providing stability as well as strength for lifting, twisting, and bending.
The human spine is made up of 33 individual bones, called vertebrae. These are stacked on top of each other and separated by intervertebral discs. The spinal cord runs through the center of the spine, protected by the vertebrae.
There are three main regions of the spine: cervical (neck), thoracic (upper back), and lumbar (lower back). Each region has a different number of vertebrae: there are 7 in the neck, 12 in the upper back, and 5 in the lower back.
The bones of the spine are connected via joints called facet joints. In addition, muscles attach to these bones via tendons or ligaments. Together, all these structures provide stability as well as allow movement at various points along our backs.
There are many different muscles in the back. They can be divided into two main groups: extrinsic and intrinsic.
The extrinsic muscles are located on the outer surface of the body and attach to bones that are not part of the spine itself. These include the trapezius (upper back), latissimus dorsi (lower back), and erector spinae (along both sides of the spine). These muscles work together to move our arms, shoulders, and trunk.
The intrinsic muscles are found deep within the body and attach directly to vertebrae or other spinal structures. There are many small intrinsic muscle groups, including those responsible for moving each vertebra. Together, they maintain good posture as well as protect us from injury by stabilizing the spine.
Back Exercises Using Cables
Here are six back cable exercises that you can use to strengthen your back muscles:
Seated Cable Row
Seated Cable Row is the perfect exercise for targeting your back, glutes, and hamstrings. Rows target the muscles which support your spine and keep you stable against gravity. If you’re new to working out and want to change up your routine, this seated cable row exercise could be perfect for you. It’s a great way to tone your upper back and has been shown to activate similar muscle groups as other strength training exercises.
Here is how you do this exercise:
- Sit with your knees slightly bent and lean forward from the hips.
- Grab the handle of the cable machine with an overhand grip, keeping your palms facing down. Make sure that you’re sitting up tall with a neutral spine before beginning the exercise.
- Inhale as you row the weight back towards your upper abdomen, leading with your elbows and contracting your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement. Exhale as you return to starting position under control without letting go of tension in either direction – do not swing or snap yourself back into place!
If you are hoping to increase the size and strength of your back, this is a great exercise you should add to your exercise routine. The seated cable row can help protect your back from injury and prevent premature degeneration of muscles in the area.
Lat pulldown is one of the most commonly used exercises in weight training and bodybuilding. The exercise effectively trains the muscles in the upper back and arms as well as the biceps, which are often found to be underdeveloped. Moreover, it helps improve your overall grip strength by strengthening those muscles that strengthen your grip.
To do this exercise:
- Sit down on a lat pulldown machine with your back against the pad and grab the bar with an overhand, shoulder-width grip.
- As you exhale, use your lats to pull the bar down until it touches your chest.
- Pause for a second at the bottom of the movement before going back to the starting position as you inhale.
If you are a beginner and have not exercised before, then the lat pulldown could just be the ideal exercise for building your upper body muscles. Many people find this exercise to be less complicated than a bench press or similar exercises.
Reverse Cable Flyes
Reverse cable flyes are a great exercise for your upper body. This exercise helps to build up the back and shoulder muscles, as well as provides a high-intensity workout that is perfect for working on muscle strength and the overall tone of your upper body.
Here is how you do reverse cable flyes:
- Attach a handle to each cable pulley, and set them slightly higher than shoulder height.
- Put on your gloves, and grab each handle with the opposite hand.
- Pull the handles out until your arms are fully extended in front of you, and pull your shoulder blades back and down. This is the starting position.
- From here, pull your arms out to your sides in a slightly downward motion. Create an arc-like motion by raising your hands above your head in a slow and controlled movement.
- Finally, lower back down to the starting position with your arms once again extended in front of you.
It is a challenging exercise, and you will find that there is increasingly heavier resistance as you move through the range of cable flyes. However, they are also great as they add a degree of tension to your shoulders and upper back, so you can feel the intensity building up and pumping up those muscles.
The face pull is one of the best exercises for removing the stress and tension from your back. The face-pulled exercise is an effective way to tighten and tone your upper body muscles. There is also a decreased chance of injuries with this exercise when compared to other pushups and pull-ups.
Here is you do this exercise:
- Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, and reaching up to grasp the handles of the face pull attachment with both hands.
- Step back until your arms are fully extended, then engage your core muscles and lean back slightly, positioning your body at a roughly 20-degree angle.
- Pull the rope toward you just enough to start lifting the weight from the stack, then engage your shoulders, rolling them back to create good posture—you don’t want your shoulders hunching or rolling forward. This is your starting position.
- From here, pull the handles of the attachment straight toward your forehead while keeping your palms facing in and allowing your elbows to flare outward toward the sides. You should feel a nice contraction in those rear delts!
- Finally, reverse the movement and slowly extend your arms without allowing your shoulders or chest to roll forward as you do so.
The dumbbell face pull is a simple exercise, but it’s effective in developing the upper body. It’s important to complete this exercise with good posture to avoid any type of injury that could occur.
Wide Grip Lat Pulldown
The wide grip lat pulldown is more difficult than the standard grip and targeted the lats, a muscle that has great carrying weight in our bodies. This exercise will help build your upper body muscles for athletic use. It also helps with your overall appearance since it gives a sexy look to your physique. So if you want to get ripped and muscular like a bodybuilder do this exercise regularly.
Here is how you do this exercise:
- Grab the lat pulldown bar with your palms facing forward and your hands wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Pull the bar down to your chest, keeping your elbows close to your body throughout the movement.
- Return to the starting position and repeat for reps.
The lats are a primary muscle in the upper body and are worked by every back exercise that you do. There are several variations to the wide-grip pulldown, which is why it is seen in so many bodybuilding routines. The main thing to remember is to make sure you engage your core muscles while doing the movement and to make sure that your arms remain parallel to each other.
Standing Cable Row
Standing cable rows are one of the most effective exercises you can do for your upper body. This standing row variation is perfect if you’re looking to build muscle or fat loss, or just want a basic strength exercise that works all parts of your upper body.
To do this exercise:
- Attach a rope handle to the low pulley of a cable machine. Stand facing the machine, feet shoulder-width apart and knees bent slightly.
- Grasp the rope with your palms down and lean forward at about a 45-degree angle, keeping your lower back in its natural arch. This is your starting position.
- Using your middle and upper back muscles as well as your biceps, pull the handles toward you until they touch your torso just below chest level while exhaling.
- Keep resistance on throughout exercise by contracting abs; do not swing body or use momentum to lift weight.
Mastering the standing cable row is a great upper body exercise, whether you’re looking to increase strength or muscle growth. There are countless variations that you can incorporate, and once you get the hang of it, you can get your whole workout done in under ten minutes.
Benefits of Using Cable Machines
Cable machines offer a wide range of benefits that make them essential for any fitness enthusiast, ranging from beginner to elite athletes.
1. Cable Machines are Functional
Functional training is all the rage these days, and for good reason – it helps improve your daily life by making everyday activities easier. And what better way to train functionally than with cable machines? After all, most real-life movements involve using more than one joint at a time – something that free weights simply can’t match.
2. They Offer More Variety
With so many different exercises possible on a cable machine, you’ll never get bored of your workout routine. Whether you’re looking to work your legs, arms, back, or chest (or all of the above), there’s an exercise out there for you – meaning no two workouts have to be the same!
3 They’re Great For Rehabilitation
If you’ve recently suffered an injury or are going through physical therapy, then chances are your doctor has recommended some sort of functional strengthening program – which is where cables come in handy yet again.
Cable machines are an essential piece of equipment for any gym, and offer a wide range of benefits that make them perfect for anybody – from beginners to elite athletes. With so many different exercises possible on a cable machine, you can target any muscle group you want, making them the perfect addition to your workout routine.