cable-back-workouts

The 21 Best Cable Back Workouts and Exercises

There are many muscles in the back, and all of them need to be worked in order to achieve that desired V-shape. The exercises that we will be discussing today target all of these muscles, allowing you to build a strong and muscular back. We will start with the muscle-building priorities for each exercise and then move on to how to perform them correctly. Be sure to pay attention so that you can avoid making the common mistakes people make when performing these exercises!

Anatomy of the Back

Before we get into the workouts and exercises, let’s take a quick look at the anatomy of the back. The back is made up of many different muscles, including:

It is also important to understand their location and function. The latissimus dorsi, or lats, are the large muscles on the sides of your back. They are responsible for pulling your arms down and back. The teres major is a small muscle located under the lats. It helps to rotate your arm inward. The rhomboids are a pair of muscles located between your shoulder blades. They are responsible for pulling your shoulder blades together. The trapezius, or traps, are the large muscles on the top of your back. They are responsible for shrugging your shoulders. The erector spinae is a group of muscles that runs along the length of your spine. They are responsible for keeping your spine straight and stable.

Now that we have a basic understanding of the anatomy of the back, let’s move on to the benefits of cable back workouts.

Cable Back Workout Benefits

Cable back workouts have a number of benefits. First, they allow you to target all of the muscles in your back. This is important because it allows you to build a well-rounded back.

Second, cable back workouts are versatile. There are many different exercises that you can do with a cable machine, which means that you can always keep your workouts interesting.

Another benefit of cable back workouts is that they are easy to modify. If an exercise is too easy or too difficult, you can simply adjust the weight or the angle of the machine. This makes them perfect for people of all fitness levels.

Time under tension is important for muscle growth, and cable back workouts allow you to keep your muscles under tension for a longer period of time. This is because the weight is constantly pulling on your muscles, which forces them to work harder.

Cable back workouts are also great for building strength. If you want to increase your bench press or your deadlift, doing cable back exercises will help you to achieve this.

The stabilizer muscles are crucial for injury prevention. They are also necessary for helping maintain your joints in position. Cable back workouts help to strengthen the stabilizer muscles, which can help to prevent injuries.

Now that we know the benefits of cable back workouts, let’s move on to the 21 best cable back workouts.

Important Cues

Before we begin it is important to understand some of the important cues that will help you to get the most out of your workouts. First, always maintain a good posture. This means keeping your back straight and your shoulders down. This allows for maximum muscle recruitment and prevents injury.

When performing the exercises, be sure to use a slow and controlled motion. This allows you to keep your muscles under tension for a longer period of time and prevents you from using momentum to swing the weight.

Focus on the mind-muscle connection. This means that you should focus on the muscles that you are trying to target. This will help you to get the most out of your workouts and optimize activation.

Lastly, when performing any rowing exercise, be sure to squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement. This will help to work the muscles in your upper back.

21 Best Cable Machine Back Exercises

Below are 21 of the best cable machine back exercises. For each exercise, we will provide a muscle-building priority and a description of how to perform the exercise.

Exercise #1: Seated Cable Row

Muscle-Building Priority: Teres Major, Rhomboids, Traps, Lats

Machine Set-Up:

  • Attach a straight bar to the low pulley of a cable machine.

  • Sit down on the bench and place your feet against the footplate.

How to Perform the Exercise:

  • Grab the handle with an overhand grip and row it towards your chest.

  • Be sure to squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement.

  • Lower the weight under control and repeat.

Keys to Remember:

  • Maintain a good posture throughout the exercise.

  • Keep your back straight and your shoulders down.

Exercise #2: Standing Cable Row

Muscle-Building Priority: Teres Major, Rhomboids, Traps, Lats

Machine Set-Up:

  • Attach a single handle to the low pulley of the cable machine.

How to Perform the Exercise:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.

  • Bend forward at the waist and grab the handle with an overhand grip.

  • Row the weight towards your chest, keeping your back straight.

  • Be sure to squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement.

  • Lower the weight under control and repeat.

Keys to Remember:

  • Keep the core engaged throughout the exercise.

Exercise #3: One Arm Seated Cable Row

Muscle-Building Priority: Teres Major, Rhomboids, Lats

Machine Set-Up:

  • Set the pulley to the lowest setting.

  • Attach a single handle to the pulley.

How to Perform the Exercise:

  • Sit with your back straight and your feet planted on the floor.

  • Grab the handle with one hand and row it towards your chest.

  • Keep your elbow close to your side and be sure to squeeze your shoulder blade at the top of the movement.

  • Lower the weight under control and repeat.

Keys to Remember:

  • Light to moderate weight should be used for this exercise.

  • Maintain tall posture throughout the exercise.

Exercise #4: Wide-Grip Seated Cable Row

Muscle-Building Priority: Lats

Machine Set-Up:

  • Adjust the seat so that your knees are at a 90-degree angle.

  • Attach a wide grip handle to the low pulley.

How to Perform the Exercise:

  • Sit with your back straight and your feet planted on the floor.

  • Grab the handle with a wide grip and row it towards your chest.

  • Keep your elbows close to your sides and be sure to squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement.

  • Lower the weight under control and repeat.

Keys to Remember:

  • Bring the elbows down and back when contracting your back.

  • Do not use momentum to swing the weight.

Exercise #5: Lat Pulldowns

Muscle-Building Priority: Lats

Machine Set-Up:

  • Attach a lat pulldown bar to the high pulley of a cable machine.

  • Sit down on the bench and place your knees under the pads.

How to Perform the Exercise:

  • Grab the bar with an overhand grip and pull it down to your chest.

  • Be sure to squeeze your shoulder blades together at the bottom of the movement.

  • Slowly return the weight to the starting position and repeat.

Keys to Remember:

  • keep your body planted on the bench and avoid swinging your body.

  • Do not use momentum to swing the weight.

Exercise #6: Straight-Arm Lat Pulldowns

Muscle-Building Priority: Lats

Machine Set-Up:

  • Attach a lat pulldown bar to the high pulley of a cable machine.

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.

How to Perform the Exercise:

  • Grab the bar with an overhand grip and pull it down to your thighs.

  • Be sure to keep your arms straight throughout the movement.

  • Slowly return the weight to the starting position and repeat.

Keys to Remember:

  • Keep the back neutral throughout the exercise.

  • Do not use momentum to swing the weight.

Exercise #7: Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown

Muscle-Building Priority: Lats

Machine Set-Up:

  • Attach a lat pulldown bar to the high pulley of a cable machine.

  • Sit down on the bench and place your knees under the pads.

How to Perform the Exercise:

  • Grab the bar with an overhand and with a wide grip

  • pull it down to your chest.

  • Be sure to squeeze your shoulder blades together at the bottom of the movement.

  • Slowly return the weight to the starting position and repeat.

Keys to Remember:

  • keep your body planted on the bench and avoid swinging your body.

  • Do not use momentum to move the weight.

Exercise #8: Reverse Grip Lat Pulldowns

Muscle-Building Priority: Lats, Biceps

Machine Set-Up:

  • Attach a lat pulldown bar to the high pulley of a cable machine.

  • Sit down on the bench and place your knees under the pads.

How to Perform the Exercise:

  • Grab the bar with an underhand grip and pull it down to your chest.

  • Be sure to squeeze your shoulder blades together at the bottom of the movement.

  • Slowly return the weight to the starting position and repeat.

Keys to Remember:

  • keep your body planted on the bench and avoid swinging your body.

  • Use a slow and controlled motion.

Exercise #9: V-Bar Pull Downs

Muscle-Building Priority: Lats

Machine Set-Up:

  • Attach a V-bar to the high pulley of a cable machine.

  • Sit down on the bench and place your knees under the pads.

How to Perform the Exercise:

  • Grab the V-bar with an overhand grip and pull it down to your chest.

  • Be sure to squeeze your shoulder blades together at the bottom of the movement.

  • Slowly return the weight back to the starting position and repeat.

Keys to Remember:

  • Keep your body still and motionless on the bench, or you risk swinging your body.

  • Avoid using momentum to swing the weight.

Exercise #10: Close-Grip Pulldowns

Muscle-Building Priority: Lats

Machine Set-Up:

  • Attach a lat pulldown bar to the high pulley of a cable machine.

  • Sit down on the bench and place your knees under the pads.

How to Perform the Exercise:

  • Grab the bar with an overhand grip and pull it down to your chest, making sure to keep your hands close together.

  • Be sure to squeeze your shoulder blades together at the bottom of the movement.

  • Slowly return the weight back to starting position and repeat.

Keys To Remember:

  • Keep your elbows close to your sides throughout the exercise for best results.

  • Don’t use momentum by swinging your body during this exercise.

Exercise #11: Low Pulley Rows

Muscle-Building Priority: Lats, Middle Back

Machine Set-Up:

  • Attach a single handle to the low pulley of a cable machine.

  • Sit down on the bench and place your knees under the pads.

How to Perform the Exercise:

  • Grab the handle with your right hand and pull it up to your chest, keeping your elbow close to your side.

  • Be sure to squeeze your shoulder blade at the top of the movement.

  • Slowly return the weight back to starting position and repeat.

Keys To Remember:

  • Keep good form by not swinging your body and using momentum to move the weight.

  • Also, keep your core engaged throughout this exercise.

Exercise #12: High Pulley Rows

Muscle-Building Priority: Lats, Middle Back

Machine Set-Up:

  • Attach a single handle to the high pulley of a cable machine.

  • Sit down on the bench and place your knees under the pads.

How to Perform the Exercise:

  • Grab the handle with your right hand and pull it up to your chest, keeping your elbow close to your side.

  • Be sure to squeeze your shoulder blade at the top of the movement.

  • Slowly return the weight back to starting position and repeat.

Keys To Remember:

  • As with any row, be sure not to swing your body or use momentum to move the weight.

  • Also, keep good form by retracting your shoulders back and down

Exercise #13: Cable Bent Over Rows

Muscle-Building Priority: Lats, Middle Back

Machine Set-Up:

  • Attach a single handle to the low pulley of a cable machine.

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and bend forward at the waist, keeping your back straight.

How to Perform the Exercise:

  • Grab the handle with your right hand and pull it up to your chest, keeping your elbow close to your side.

  • Be sure to squeeze your shoulder blade at the top of the movement.

  • Slowly return the weight back to starting position and repeat.

Keys To Remember:

  • As with any row, be sure not to swing your body or use momentum to move the weight.

  • Also, keep good form by retracting your shoulders back and down.

  • When bent over, be sure not to round your back.

Exercise #14: Face pulls

Muscle-Building Priority: Traps, Rear delts, Rhomboids

Machine Set-Up:

  • Attach a rope attachment to the high pulley of a cable machine.

How to Perform the Exercise:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and pull the rope towards your face, keeping your elbows close to your sides.

  • Grab the rope with your hands and pull it towards your face, making sure to keep your elbows close to your sides.

  • Be sure to squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement.

  • Slowly return the weight back to starting position and repeat.

Keys To Remember:

  • Keep shoulders in line with your ears throughout the exercise.

  • Also, be sure not to use momentum by swinging your body during this exercise.

Exercise #15: Cable Shrugs

Muscle-Building Priority: Traps

Machine Set-Up:

  • Attach a single handle to the low pulley of a cable machine.

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold the handle at your sides.

How to Perform the Exercise:

  • Keeping your arms straight, shrug your shoulders up towards your ears.

  • Be sure to squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement.

  • Slowly return the weight back to starting position and repeat.

Keys To Remember:

  • Do not use momentum by swinging your body during this exercise.

  • Also, be sure to keep good form by not rolling your shoulders forward during the exercise.

Exercise #16: Seated Cable Reverse Flys

Muscle-Building Priority: Middle Back, Rear delts

Machine Set-Up:

  • Attach two handles to the pulleys of a cable machine.

  • Sit down on the bench between both cables.

How to Perform the Exercise:

  • Sit on the bench with your legs bent, and place your feet flat on the ground.

  • Grab the handles with your palms facing each other.

  • Raise your arms out in front of your body with your hands together, maintaining the position of your palms.

  • Breathe out as you slowly bring your arms out to your side.

  • Inhale as you return to the starting position.

Keys To Remember:

  • Keep a slight bend in your elbows throughout the exercise.

  • Also, be sure not to swing your body or use momentum to move the weight.

Exercise #17: Standing Cable Reverse Flys

Muscle-Building Priority: Middle Back, Rear delts

Machine Set-Up:

  • Attach a single handle to each of the pulleys of a cable machine.

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold the handles at your sides.

How to Perform the Exercise:

  • Grab the handle with your palms facing each other and raise your arms out in front of your body with your hands together, maintaining the position of your palms.

  • Breathe out as you slowly bring your arms out to your side.

  • Inhale as you return to the starting position.

Keys To Remember:

  • Throughout the exercise, keep your elbows slightly bent.

Exercise #18: High Cable Reverse Flys

Muscle-Building Priority: Rhomboids, Rear delts

Machine Set-Up:

  • Attach a single handle to each of the high pulleys of a cable machine.

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold the handle at your side.

How to Perform the Exercise:

  • Grab the handle with your palms facing each other.

  • Raise your arms out in front of your body with your hands together, maintaining the position of your palms.

  • Breathe out as you slowly bring your arms out to your side.

  • Inhale as you return to the starting position.

Keys To Remember:

  • Be sure not to round your back.

  • Also, keep your elbows slightly bent throughout the exercise.

Exercise #19: Low Cable Reverse Flys

Muscle-Building Priority: Middle back, Rear delts

Machine Set-Up:

  • Attach a single handle to each of the high pulleys of a cable machine.

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold the handle at your side.

How to Perform the Exercise:

  • Grab the handle with your palms facing each other.

  • Raise your arms out in front of your body with your hands together, maintaining the position of your palms.

  • Breathe out as you slowly bring your arms out to your side.

  • Inhale as you return to the starting position.

Keys To Remember:

  • Maintain bent elbows throughout the exercise.

  • Also, keep your shoulders down and away from your ears.

Exercise #20: Half-Kneeling Cable Row

Muscle-Building Priority: Lats

Machine Set-Up:

  • Attach a single handle to the low pulley of a cable machine.

  • Kneel on one knee with your other foot out in front of you.

  • Start with your torso upright and lean forward slightly, keeping your back straight.

  • Grab the handle with your palms facing each other.

How to Perform the Exercise:

  • Keeping your elbow close to your side, pull the handle back until it reaches the front of your hip.

  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement and slowly return to starting position.

  • Repeat for the desired number of reps before switching sides.

Keys To Remember:

  • Do not arch your lower back during this exercise.

  • Also, be sure not to swing the weight or use momentum to move the handle.

Exercise #21: Cable X-Row

Muscle-Building Priority: Rhomboids, Rear Delts

Machine Set-Up:

  • Attach a single handle to each of the high pulleys of a cable machine.

  • Cross the pulleys so that they form an “X”

How to Perform the Exercise:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold the handles with your palms facing each other.

  • Bend your elbows and pull the weight towards your chest, squeezing your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement.

  • Slowly return to starting position.

Keys To Remember:

  • Maintain a tall posture throughout the exercise.

  • Also, keep your shoulders down and away from your ears.

Summary

In this blog post, we have described the 21 best cable back workouts and exercises. We have prioritized the muscle-building aspects of the exercise and how to perform the exercise. Lastly, we focused on the common mistakes people make with the keys to remember section. We hope that you found this information helpful and that you will be able to use it to improve your workout routine.

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