How To Do Cable Pullover Properly

Cable Pullover is an isolation exercise that mostly acts on the shoulder joints and targets the back muscles (Lats) and Chest pecs (Pectoral muscles).

As the name suggests, one may think the exercise involves pulling the cable attachment over your head from behind but the technique is almost similar to Cable Pressdown, instead of tucked in elbows, your hands are stretched out throughout the motions.

For this exercise, the movement is based on shoulder extensions fully engaging the arms and core stabilization.

HOW TO DO CABLE PULLOVER PROPERLY

If you are not familiar with the cable machine, inform the trainer/gym instructor to help you set up. This will help avoid any accidents before and while working out. Depending on your fitness level, set weights that best match your strength and ability.

  • Make sure the cable machine pulley is higher than your actual height and the weights set are according to your level of strength and endurance.
  • Grab the cable bar attachment with an overhand grip and take a few steps behind to create cable tension from the lifted weights.
  • Keep your feet planted on the floor and shoulder – width apart and knees slightly bent.
  • With the arms fully stretched out, lean forward a few inches, contract your Lats and core to activate them and pull down the cable bar towards your thighs.
  • Remember to engage your core and Lats during the movements.
  • Release the cable tension and bring the cable bar attachment back to the starting position, maintaining arm extension.
  • Do 3 sets of 10 – 12 reps.

WHAT MUSCLES DO CABLE PULLOVER WORK

BACK MUSCLES (LATS)

With the latissimus dorsi muscle (Lats) providing shoulder and back strength, the exercise activates the muscles more and keeps the spine protected and stabilized during the technique. The muscle is effectively engaged while doing the work out.

CHEST PECS

Cable Pullover prompts you to push your chest up since they are mostly involved in the shoulder extension. Activating the pec muscles facilitates strengthening and development of the chest.

DELTOID MUSCLES

The muscles together with the rotator cuff muscles help stabilize the shoulder joint and fully abducts the arm when doing heavy work like works out or carrying heavy objects. The muscles are activated fully when with the technique since the arms go up and down while being stretched out.

RHOMBOID MUSCLES

This are two muscles (rhomboid minor and rhomboid major) located in the upper back. As the secondary muscle worked on, its contraction/activation stabilizes and fixes the scapula into position.

CABLE PULLOVER BENEFITS

UPPER BODY STRENGTHENING

Cable Pullover activates numerous muscles on the upper body, which strengthens and develops the muscles and stabilizes the core. With the pectoral muscles, arm muscles, arbs and shoulder extensions developed, you have an increase in endurance and upper body strength.

REINFORCE POSTURE

While doing the exercise your back should be neutral and spine aligned to focus on the primary muscles. Through this, an upright and straight posture is reinforced. The muscles at the back providing support and stability to the spine, assist in keeping the spine neutral at all times and back injuries will be minimal.

DEVELOPMENT OF SHOULDER EXTENSION

As this is an isolation exercise, it works your back and gives focus on your shoulder extension, which greatly activates them thus, having well developed and strengthened shoulder extensions. This helps in day-to-day strenuous activities and gives endurance and strength when carrying heavy loads and doing heavy-duty work.

ALTERNATIVES TO CABLE PULL OVER

DUMBBELL PULLOVER

A dumbbell Pullover is a shoulder extension movement that works on the Lats and the pecs of the chest.

How to do it:

  • Use a dumbbell weight that best matches you strength and ability. Hold it by the handle with both hands.
  • Find a flat padded bench for support. Carefully holding the dumbbell, lay on the bench facing up and keep feet planted on the floor.
  • Stretch your hands up and tightly hold on to the dumbbell handle to avoid dropping it.
  • Bring the dumbbell behind your head, maintaining extended arms and keep your upper arms by your ears.
  • Contract your core and Lats while bringing the dumbbell back to the starting position.
  • Do desired sets and reps depending on your endurance.

WIDE GRIP PULL UP

Wide grip pull up is quite challenging as it uses your weight to activate your muscles.

How to do it:

  • Use an extended pull up bar.
  • Hold it with a wider grip than your shoulder – width, squeeze your Lats and core and pull your whole weight up until your head is above the pull up bar.
  • Go back to your starting position with your hands fully extended out.
  • Do desired sets and reps depending on your fitness level and ability.

BARBELL PULLOVER

Similar to Dumbbell Pullover, Barbell pullover is a shoulder extension movement and has the same effects and outcome.

How to do it:

  • Hold a barbell with an overhand grip.
  • Find a flat padded bench for support. Hold the barbell near you, lay on the bench facing up and keep feet planted on the floor.
  • Hold it with a shoulder – width distance, lift the barbell up and have a firm grip on it.
  • Bring the barbell behind your head, maintaining extended arms and keep your upper arms by your ears.
  • Contract your core and Lats while bringing the barbell back to the starting position.
  • Do desired sets and reps depending on your strength.

CABLE PULLOVER MISTAKES TO AVOID

ELBOW OVERBEND

While doing Cable pullover, slight elbow bend is allowed but the arms should be well elongated to have a good focus on the primary muscles being worked on.

ROUNDED BACK

Keep your back neutral (spine aligned) to form that straight and upright posture.

CORE DISENGAGING

Engaging the core muscles is beneficial to this work out as it helps in enforcing correct form and posture and stabilization.

CONCLUSION

Shoulder extension development is as important as any other work out. Incorporating the Cable Pullover to your workout program will be of great benefit to your upper body.