How To Properly Perform Dumbbell Pull Through Properly

Dumbbell pull through is a great lower-body exercise that especially targets the entire glute and stretches your hamstrings. The exercise is generally used to work the posterior chain and it is one of the best exercises for this.

The posterior chain denotes the muscle groups that are situated at the back of the body, from the upper back to the calf muscles.

They include the latissimus dorsi (the largest back muscle), erector spinae (the muscle group that runs along the spine), gluteus maximus and hamstrings.

The posterior chain is often neglected in favor of the more visible front muscles of the body. Yet, it is very important to exercise it.

In some circumstances, using the dumbbell pull through to work your posterior chain can help with back problems.

Additionally, if you are a beginner in training and your foundation for strength hasn’t developed, the exercise is great to work your glutes and hamstrings.

You can continue doing the deadlift if you were already doing it, but be sure to add the dumbbell pull through to your workout as an accessory exercise.

HOW TO DO DUMBBELL PULL THROUGH

Here is a step-by step procedure of doing the exercise;

  • Externally rotate your feet outwards and get into a sumo stance
  • Ensure your core is nice and tight
  • Grab a dumbbell and hold it on one side with the thumb up top
  • Bend at the knees and hinge back
  • Then push your dumbbell behind you, with your shoulders rolling forward
  • Keeping your core tight, extend up and bring the dumbbell close to your body then slightly thrust. Avoid over hyper extending.
  • Come back down and repeat for the desired number of reps.

DUMBBELL PULL THROUGH MUSCLES WORKED

The primary muscles targeted by the movement include the gluteus maximus, hamstrings, latissimus dorsi. Lats, and spinal erectors.

Doing hinging movements like deadlifts can also work these muscles. However, spinal compression/loading is significantly less with dumbbell pull through.

Therefore, this movement is perfect if you do not want to overtrain or overtax your lower back.

DUMBBELL PULL THROUGH BENEFITS

IT WORKS YOUR ‘GO’ MUSCLES

The movement offers several similar benefits as the Deadlift, Kettlebell Swing and other hip-dominant exercises.

Although it is underrated, it greatly helps to build posterior chain strength, which is important for sports performance.

It enables you to use your glutes and hamstrings to produce hip extension for running and jumping.

In addition to strengthening the primary muscles of the hamstrings, glutes and spinal erectors, it increases mass in these powerful muscles, making it effective for muscle hypertrophy.

IT INCREASES YOUR ATHLETICISM

In order to perform the movement, you need hip hinge ability which is a fundamental athletic movement.

Hip hinge ability teaches athletes to separate their hips from their lower back. Many athletes produce movement using their lower backs, and this sets them up for injury.

The full range of motion also helps strengthen hip hinge ability. When using a kettlebell swing or a deadlift, it can be tempting to get lazy as you lower the weight.

However, the movement teaches you to maintain full-body tension through the entire hip hinge motion.

IT’S EASY ON YOUR BACK

If you have a poor form or lack foundational strength, the squat and deadlift can be hard on your back. However, with this movement, little to zero load is placed on the spine and thus, a great workout for anyone with back issues.

IT TEACHES DEADLIFT TECHNIQUE

The movement still works the same movement pattern and muscles as deadlift.

Hence, when attempting to perform a Deadlift, you’ll be stronger and more proficient in using your hips to bring the bar off the ground.

DUMBBELL PULL THROUGH VARIATIONS

CABLE PULL THROUGH

The cable pull through is very similar to the dumbbell pull through. It works the muscles in your posterior chain that is the hamstrings, glutes and lower back muscles. The only difference is that you need a cable pulley machine for this.

DEADLIFT

The deadlift targets the whole body, but mostly the hamstrings, glutes, quads, and back. You need a barbell to do it.

KETTLEBELL SWINGS

The kettlebell swing is a compound exercise that improves the strength, stamina, and cardiovascular endurance of the whole body.

The movement relies on the hinging of the hips rather than the lifting of the arms to drive the weight upwards. This makes it a glute predominant workout.

DUMBBELL PULL THROUGH MISTAKES TO AVOID

Mistakes may lead to suboptimal results or even injuries. Some of these mistakes include;

ROUNDING AND CAVING OF THE BACK

Rounding and caving your back means the spine is not kept in a neutral position. Therefore, this places pressure on the spine and could lead to possible injury.

Also, when the back is in a round or curve position, the work is taken off the gluteal muscles disallowing them from working maximally. Basically, if the spine is not kept in a neutral position, it decreases the gains from the glute workouts.

NON-ENGAGEMENT OF THE CORE

Since the movement is usually considered a lower body workout, most people forget to engage the core. However, engaging the core is important in order to maintain the spine in a neutral position and keep proper form and balance.

If you do not engage the core, it may lead to the same injury as that in rounding and caving the back.

ALLOWING THE KNEES TO GO TOO FAR PAST THE TOES

The movement demands hip hinging which involves placing the knees past the toes.

However, if you allow your knees to move too far past the toes, you will place more work on the quads while reducing the work of the glutes. Also, this may place more pressure on the knees and may lead to injury.

A slight lean forward can correct it as it will redistribute the weight.

LACK OF WORKOUT VARIATION

In order to work the gluteal muscles to their fullest potential, do not stick to one glute exercise. This is because, some glute exercises may work one muscle more than the other. Hence, using different variations is essential in getting optimal gains.

This also applies to adding dumbbell weights because sticking to one weight will not maximize the muscle’s capacity to increase its size and strength.

CONCLUSION

Dumbbell pull throughs are able to target the posterior chain muscles, especially the gluteal muscles, the same way as all the other gluteal exercises.

Combining all these exercises will help in growing the glutes to the maximum. Also, for optimal results, proper form and workout variation should be applied by avoiding the highlighted mistakes.