Cable Exercises for the Back: Seated Cable Row And Lat-Pull-Down

seated-cable-rowThe wide and massive back contributes to having a V-tapered body, along with broad shoulders, defined chest, huge arms and legs, and chiseled abs. Aside from boosting a person’s body aesthetics, making him look good even he just wears a plain shirt, training the back also boosts the body’s ability to push heavy weights safely.

Deadlifts, barbell rows, and dumbbell rows are some of the key exercises for the back and along with them, cables can also be used to improve the back’s mass and strength. The following are some of the back cable exercises.

Seated Cable Row

The seated cable row is a compound pulling exercise that primarily works out the middle back, along with the lats, shoulders, and biceps. According to Muscle and Fitness, it is considered as a staple exercise if a person wants a strong and wide back. It also targets the trapezius, which is responsible for the back’s width and mass, as per the publication.

The exercise requires a low pulley machine with a V-bar. The person makes the initial position by sitting down on the machine and placing his feet on the platform or the crossbar. The knees should be slightly bent and unlocked.

Once in the starting position, the person leans over as he keeps the natural alignment of the back and holds the V-bar handles. Then, he pulls back with his arms until his torso is at 90-degrees from his legs, with his back slightly arched and the chest out. An indication that the exercise is done properly is when there is a feeling of stretch on the latissimus dorsi, also known as lats, as the person holds the bar. After that, the person exhales as he pulls the handles back towards the torso while keeping the arms near to it until he touches his abs. A good practice is to squeeze the back muscles hard as the movement is done, since this allows the back’s mass and width growth. The contraction is held for a second before returning to the starting position, as the person inhales. The exercise is done for the recommended number of repetitions.

Wide Grip Lat Pull-Down

Also called lat pull-down, the wide-grip lat pull-down is also a compound pulling exercise that boosts the strength of the latissimus dorsi, along with the middle back, biceps, and shoulders, according to Body Building.

To perform the exercise, the person sits down on a pull-down machine with a wide bar attached to the top pulley. Then, adjust the knee pad to fit the person’s height; this is done in order to prevent the body from being raised due to the resistance attached to the bar. After that, the person grabs the bar with the palms facing forward. In a medium grip variant, the distance is equal to the shoulder width while In a close grip variant, the distance is smaller than the shoulder width.

With both arms extended in front of the body, the person makes the starting position by bringing the torso back around 30 degrees while having a curved lower back and a chest out. Once ready, the person exhales as he pulls the bar down until it touches the upper chest. Just like in any back workout, the person squeezes the back muscle upon reaching the contracted position, with the upper back stationary and the arms the ones moving. The forearms should only hold the bar and not the ones that pull it down. After the contraction, the bar is gradually raised to the starting position.

Overall, the back is one of the major muscle group that adds aesthetics to one’s physique, making someone look better and stronger. Just like other muscle groups, either major or minor, the back’s maximum development is achieved through consistent training, proper nutrition, and adequate rest.