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...

Featured Videos

Quest for the Ring: Duke University Views: 70,557
Path to the Pros 2015: The Journey Begins Views: 19,026
Quest for the Ring: University of Kentucky Views: 78,399
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

More Cool Stuff You'll Like

10 Ways to Get Stronger With a Sandbag

Every athlete has probably heard their coach use the term sandbagging it; referring to somebody taking it easy and not pushing themselves as hard as...

6 Gym Machines That Are Actually Worth Your Time

Posterior Chain Fixes to Improve Your Game

Use Eccentric Lifts to Increase Size and Strength

7 Ways to Work Out Competitively Without CrossFit

Bench Press Grip Guide: How Hand Placement Changes the Exercise

7-Exercise Core-Blasting Workout

A Better Way to Train Your Core

Master the Lateral Lunge to Improve Your Hockey Stride

3 Tricks for a Stronger Front Squat

Prevent ACL Injuries With This Exercise

4 Lifts to Build Wrestling Strength

7 Best Lower-Body Strengthening Exercises

12 Strength Moves from NFL WR Harry Douglas's Full-Body Workout

Improve Soccer Agility with Lateral Strength Exercises

Perfect Your Squat Technique With the Unloaded Squat

Dominate Your Bench Test With This Strategy

4 Deadlift Variations to Increase Your Pull

Develop Core Strength for Throwing

How Functional Training Has Overly Complicated Strength Training

3 Nordic Hamstring Curl Exercises to Boost Your Performance

Mike Boyle: 4 Small Muscles That Can Lead to Big Gains

Reach New Training Heights With Resistance Band Exercises

12-Week Resistance Band and Chain Workout

How NOT to Perform a Pull-Up (With Fixes)

These 3 Single-Leg Movements Will Improve Your Squat Technique

Build Max Power With These Pulling Exercises

Improve Your Squat Depth With 5 Easy Warm-Up Exercises

Kyle Lowry's 12-Week All-Star Training Program

4 Exercises to Build True Lacrosse Power

4 Weaknesses That Can Ruin Your Exercise Technique (With Fixes)

Never Bench Press With Your Feet in This Position

5 Exercises to Develop Soccer Power

How Often Should You Vary Your Exercise?

3 Post-Activation Potentiation Combos for Explosive Strength

7 Strategies for Faster Workout Recovery

How to Design a Greco-Roman Wrestling Training Program

4 Simple Golf Core Exercises to Increase Your Driving Distance

Increase Your Explosiveness with the Power Curl

The Science of Building Muscle: 2 Ways to Maximize Hypertrophy

Make Lifts More Challenging With Resistance Bands

Mike Boyle's 5 Tips for More Effective Workouts

Putting Together an Off-Season Workout for Point Guards

The Best Single-Leg Exercises for Youth Athletes