One of the exercises I do on a weekly basis on a Leg Day is a cable pull-thru. I had my son take three pictures in different stages, so I’ll talk you through each phase. These feel great on the hamstrings and really help with the glute-ham tie-in. Some key points:
1. Your head stays in a neutral position, so that means keep your head position as if you were walking around, keeping your head neutrally aligned with the spine.
2. You want a slight bend in the legs and I turn my feet out just a tad to feel it up the back of my legs, always pushing through the heel.
3. You will hinge at the hips and you should never feel the strain in the lower back. If so, stop and readjust for proper form.
4. I start by using a split rope attachment and load pretty heavy on the plates. Test the weight to see what is heavy to you. I pull the cable through my legs and grab the ropes with an underhand grip. Then I walk the cable out about 2 feet so I can have good range of motion. Starting standing up, I hinge forward at the hips and feel the tension on the back of my legs.
5. Now that I’m hinged at the hips, I keep my feet planted in this position for the entire set. My back stays flat and avoids any arching or curling. My legs have a slight bend and my toes are at a 10-degree point outwards because I feel it better in my hamstrings with this foot placement. The key is my arms stay fully extended in the same position through the entire movement, so you’re NOT pulling the weight the arms, but rather moving it with your hips and just using the arms to hold the ropes. .
6. As you’re hinged forward at the hips, you’ll feel the tension on your hams. Slowly return to the starting position and squeeze the hams and glutes, resisting from returning quickly to the starting position. This is where the muscle breakdown occurs and the rebuilding in your rest and sleep is where you make the muscle gains!
In addition to my Physical Education degree, I will complete my NASM Personal Trainer certification in early 2015 and am currently writing customized plans to your lifting needs.
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