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How to Do the Cable Push-Pull: Techniques, Benefits, Variations

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Cable pulling is a popular weightlifting exercise among gym goers looking to target multiple muscle groups simultaneously. You’ll want to familiarize yourself with the weightlifting exercise before starting this high-level exercise, but once you get the hang of it, the movement is actually pretty simple.

Cable pull-ups are usually performed on a cable frame at the gym, but you can also do them at home with resistance bands and anchor points strong enough to support the weight. Add push-ups to your circuit training or use it to warm up the major muscles of your upper body before doing push-ups.

Target: Back, chest, triceps, quadriceps, deltoids, biceps, traps, hamstrings

Device: Cable frame pulley system or somewhere safe to anchor resistance bands

Level: Intermediary

How to do the cable pull exercise

Verywell / Ben Goldstein


Position yourself between the cable pulley system. Adjust the cable bracket until you can comfortably hold the cable handle in each hand. You will rotate slightly so that you can reach one cable in front of you and one behind you. Adjust the cable pins so that they are slightly above your waist.

  1. Stand with one foot forward to position yourself in a stable and balanced position.
  2. Rotate your shoulders slightly and keep your knees slightly bent for balance. Squeeze the abdominal muscles.
  3. Inhale as you push the rear cable forward while simultaneously pulling the front cable back.
  4. Exhale as you allow both cables to return to their original positions in a slow, controlled motion.
  5. Complete 3 to 8 reps, resting one minute between sets.

Benefits of Cable Push-Pull Exercise

Exercises like cable pulling are a great addition to interval training. Not only are you increasing your energy expenditure while moving, but you are building strength and stamina at the same time. With proper shoulder rotation and tight abs, the cable pull is also a great core-building exercise.

The movement is a bit like a one-two punch in boxing: side push and side pull at the same time. Pushing works the pectoralis, triceps, quadriceps, and deltoid muscles, while pulling works the back, biceps, posterior deltoid, radius, and forearms. Even your hamstrings work when they maintain stability.

Push-pull cables for weight training and aerobics all in one. Improving your overall strength and endurance will not only help you achieve your fitness goals and advance in your workouts, but it can also make even your daily activities a breeze. than. A strong body and good heart health can improve your stamina for tasks from carrying groceries to keeping up with a busy family schedule.

Strong back muscles and muscles can also improve posture and balance, and you don’t have to be an elite athlete or even a dedicated fitness enthusiast to feel the benefits. there.

Other variations of the cable pull exercise

You can do this exercise in a variety of ways to meet your skill level, goals, and type of equipment available.

Resistance Rope Push-Pull Exercise

If you don’t have access to a gym’s cable setup or want to get the benefits of a push-up workout at home, try using resistance bands.

To do this modification safely, make sure your anchor points for straps (such as a sturdy piece of furniture) are stable and strong. The resistance band variant may be more prone to hanging than the cable machine, but your arms will still get a solid workout.

  1. Stand with one foot forward to position yourself in a stable and balanced position.
  2. Rotate your shoulders slightly and keep your knees slightly bent for balance. Squeeze the abdominal muscles.
  3. Inhale as you push the rear bumper forward while pulling the strap out the front of your back.
  4. Exhale as you allow both bands to return to their original positions in a slow, controlled motion.
  5. Complete 3 to 8 reps, resting one minute between sets.

Exercises to pull the cross rope over the cable

Use a dual cable crossover to increase the intensity.

For this variation, adjust the cable in front of you to the lower position and the cable behind you to the higher position. You’ll enhance the move by doing it at a bevel instead of a horizontal one from this arrangement. Follow the same steps as towing the cable:

  1. Stand with one foot forward to position yourself in a stable and balanced position.
  2. Rotate your shoulders slightly and keep your knees slightly bent for balance. Squeeze the abdominal muscles.
  3. Press with your hand on the same side as your back leg.
  4. Pull simultaneously as you push.
  5. Promote your hips through range of motion, engaging your core.
  6. Exhale as you allow both bands to return to their original positions in a slow, controlled motion.
  7. Complete 3 to 8 reps, resting one minute between sets.

Common mistake

Only work one side

To make sure you’re training for balance, change directions after completing a set or two. You can do this by switching leg positions and combining your arms to face the opposite cable pull from the move you started with.

Do not participate in the core

While your arms are definitely doing a lot of the work with pushups, don’t lose focus on your center of gravity. When you first start, you will consciously want to engage your core to get the full benefits of your workout and protect your muscles from stress.

As you become more familiar with the move and your form improves, the push-ups will be enough for you to feel your abs tense without having to focus on it.

Balanced stance

Be sure to check your leg position before you start, between sets, and when you switch sides. A firm stance will help keep you balanced and in the right form, which will keep you from twisting or starting the movement from your hips or torso.

Forget breathing

This move has a lot of moving parts to think about — both your parts and parts of the machine! Don’t let the focus on the exercise make you forget to breathe. If you find yourself holding your breath, pause to refocus. Remember that your muscles need oxygen to function optimally.

If you’re not familiar with cable machines, ask the gym staff how to use them. Most fitness centers have someone who can teach you how to use machines and other equipment properly.

Safety and Precautions

The pull-up exercise is simple, but you don’t want to jump into it unless you’re used to weight training. The exercise will be safest and most effective if you already lift weights as part of your routine.

As always, before you start or change your exercise routine, check with your doctor. Weightlifting exercises, including pull-ups, may not be right for you. You may need to avoid these movements if you have an injury or certain condition or are recovering from surgery.

You can skip the cable pull if:

  • Are you pregnant or recovering from childbirth?
  • You injured your back, neck, arm or hand
  • Your overall strength is weakened by illness, injury, prolonged recovery or bed rest, or a low level of fitness

Some medications can affect your exercise performance. It’s best to check with your doctor before starting more intense exercise if you’re taking any medications that change your heart rate, breathing rate, electrolyte and hydration levels, or cause other side effects. side effects such as drowsiness.

In some cases, strength and weight training can be an important part of recovering from an injury or procedure. Ask your doctor, physical therapist, trainer or fitness instructor if there are modified versions of exercises that would benefit you.

Trial

Incorporate this and similar moves into one of these popular exercises:

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