If you want that toned upper arm with strong biceps, Cable Pullback Exercise should be your top most go to exercise while at the gym.
The primary muscles worked on during this exercise are the biceps muscle (arm), deltoid muscle (shoulder) and pectoral muscle (chest).
The latissimus dorsi muscles (back muscles) is the secondary muscle worked on during the exercise. The muscles protect and stabilize the backbone (spine) which in turn provides strength and stability to the shoulders and back during this exercise.
HOW TO DO CABLE PULLBACK PROPERLY
Make sure a gym instructor helps you set up the cable system to avoid any accidents before or while exercising. Since it uses weights, set the weights according to your fitness level.
- The cable pulley should be slightly above your head (almost your height).
- Grab the cable bar attachment with both hands with an overhand grip.
- Take a few steps back and create strong tension with the cable.
- Keep feet shoulder – width apart, knees slightly bent and back straight.
- Your arms should be stretched out while maintaining the overhand grip on the cable bar.
- The exercise will prompt you to tilt backwards a little to have an effective motion.
- With a strong braced back and arms, inhale and pull back the cable bar attachment towards your chest.
- Keep your elbows in a straight line, shoulder level, while doing the exercise.
- Release the cable tension while exhaling until your arms are back to a stretched out position.
- Do 3 sets of 10 – 12 reps.
WHAT MUSCLES DO CABLE PULLBACK WORK
BICEPS BRACHII MUSCLE
The muscle helps in numerous arm movements like inward and outward arm movements, arm bend and elbow flex. This exercise primarily targets biceps development and stability.
During the first sessions of the exercise, your biceps will be a bit sore and performing common activities such as lifting a cup of tea will feel strenuous but with constant Cable Pullback exercise, your bicep muscle will adapt to the exercise.
The shoulder joints work full time while doing the exercise. The Cable Pullback work out activates the deltoid muscle, which helps in releasing tension at the shoulders and strengthening them.
The exercise greatly works out the chest area when you pull back the cable bar attachment. The muscles contract with each motion, which gives stability and strength during the exercise. Keep your torso straight and braced to have an effective pectoral muscle development.
LATISSIMUS DORSI MUSCLES (LATS)
The latissimus dorsi muscles help with shoulder and arm movement, spine protection and stability and good posture support. Stretching and pulling back the cable bar activates the muscle that develops an effective build up and back support.
CABLE PULLBACK BENEFITS
UPPER BODY ENDURANCE
The exercise develops the upper body muscles at the arm, shoulders and back. Daily activities and strenuous activities will be done with ease and stability.
LOWER ARM DEVELOPMENT
The forearm and wrist muscles tightens while doing the exercise, which activates the muscles and strengthens them. This gives the arms a good toned feature.
CHEST PECS STRENGTHENING
The pectoral muscles worked on, contract when doing the motions, which activates the chest pecs and helps muscle build up and development.
That buffed up and built up chest is achievable with constant Cable Pullback exercise.
SHOULDER JOINT FLEXIBILITY
The shoulder joints are significantly worked on during this exercise and the constant flexing and contraction develops stronger and enduring shoulder joints and muscles.
ALTERNATIVES TO CABLE PULLBACK
The exercise fully engages the biceps and builds up the pectoral muscles and back muscles effectively. Preacher curl is a good alternative if you want less activity on your lower body while extremely working on your upper body.
Use sets of weight that match your ability to do the work out effectively. If you are a beginner, it is best to have a trainer/gym instructor monitor your work out for any assistance and observation.
How to do it:
- Grab the EZ bar with an underhand grip and carefully sit on the preacher bench.
- Place your arms over the arm pad while still holding the EZ bar and rest your chest on the pad.
- Keep your back straight and feet well-grounded on the floor.
- Stretch your hands out with a slight elbow bend and keep a firm grip on the EZ bar.
- Move your lower arms only, when lifting the EZ bar. Your upper arms should be resting on the arm pad at all times during the motions.
- Lift the EZ bar over towards you until it is on the same level as your shoulders.
- Tighten your biceps with each movement.
- Straighten your hand as you lower the EZ bar back to the starting position.
- Do 3 sets of 10-12 reps.
Read more about the preacher curl and its benefits here
For this exercise, you will need dumbbells that best match your fitness level.
- Grab a dumbbell in each hand with an underhand grip and relax your hands by your side.
- Keep a straight posture with feet hip – width apart.
- Curl up dumbbell on the right hand towards your shoulders then slowly lower the weight back to your sides.
- Repeat the movement with your left hand and keep elbows tucked in by your side at all times to focus on the primary muscles.
- Do 3 sets of 10 – 12 reps.
During the up and down movement, make sure you do the movement at an interval and pause for second before lowering the weights. This helps activate the muscles.
CABLE PULLBACK MISTAKES TO AVOID
WRONG WEIGHT SET UP
Depending on your fitness level, the weights should be more engaging than challenging.
MOVING YOUR SHOULDERS
While doing the exercise, your shoulders should be straight and in a straight line to focus more on biceps and shoulder muscle build up.
IMPROPER ELBOW POSITION
The elbows should be on the same level as the shoulders when pulling back the cable bar. Keep them straight and leveled during the movements.
With cable machine exercises, weights are used and with the most appropriate weights set, it promotes better upper body development and strong back.