Cable Pull Through Exercise Guide | Why & How to Do It

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cable pull through exercise guide

Do you have problems with the deadlift or with exercises that focus on your lower back and glutes? Don’t you like doing kettlebell swings? If your answer is yes for any of these questions, then it is time to try a rather forgotten exercise, called cable pull through.

I call it forgotten since I have never seen anybody doing it in the gym, although it is very beneficial.

It is a fact that if you want to build real strength, then working your posterior muscle groups such as your glutes, lower back, hamstrings, etc. is crucial.

Here you will learn everything about pull throughs, and you will see that the cable crossover machine can be used for wise things.

Cable pull through muscles worked

It works all the muscles of the posterior chain. These are the glutes, hamstrings, spine, lower back, and hip muscles. It perfect for strength and conditioning.

muscles worked

What is the Proper Form

Here is the video from which you can learn the correct form.


  • Pay attention to perform it with a full range of motion.
  • Total hyperextension is not necessary at all because it only irritates the lower back unnecessarily. Keep you back in a natural position.
  • Do not pull the weight with your arms but use muscles of the posterior chain.
  • If your legs are stretched the hamstrings will work more, and if they are a slightly bent, the glutes.
  • It is recommended to perform with higher reps, about 10-15, or even more. But, I think, to develop strength and muscles mass instead of increasing the reps it is better to use higher resistance.

What are the benefits?

Easy to perform and learn

While deadlift is one of the most beneficial compound exercises to gain strength, it is among the lifts that are usually performed badly, very badly.

Most of the trainers, especially beginners, make mistakes such as leaning toward too much, bad knee position, bad back posture, etc. And they usually combine these mistakes. This way, they risk to get a severe injury and obviously the exercise loses its benefits. In the end, they give up this powerful practice just because they do not enjoy it and see no results.

If there is an exercise that you do not like for some reasons the best is if you find an alternative. In this case, for deadlift, it is a great option since it is easy to learn and safe. Even beginners without strength training background can quickly acquire.

And once you get good at this exercise, you are ready to go back to the deadlift since the form, and the used muscles are almost the same. So, you will not commit the typical mistakes I mentioned before.

To conclude, if you are bad at deadlifts this movement is a good cure for that.

It develops your glutes effectively

Do you want to get well-shaped butts? Do you want to jump higher or run faster?

It will help you with each since it works all those posterior chain muscles that are required. Cable pull through for glutes is useful for any athletes.

If you want to focus more on your butt, just do more reps and bend your legs slightly.

Safe to perform

If you have ever tried exercises for the rare posterior chain, such as the good morning, you know it is not easy to do, and the risk of getting an injury is not neglected. But, it is a powerful move.

Thanks to the motion of the cable pull through the risk of getting an injury are low. Just use the amount of weight that provides enough resistance and lets you perform it with proper form.

It is functional exercise

The glute bridge is a useful exercise to shape your butt, but it is not a move that we usually do in real life. Hence, it is not functional.

On the other hand, cable deadlift pull through is a move that we do much more time in every day. During the motion, the work of the hip stimulates better the real situations, and it teaches the kinetic chain of our body to work as it should. So, it is useful for lifters and people doing bodybuilding to prevent lower back problems.


If you have no opportunity to use a cable pull machine, then the best cable pull through alternative is the kettlebell swing. It is maybe more difficult to perform since that is a free weight. You can learn the proper form here.


I think, after reading these benefits you understand reasons why the cable pull through exercise should be in your training program. It is safe, easy to perform, functional and a great alternative for the deadlift or kettlebell swing. Do not care about that nobody does it in the gym, try it and you will feel how powerful it is.

Related exercises:

Everything you need to know about the cable pull through that is among the most powerful exercise for strengthening the posterior chain.
Everything you need to know about the cable pull through that is among the most powerful exercise for strengthening the posterior chain.

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James Wright

James (36) has been working out since he was 15 years old. He has a home gym where he pumps iron, does bodyweight workouts and boxing. He likes sharing his experiences with others who want to build a better physique.

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