The primary and secondary muscles must participate in developing the back fully. Including various back exercises targeting your lower and upper back muscles to build strength in a balanced way. Cable machines are one of the most accessible gym equipment and help do various exercises. However, gym-goers often neglect the back workout and focus more on the muscles they can flex. Let’s do some cable back workouts today, shall we?

Strengthening back muscles has helped recover several people with back problems. Cable exercises are unique and do not harm the spine. There is quite a variety in cable back workouts; hence you can start with your workout and see what goes best.

cable back workouts
Cable Pullover

Cable Back Workouts: What do you mean by a cable machine?

This, also referred to as a pulley machine, is built of a steel frame with stacks of weight plates. They can have both single and double stacks, and in the case of the latter, the user can grab one pulley from each hand.

Jack Lalanne first invented the universal gym equipment. A cable machine can be used at the gym and home and resembles the cable or pulley system.

615gp849YTL. AC SL1500
Cable Back Workouts

Different items like ropes, pull-up bars, handles, and others can be attached to the cables for further actions. The flexibility of several weight adjustments, height levels, and attachments allow an abundance of workouts. Cable machines can be used by a novice or an expert for a wide range of cable back exercises.

Are Cable machines adequate for back strengthening exercises?

Cable exercises are great for building back muscles. The continuous tension present by cables makes it an excellent tool for a back workout and resembles resistance bands. Do not worry; the rope, angles, weight, and body positions give you ample options.

If you have just entered the weightlifting world, do not be astonished to see a guy with huge muscles and a young girl working out with a cable machine.

Because the machine is highly versatile and does not let you run out of options, the cable machine applies tension to your muscles during eccentric and concentric positions. As a result, GAs gain some muscle strength with the cable machines and gain some size.

What Are The Benefits of back exercises with cables?

The benefits of a cable machine are not just restricted to the back muscles but multiple body parts. The great exercise with cables suit all the muscles and ensure proper form. From building muscle strength to controlling motion, this equipment does it all. Let us quickly take a looks at the benefits of a cable machine.

Muscle Building and Strengthening

When done correctly, back exercises with cables can strengthen your muscle like never before and help you gain your desired size. You will find a lying machine pullover at most fitness studios. This machine is excellent for a hypertrophy rep range between 6 – 20 and stimulates muscle growth.

Perfect for Isolation

The use of multiple attachments, angles, weight, and body positions helps target muscles compared explicitly to free weights. People find it inconvenient to target individual muscles while doing back exercises, but cables aid in targeting muscles in isolation. Thus, you can use it for greater versatility.

cable back workouts

Range of Motion

Working out using free weights does not give you the flexibility to change positions and angles. The gravity is against the free weights, whereas exercises like bent-over rows make you approach with a different angle. You can perform exercises on cables without jerks and experience a controlled range of motion.

Highly Versatile

Using a cable allows you to move your arms in multiple directions. This helps to target the muscles from different angles. Then, you can switch the attachment grip to perform the other exercises. You can easily change the grip and perform your workout safely and effectively.

Constant Tension

Cable devices apply constant tension to your muscles. For example, your back and arm muscles are involved during the lat pulldown. On your way back, you activate muscles by controlling weight. As a result, time under tension increases, and you build strong lean muscles. Cable pulleys make you work both side movements by applying constant tension.

Suited for All

The best part about this device is that beginners and experts can use it. Freshers can use it to work on their back, while enthusiasts aim to target specific muscles. Check out picture labels on the machine and start your fitness journey with the cable workout.

15 best cable exercises and cable back workouts for back muscles

Using a cable machine will help to increase your strength and muscle mass with better gains. So start your journey towards a more muscular physique, sturdy joints, and decreased risk of injury with these 15 best cable exercises for your back.

Straight Arm Pulldown: Back exercises with cables

The straight arm pulldown is a great cable activity. This works by focusing on the lats in isolation. To perform this exercise, you will need a straight bar. This exercise involves numerous muscles.

  1. Using the straight bar, you will need to grip the bar overhand. Your hands are shoulder-width apart, and you must press down towards your thighs.
  2. You must keep your core muscles tight and concentrate on lats through movement.
  3. Some people approach by bending forward at the hips to increase their range of motion by stretching the shoulders to the top.

Beginners are suggested to keep the weights lighter, or else the arms will bend down. In addition, a lighter weight will help you target the correct muscle group. Follow the lighter weight with heavier and encounter better outcomes.

Seated Cable High Row With Back Workout Cables

Seated cable rows can be labeled as one of the most popular back exercises using a cable. It targets the primary muscles concentrating on the lats, mid-back, and traps.

The seated cable row is an excellent replacement for the dumbbell row or barbell bent-over row. Biceps and posterior delts also have a bit of impact with the seated cable rows.

  1. Pull back the shoulder blades with each stroke and keep yourself in a strict form on the cable rows for a productive session.
  2. This exercise is an excellent alternative in the absence of free weight exercises.
  3. Keep the back straight and elbows tight when you take the starting position.
  4. A neutral spine and strong core throughout the training are recommended.
  5. Do not let the spine bend forward.

Cable Reverse Fly: Great back exercises with cables

The cable reverse flyes give the finishing touch to your back workout. This exercise involves your rhomboid, mid-back with posterior delts. Ensure that you start with lower weights for the correct motion and pinching from the shoulder blades.

Going with heavy weights will switch all the focus towards your arms. But, first, you will need to set up cable pulleys at chest height and connect a stirrup handle to each cable.

  1. Hold the suitable cable with your left hand and the left cable with your right hand.
  2. Stand between the two pulleys with your arms crossed across the chest and your feet shoulder-width apart.
  3. Uncross the arms to make them parallel to the ground and ensure the shoulder blades are pinned back together.
  4. Slowly return to your starting position, and don’t let them go down.

Reverse Lat pull-downs with back workout cables

The reverse grip lat pulldown machine puts more focus on the lower lats. In addition, because of the reverse grip variation, you keep the elbows tighter to the body.

It is similar to the close grip lat pulldowns with a simple change in the palms facing. The exercise allows you to contract the muscles at the bottom of the rep properly.

  1. A wider bar handle is advisable for performing this workout.
  2. Ensure that you do not pull yourself up too quickly as it might cause harm.
  3. Hold the bar more expansive than your shoulder-width apart, and lean back slightly.
  4. Maintain a neutral spine while you slowly pull the weight towards the chest.
  5. Lower your shoulders as you pull it down.
  6. The focus should be on contracting the lats while performing each rep.

Cable Incline Pushdown: Cable Back Workout

The cable incline pushdown focuses on improving strength and stability. This is an excellent workout before shifting to deadlifts.

  1. You will have to set up the bench or incline to 45 degrees and attach a bar above the height of the incline bench.
  2. Take the sitting position with your back against the bench.
  3. Now hold the bar from both hands at shoulder-width apart.
  4. Begin by pushing your arms towards the knees and elbows until parallel with your thighs.
  5. Now return to the starting position slowly by squeezing the lats together.
  6. You can continue the reps as many times as you desire.

But remember, you can only perform this workout with an EZ bar or rope. We want the arms fully extended for effective results on lats, pec major, and others.

Cable Neutral Grip Lat Pulldown: Cable Back Workout

The cable neutral grip lat pulldown is excellent for building the width of the lats. The grip lat pulldown bar offers full motion of the lats. Focus on squeezing your back muscles at the bottom movement.

  1. A cable at chest level with handle attachments is required for the set-up.
  2. You will now have to kneel in the center facing the machine. [ Half Kneeling Position ]
  3. Keep the chest and back straight, and with elbows slightly bent and back towards the side until close to the shoulders.
  4. Now, return to the starting position and repeat the reps as desired.
  5. Squeeze the shoulder blades together without being too hard; your focus should be on the back muscles to pull down the cables.

This excellent cable exercise will target your muscles like rhomboids, lats, rear delts, and biceps.

Archer Row: Upper Body Workout

Archer row is a single-arm cable row and improves your trunk rotation. The coordination of your legs, upper body, and core is essential for a strong base.

  1. You will have to set up a single side handle at your shoulder height on the machine.
  2. Now, stand on the side to the handle with a wide stance. The position should be such that you hold the cable while working, and your shoulder is toward the pulley.
  3. With your other lower body muscles, bring the handle towards your working armpits as you try to slightly rotate.
  4. Next, rotate the upper part of the body from the cable machine as you draw a bowstring.
  5. Start in a lighter mode and do two to three sets of cable exercise on each side.

Single-arm Cable Row: Cable Twisting Standing Row

Single-arm cable rows are another example of cable exercises designed for your mid-back while impacting your shoulders and triceps.

This exercise is a variant of the seated cable row, focusing on just one side. This can help you achieve an excellent range of motion and contract the upper back muscles.

  1. You can include trunk rotation for additional core action.
  2. Keep the shoulder joint back and down to execute these cable back exercises.
  3. After attaching the stirrup handle, sit down with your knees slightly bent.
  4. Grab the handle with your right hand and sit with your arm in the front for the starting position.
  5. Exhale when you pull the handle to the waist with your palms inwards.
  6. Hold onto the position for a while and return to the starting position.

Shotgun Rows: Cable Back Workout

The shotgun is a variation of another cable back exercise. It aims at developing mid-back muscle mass and lats. It makes an excellent alternative to the seated cable row exercise.

  1. You must attach a single handle to the cable to perform the shotgun rows.
  2. In addition, you will need to do a split with an ipsilateral elbow on the forward knee.
  3. Grab the handle, lean forward slightly, and allow the shoulder blade to protract.
  4. Now stretch the upper back, contract the shoulder blade, and handle up to the chest.
  5. Pull the handle towards the ribcage and take your elbow behind the body.
  6. Slowly and steadily return to the starting position.

Wide grip lat pulldown: Cable Back Workout

Wide grip lat pulldowns are another cable machine exercise for strengthening your upper back muscles. The primary and secondary muscles group involved in this workout are lats, traps, rhomboids, and delts.

The biceps and forearms make the lats do the most challenging work for this exercise. Even though wide grip lat pulldown is one of the most effective cable back exercises, it is the easiest to fumble.

  1. The correct way to do this is slowly without jerking or raising yourself to force down with your body weight.
  2. Sit down facing the cable machine, and stretch the arms to grab the bar at the most extended grip position.
  3. Lean back slightly, bring the shoulder blade down pull the bar down till it touches your ribcage top.
  4. Pause at the bottom and squeeze your lats before smoothly returning to the starting position.

Close grip lat pulldown: Cable Back Workouts

The close grip lat pulldowns have a more significant effect on the lats than the traditional pulldown. The close-grip variation also has a more natural effect.

For performing a close grip lat pulldown, keep your palms facing away from the body and elbows close when you pull the bar down.

  1. A curved lat bar is going to make you feel more comfortable.
  2. Take a seat on the pulldown bench facing the cable machine and grab the close grip cable attachment with palms facing each other.
  3. Lean back slightly, brace the core to bring the shoulder blades down, and pull the attachment until it touches the chest.
  4. Like the above cable workout, pause, squeeze the lats, and gradually return to the starting position.

Wide grip seated cable rows: Cable Back Workouts

The wide grip row will concentrate on your upper back and primary muscle group like the trapezoid, rhomboid, and rear deltoid. If you are looking forward to building a thick upper back, this is one of the best back exercises.

  1. The wide grip will also help you to correct the posture problems.
  2. Take a seated position and a wide grip bar to start the exercise.
  3. Keep your hands wider than the width of your shoulders.
  4. Keep your chest in the forward direction and shoulders down, and form an arch with your back.
  5. The movement of the seated cable row should be slow when you pull the bar towards the chest.
  6. Squeeze and contract the muscles before returning to the starting position.
  7. The secondary muscles in the wide grip seated cable row are the biceps, forearm flexors, and rotator cuff muscles.
  8. Try the seated cable row exercise and see what it does to your upper back.

Face pulls Cable Back Workouts.

A Face pull targets the traps, posterior delts, rhomboids, and rotator cuff muscles. Set the cable rope attachment, so the pull is up to eye level. The system of the cable pull should be higher than your head.

  1. Pull the rope towards the direction of your face, keeping the elbows up and out on both sides.
  2. Next, pull your hands so that your elbows go behind your back and your hands are on the side of your head.
  3. The movement of the face should be at a slow rate and in control. This is because the face pull works simultaneously for your shoulders and back muscles.
  4. Grip the rope with your palms facing inwards.
  5. The face pull exercise might seem difficult initially, but it is excellent for balanced shoulders and preventing chances of future injuries.

Cable Shrug: Cable Back Workouts

A cable shrug is one of the best back exercises for your upper back. Shrugs with a cable machine help you with variations due to different body angles. A back workout is incomplete without hitting the upper traps. The cable machines provide a safe angle with consistent resistance and a significant contraction.

  1. You need to attach a rope or bar to the ground-level cable.
  2. Continue by pulling the bar or rope up with your hands in front of your thighs and elbows straight.
  3. While keeping the elbows locked, shrug your shoulders and hold before slowly lowering them down for a second or two.
  4. You can try using a wide grip for this workout if you desire.

Cable Pull Through Cable Back Workouts

Cable pull-through is a back exercise that strengthens the posterior part and enhances your deadlift performance. For doing this exercise, set up a rope attachment near the ground.

  1. Keep the rope away from the cable and hold the string with a neutral grip.
  2. The palms must face each other now step forward to keep the feet shoulder-width apart.
  3. Next, bend the knees slightly and move forward at hips till your back is parallel with the ground.
  4. Keep your arms straight and stand straight, pulling the rope with your legs.
  5. Hold it for a while and slowly return to the starting position.
  6. Pull the rope using your lower back, glutes, and hamstring, not your arms.

Final Thoughts: Cable Back Workouts & Cable Machine Exercises

Including back exercises in your workout routine will strengthen all muscles. Your back is a massive support system. The cable exercises with various attachments and angles make it highly versatile and flexible.

Now create a balance with these cable back workouts and move towards your journey toward a healthier and stronger back. The activities are designed to increase the strength of your upper arms and back muscles.

Try these 15 fantastic cable back workout routine and never look BACK again.

FAQs: Cable Back Workouts

How to work lower back muscles with cables?

The lower back muscle exercise position includes standing back with your feet wider than your shoulder width. Your knees are slightly bent, with your top half slightly bent, gripping the bar. Exhale as you pull towards your stomach, and do not forget to contract your back muscles.

Is it ok to exercise with cables?

The majority of exercises performed using free weights can be recreated using cables. Cables are smoother than free weights and put less stress on the joints. The chances of an injury or damage are less when cable workouts.

How do you work your upper half with cables?

There are multiple exercises to work on the upper half using cables. One way is to bend the elbows and contract back muscles to pull the bar towards the floor. Squeeze the contraction and slowly lower the bar in the arm extended position.

How do I target lower chest muscles with cables?

The high cable cross-over in which the pulleys are attached to the top, cable fly, and decline bench fly are exercises that target your lower chest muscles. It would help if you went for a higher rep range than you prefer for single-joint exercises.

How to do cable bicep curls?

Cable bicep curls target the bicep brachii. This muscle is functional in bending your elbow and rotating your forearm. Standing cable curls also work out for the brachialis, forearm, and core.

How to build a lower chest fast with cables?

Doing cable flyes could be a great way to build a stronger lower chest effectively. You can also try cable cross-over for building your lower chest faster. The cable machine is an excellent device for your chest workout.