Put your back into it

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The other day, I was with a client and he asked the interesting question: “Say I wanted a session where I specifically wanted to work my back, but all the back machines were in use, could I just do everything on the cable machine?”

This raised some ideas in my head; my client raised a valid point. The gym I work at is relatively small, and back machines are limited so my mind started to find ways in which I could prove this theory – that you can indeed put in a solid back workout using just the cable machine.

Like with many cable based exercises, there are of course several variations and modifications you can practice – the back being no exception to this. Changing your grip is key to engage certain areas of the back. There has been countless times where I’ve instructed my clients to change-up their grip, and even the smallest variation can affect your work out. For example, a narrow grip allows you to shift more weight, enabling you to attract more muscle fibres. Alternatively, a wide grip initiates your upper lats, which coincides with a triangular frame.

A cable machine also requires smart training. Try to really think what muscles you are using when engaged in different exercises. Remember that a cable reverse fly, for example, is an isolation move (one muscle used), whereas a cable row is a compound move (more than one muscle used).

Another tip I always like to mention on a day-to-day basis is that it is advisable you pull from different angles! All cables are adjustable so really make the most of this when you are working out. Your lats, delts and traps will thank you after, I promise.

I hope this has given you guys some inspiration and has made you rethink your work-out slightly. Try to discourage yourself from sitting on a bench, texting your friend, whilst waiting for the bloke to finish on the lat pulldown. You have a cable machine opposite, use it!

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