10 Cable Exercises to get a Bigger Back (Free Workout)


If you have a goal along the lines of having a ripped upper body that your t-shirt can barely hold within its seams then keep reading.

Getting a big and strong back is an essential part of physique that also contributes to your athleticism, power, and explosiveness.

Having a big strong back is a must if you want to have your t-shirts seams beg for mercy anytime you flex.

Although the back is a muscle you can’t see yourself (unless you try extra hard or have 1 or 2 mirrors handy) working out the back will do more wonders than pumping out some more arm curls or crunches.

Pull-ups, dead lifts, and rows are the way to go when working the back, but cable exercises for the back can be just as effective or sometimes more effective at targeting the back!

Cable exercises are fairly easy to use and are great for beginners and pros alike.

Doing a cable back workout can bring in big gainz for both groups as well.

Doing a cable back workout can bring in big gainz for both groups as well.

For beginners, cable exercises for the back are fantastic because the technique is fairly easy to get down after a set or two.

They are also great to do if you haven’t worked up to being able to do a pull-up or are coming back from an injury.

Cable exercises are also great for pro’s or bodybuilders because they make you go through a smooth and fluid motion, and put constant tension on your muscles that you can’t get with dumbbells.

A final plus for both groups is that adding them into your lift list will switch up your regular routine and keep your body on edge which in the long run will lead to more gainz.

Convinced cable back lifts are fantastic?


Anyways here are 10 cable back exercises that will help get your back where you want it to be and a free cable back workout!!

1. Seated Cable Row


The seated cable row is a stable back exercise for building a strong, wide, and sculpted back. This exercise works a variety of muscles that include your lats and middle back; it also destroys (in a good way) your traps which are key to having a sexy back.

As an added bonus at no extra cost, it works your biceps, deltoids, and your core (a little bit)!!

What a lift!!

When doing this cable back exercise it is important to keep good form in mind.

Remember to keep your back straight and elbows close to your body for each repetition.

Also DO NOT lean backwards!!! It won’t harm anything but your gains.

By leaning back your throwing a little extra momentum into each rep that takes away from the extra tension you could be getting on your back!

Pro Tips: Touch your chest each time with the handle/bar

-use a wide grip to target your back more

-use a close grip to involve your arms more


2. Single arm cable row


The single-arm variation of the cable row has a couple advantages and disadvantages to the seated cable row with both arms.

With the single-arm variation, you rotate your trunk with each rep which adds a small core, abs, and obliques workout!

Another benefit to doing the single arm cable row is that it emphasizes only one side of the body at a time which will fix any muscle imbalances you may have.

You can do this exercise either sitting or standing.

If you do it standing use less weight otherwise it will pull you off your feet


3. Straight Arm Pull-down


The straight arm pull-down mainly targets the lats.

When doing this exercise you can use a rope, bar, just the cable itself, or any other attachment you desire.

When doing this exercise make sure you keep your elbows in a locked position. They don’t necessarily have to be locked out, they can be bent a little, but make sure they stay in that position for the entirety of the rep!

After you’re all set, keep your arms straight, and bring them down towards your waist.

Go back up in a controlled matter and rinse and repeat till you’re done with the set.

4. Straight Arm Pull-down Reverse Grip


A variation of the straight arm pull-down is the reverse grip straight arm pull-down.

For this exercise you do the exact same thing as the straight arm pull-down except have your palms facing up.

Make sure you bend your elbows slightly when doing this, but again keep them there for the whole set.

5. Lat Pull-down (wide grip)

The lat pull down is a great exercise to do that emulates pull ups.

It mainly targets the lats, but also hits some of the other areas of the back.

This lift is a great finisher or great if you haven’t worked your way up to pull ups yet.

Although this exercise looks easy to do, the form can be messed up easily.

To start off make sure you have a proper weight selected, ensure your legs are snug under the thigh pads, and be holding the bar.

For the wide grip variation, be holding the bar more than shoulder width apart.

Make sure you arch your upper back a little as you begin to pull the bar down.

Squeeze your shoulder blades together, and go down to your chest or close to it.

Slowly go back up in a controlled and composed matter.

Rinse and repeat until you are done with the set.

6. Face Pull

Face Pulls are a fantastic exercise for the back.

Face pulls are also great for shoulder stability, upper body injury prevention, and posture in general.

Face pulls also hit the shoulders, hence the reason why they’re in many shoulder workout routines. But they also hit the upper back.

Watch the video to learn the proper technique…otherwise you’ll probably punch yourself in the face.

7. Cable X-Row

The X-row or reverse cable fly is a killer exercise for your rear deltoids as well as your back!

This exercise targets your mid back, or rhomboids, and is also great to help prevent shoulder injuries in the future.

To do this exercise, start by grabbing the handle on the left with your right hand and the handle on the right with your left hand.

Step back till there is tension in the cables and pull the handles across until they are at your sides!

Slowly return to the starting position.

Pro Tip: Make sure you’re not using too much weight, other wise you won’t be hitting your back as much.

8. Neutral Grip Lat Pull-down



(picture credit: www.weighttraining.guide)


The neutral grip or close-grip lat pulldown is a variation of the lat pull-down.

In this variation you use the V bar attachment.

This variation forces you to use a neutral grip and keep your elbows close to your body. By using a different grip, it changes what back muscles you use or it uses them in a different way which will lead to greater gains down the road!

Use the same technique as the wide grip lat pull down.


9. Reverse Grip Lat Pull-down


(picture credit: www.weighttraining.guide)

The reverse grip lat pull-down is yet another variation of the lat pull-down.

In this variation you have your palms face towards yourself.

Once again, by using a different grip, it changes what back muscles you use or it uses them in a different way which will lead to greater gains down the road!

Use the same technique as the wide grip lat pull down.


10. Shotgun Row

This exercise is great to do if other people are using the cables that are used for the seated row.

It’s also a great variation to do if you are looking to switch up your routine.

Give this one a try and leave a comment what you think about it.



Now that you know 10 killer lifts to get a bigger back all you need is a killer back workout!

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Hey I'm Mr.Workout! I have a passion for lifting, working out, the gym, and helping others out! Thanks for stopping by and reading my content! Let me help you on your journey. Join the GAIN TRAIN today and get post updates, free workouts, tips and tricks, and more!

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