Why You Should Add the Pull-Through to Your Workouts | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Why You Should Add Pull-Throughs to Your Workouts

July 28, 2014

Must See Strength Training Videos

Recently we've noticed that the Pull-Through is gaining popularity among experts and finding its way into more workouts—e.g., as in STACK's 2014 Summer Training Guide. Why? We asked three strength and conditioning experts to find out.

What is the Pull-Through?

The Pull-Through is a lower-body exercise that develops the muscles on the backside of the body—e.g, the glutes and hamstrings. But instead of holding a barbell or dumbbell, you pull a cable rope attachment through your legs. Here’s how to do it:

  • With your back to a cable machine, stand with your feet hip-width part.
  • Hold the rope attachment in front of your hips with the cable traveling through your legs.
  • Bend at the waist and sit your hips back until your torso is at a 45-degree angle.
  • Explosively extend your hips to stand up to the starting position.

Why Should You Perform the Pull-Through?

It Works Your ‘Go’ Muscles

The Pull-Through offers many of the same benefits as the Deadlift, Kettlebell Swing and other hip-dominant exercises. “The Pull-Through is one of the most underrated exercises out there,” says Tony Gentilcore, co-founder of Cressey Performance (Hudson, Massachusetts). “It’s a great exercise to build posterior chain strength, which is imperative for sports performance.”

Alex Rosencutter, owner of Rosencutter Ultra Fitness and Performance (Wauwatosa, Wisconsin), adds, “It directly carries over to the field by teaching you to use your glutes and hamstrings to produce hip extension for running and jumping.”

It Increases Your Athleticism

To perform a Pull-Through, you need to hinge your hips—a fundamental athletic movement. “It teaches athletes to separate their hips from their lower back,” says Rosencutter. “Many athletes use their lower backs to produce movement, setting themselves up for an injury.”

It also strengthens your hip hinge through a full range of motion. “Sometimes with a Kettlebell Swing or a Deadlift, it's easy to get lazy when lowering the weight,” adds Tony Bonvechio, owner of Bonvec Strength. “The Pull-Through does a nice job teaching you to maintain full-body tension through the entire hip hinge motion.”

RELATED: Master the Hip Hinge, Exercise's Most Important Motion

It’s Easy on Your Back

The Squat and Deadlift can be hard on your back if you lack foundational strength or have poor form (more on that next). But according to Gentilcore, the Pull-Through places little to no load on the spine. “This is an excellent option if someone has back issues,” he says.

It Teaches Deadlift Technique

The Pull-Through has a short learning curve compared to the Deadlift. “The rope attachment almost does all the work for you so you don't have to think about the movement too much,” says Rosencutter.

But, it still works the same movement pattern and muscles. So, when you attempt to perform a Deadlift, you’ll be stronger and more proficient in using your hips to bring the bar off the ground.

Should I Do It Instead the Deadlift?

Yes, in some circumstances. If you have back problems, use the Pull-Through to work your posterior chain. Also, if you are new to training and haven’t developed a foundation of strength, it’s a good option to work your hamstrings and glutes.

If you already perform a Deadlift variation, continue doing so; but add the Pull-Through to your workouts as an accessory movement.

RELATED: Fix the 10 Most Common Deadlift Mistakes 

 

 

Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is an Associate Content Director at STACK Media. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science...
Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is an Associate Content Director at STACK Media. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Improve Your Strength for Track & Field Success

Strength training track and field workouts can be a critical tool to enhancing performance. Track and field is a sport that encompasses a wide variety...

Strengthen Your Core With Advanced Plate Push-Outs

Why One Bench Press Is Not Enough

Off-Season Baseball Exercises for Your Shoulders

The Simplest Bodyweight Workout Ever

7 Exercises That Safely Build Shoulder Strength

Notice On-Court Results With This Basketball Core Workout

Demolish Your Delts With This Super Shoulder Training Strategy

Improve Your Back Strength with the Inverted Row

Developing Pre-Pull Tension for a Monster Deadlift

The 7 Best Slide Board Exercises

4 Strength Exercises for Female Athletes

3 Tips to Maximize Your Off-Season Baseball Training

James Harrison's Physioball Side-to-Side Bridge

10-Minute Ab Workout You Can Do Anywhere

The 14 Best Exercises From 2014

Why Do So Many Exercises Have Foreign Names

Do Your First Pull-Up With This Simple Workout. Guaranteed.

5 More Exercises Only Elite Athletes Can Conquer

Break Through Plateaus With the 1-10 Drop Set Method

Build Explosive Hips to Jump Higher

3D Triceps Workout: 3 Exercises for Huge Arms

How to Train During Your Hockey Season

Kettlebell Swing vs. Olympic Lifting: Which Is Better?

Female Athletes: Get Strong, Not Bulky, With These Workouts

7 Strategies for Dealing With a Meathead in Your Gym

Medicine Ball Training for Hockey Players

Female Athletes: 4 Ways to Test if Your Knees Are Durable

Don't Train Your Arms Until You Can Do These 4 Things

4 Ways to Get a Jacked Back

Get Tougher With Skylar Diggins' Bodyweight Workout

Game Changer: Should You Be Using Machines or Free Weights?

The Total-Body, Crunch-Free Ab Workout

Bilateral or Unilateral Exercises: Which Are Better?

Get More Explosive With James Harden's Workout

5 Isolation Exercises Your Workout Is Missing

Get a Ripped Core With 6 Advanced Dead Bug Variations

Why the Dead Bug Is Changing Core Training

The Turkish Get-Up for Youth Athletes

Baseball Workout for Power Hitting

3 Sandbag Training Mistakes Athletes Make

3 Explosive Exercises Designed to Increase Pitching Power

Basketball In-Season Battle Rope Complexes, Part 1

The Upper-Body Endurance Combo Workout

Build Powerful Pecs With This Multi-Angle Chest Workout