10 Best Cable Back Exercises For Muscle Gain Or Fat Loss

There are a lot of different machines and equipment you can take advantage of in the gym.

However, if you are not familiar with particular machines, it’s likely that you will just avoid them and potentially miss out on some really effective types of exercises!

One such machine is the cable pullback. This equipment can intimidate a lot of first-timers but once you know how to use it, you can build some serious muscle and burn a lot of fat.

So, here are the 10 best cable back exercises to build muscle or burn fat – whatever you desire!

Check out the list below and incorporate some of these exercises into your gym routine! Good luck!

Why You Need To Exercise Your Back

The back is often one of the most overlooked areas of physical fitness and exercise.

Most people focus on building strength in their legs or arms or trimming the fat on their hips or stomach. However, we shouldn’t ignore the back!

There are a lot of benefits to back exercises. Here are just some of the key reasons why you need to add back exercises to your gym routine:

  • If you want to improve your muscles or burn fat on your arms, legs, or torso, then you can’t ignore the back! Building your back muscles so they are stronger can help make it easier to build the muscles around the rest of your body. You will find it easier to lift weights or support your body during high-intensity training – and so, you can push yourself that little bit further.
  • Because there are so many different muscles in your back, exercising this area of your body will burn a lot of calories. This makes it a key area of exercise for weight loss as the more muscles you move, the more energy you can burn!
  • On top of this, back pain is a big issue for a lot of people. A lot of us try to avoid back exercises in case we make things worse but in reality, exercising your back can often fix a lot of back issues rather than intensify them. Better back muscles can help protect your spine and hold it in place. This gives you better posture and can reduce your risk of injury.

So, it is vital that you add a few back exercises into your gym routine – but what exercises should you do?

Best Cable Back Exercises To Try Out And Why

The cable apparatus is a staple in most gyms so you shouldn’t struggle to find one to try out.

Once you do, it’s time to start some cable back exercises using the different bars and attachments on offer. Here’s a great list of cable back exercises for you to try!

1. Seated Cable Row

The seated cable row is one of the go-to exercises for increasing your upper body strength.

It activates lots of muscle groups in your body but some of the key muscles it activates are the latissimus dorsi, the rhomboids, the lower trapezius, and the erector spinae muscles.

All of these can be found in your back – so the seated cable row is excellent for building back muscles.

2. Cable Squat Row

Cable squat rows target more than just your back. It also activates your quadriceps, your abs, your biceps, your calves, and your hamstrings.

Because of this, the cable squat row may already be in your gym circuit because it’s so useful for building muscle strength all over your body!

Just don’t forget that the cable squat row is also great for exercising the latissimus dorsi in your middle back.

If you want to burn off fat in that area for a more toned back, then this is definitely one exercise to try out.

3. Single Arm Cable Row

The single arm cable row is very similar to the seated cable row except that for this exercise, you use just one arm at a time.

If you want to isolate your back muscles (rhomboids, lats, traps, and even the rear deltoids) and focus on just one side of your back for whatever reason, then this exercise will help you do just that.

So, it’s great for more concentrated, target workouts.

4. Single Arm Cable Row + Rotation

This variant of the single arm cable row adds an upper torso rotation.

This is so you can also activate your core muscles while you exercise and improve your upper body development.

Plus, it brings more shoulder muscles into the exercise so you can increase the number of muscles you strengthen with each rep.

It’s important for this exercise to keep your shoulders straight and back. Squeeze your shoulder blades together instead of letting them round forward. This will give you a better posture.

5. Lat Pulldowns

Lat pulldowns target your back muscles but more specifically your latissimus dorsi – that’s why they’re known as lat pulldowns!

The latissimus dorsi is the largest back muscle so by targeting it, you are exercising a majority of your back.

There are lots of different types of lat pulldowns you can try but we recommend you start with a basic wide bar lat pulldown because it’s easier to grip and great for beginners.

Once you are more confident with the lat pulldown, you can try different grips and sized bars to work certain back and arm muscles in different ways.

6. Face Pulls

This cable exercise works for targeting a key area of your body – your shoulders.

Pulling the cables so close to your face makes your deltoids do the extra work.

A lot of back muscle exercises target the lats and lower back muscles but neglect the shoulders. So, to keep your back workout nice and even, try a few face pulls.

7. Cable Deadlifts

Deadlifts are often regarded as the ultimate back muscle exercise but you don’t need weights to do them.

You can use cables to do deadlifts to work your back, core, and arm muscles. Not only is it just as effective, but it’s also a lot safer to use cables instead of weights for deadlifts!

8. Reverse Cable Fly

This exercise is often done with dumbells but you can also use cables to do a few reps of the reverse fly.

This way, you can exercise most of your back muscles (lats, deltoids, trapezius, rhomboids) along with some muscles in your posterior too.

9. Cable Pullovers

Another exercise that works great at exercising your lats is the cable pullover.

You also get to work other important back muscles like the rhomboids and deltoids, along with other muscles in your body like your triceps and pectorals.

10. Cable Shrugs

The final exercise on our list is the cable shrug.

Again, this is another exercise you can use dumbbells for instead but you can also use cables.

The additional resistance forces your deltoids to work more and this extra effort can help you build strength in your shoulders more efficiently.

On top of your deltoids, cable shrugs also exercise neck muscles as well as the upper and lower trapeziums, and rhomboids.

So, not only do you get to strengthen your shoulders, but work most of your lower back too.

Final Thoughts

And that’s it! Those were the 10 best cable back exercises for you to try out! Each one is a great way to start burning fat and building your back muscles so you can see an improvement in your fitness.

Try adding a set of two or three of these exercises to your routine and hopefully, you will soon start to see the difference in your appearance and performance! Good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it hard to build back muscles?

Back muscles are notoriously difficult to build up due to multiple reasons.

The first is that you can’t see them so they are difficult to monitor as you work out. As a result, you will need someone (like a personal trainer) to tell you how your muscles are performing while you exercise.

This way, you can switch exercises to target certain muscles that need a bit more work.

Secondly, the back is pretty complex. There are a lot of muscles working together there and so, it’s much more difficult to stimulate back growth compared to other parts of the body like your legs or arms.

But, with hard work and perseverance, you can still build your back muscles so they are stronger.

How many back exercises are recommended?

Your back is a very important part of your body and if you overwork it, you could end up causing some serious damage.

This is because while exercising your back, you are also making your spine move around a lot – and it’s easy to twist, pull, or pinch a nerve or two even with a good warm-up and stretch.

So, don’t overwork your back muscles. It’s recommended that you only perform back exercises up to three non-consecutive days a week. Let your back have a break between each session to reduce your risk of injury!

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