If you’re looking for a great and easy way to tone your back and gain muscle where you want it, cable machines are what you need. Exercises with cables are great if you’re looking to improve smooth, fluid form.
I’m sure you’ll find so many of these machines in any gym. What’s more, you can easily create a large variety of exercises using one of these machines.
So, where do you start?
Easy, in this post, you’ll find that I’ve listed 10 of the best cable-centric exercises to help you tone your back and help you get those muscles you’ve always wanted. Time to “Buff Your Health!”
Top 10 Back Exercises with Cables
It doesn’t matter if you want to increase tone or build existing muscle, the exercises provided are helpful:
1. Back Exercises: Seated Cable Row
The Seated Cable Row is perfect and straightforward when it comes to building upon in the long-term. It works on some of your primary muscles like traps and middle back (rhomboids). As for the secondary muscles, the biceps and posterior deltoids are affected.
Similar to the seated cable row is the dumbbell and barbell bent-over row.
As you get into position, your back should be straight, and your elbows should be close to your body during the exercise.
Also, ensure your spine doesn’t hunch forward. Instead, keep a neutral spine and a strong core.
2. Back Exercises: Single-Arm Seated Cable Row
There are some advantages to the single-arm variation of the seated cable row offers:
- You get more extra range of movement and maximize the back contraction
- Your core gets an extra workout due to the trunk rotation.
Don’t forget to keep your elbow close to your body when you pull back.
3. Back Exercises: Straight-Arm Pushdown
The straight-arm pushdown deals with one primary muscle group, which is the lats. You can easily do this by using a rope or bar, but you’ll get to maximize your range of motion when you use the rope.
Note, you’re doing the straight-arm pushdown. If you bend your elbows while doing this, you’ll be doing a tricep pulldown.
To keep a good form, you have to keep your weights on the light side to move without strain. Also, target a rep range between 8-12 reps.
In our list, we have the variations of the lat pulldown as our next exercise. The video below shows the exercise.
4. Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown
For this exercise, the primary muscle group involved is the lats. As for the secondary muscles, we have traps, rhomboids, and delts.
Just as it’s easy to do, it’s also easy to make a mistake when doing it.
Here’s how you do it, make sure you keep the movement slow and fluid – this means you can’t jerk off or raise yourself to use your body weight to push down.
Your butt should stick to the seat!
5. Close-Grip Lat Pulldown
Some might say the close-grip variation feels more natural than the other exercises, but it doesn’t matter. Always remember to keep your elbow close to your body when you pull down. Feel free to use the standard curved lat bar or the “V” bar, as shown in the video
6. Reverse-Grip Lat Pulldown
The reverse-grip variation focuses more on your lower back. It does this by letting you keep your elbows closer to your body.
7. Reverse Cable Flyes
For this exercise, we have the primary muscles “rhomboids” involved. First, you start with a low weight so you can get the full range of movement and the pinching in the shoulder blades.’
Then, switch to heavy, and you’re expected to work only on your arms and delts, leaving out the rhomboids
8. Shotgun Rows
For this exercise, the primary muscles involved are the lats and middle backs. It is a great option compared to the seated cable row exercises. In most gyms, there are only 1 (2 max) seated row machines. So you can go with this.
9. The Face Pull
We have the rhomboids, posterior, and rotator cuff muscles involved in this exercise.
In most shoulder workout programs, the Face Pull is a must thing to do but, it doesn’t stop there. It is really good for developing the upper back muscles.
Although some beginners might find it difficult, however, it helps in the development of balanced shoulders and preventing future shoulder injuries.
10. Standing Cable Row
For this exercise, we have the primary muscles (the lats, rhomboids, and posterior delts) and the secondary muscles involved. The secondary muscles, in this case, are the biceps and the core.
You can easily do this by using a rope or bar, but you’ll get to maximize your range of motion when you use the rope. Also, you can’t go too heavy for this exercise. Instead, aim for the 8-12 rep range.
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