12 Effective Cable Rewind Alternatives (with Pictures) - Get Inspired (2023)

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29. November 2022

An exercise that targets the gluteus group and has proven very popular with people looking to improve the appearance and strength of their hamstrings. The kickback cable is an isolation movement that does its job very well as a glute group. Glute workout and hamstring exercise.

However, in certain situations it may be necessary to replace the cable kickback with an exercise that uses similar equipment or provides training stimuli in the above muscle groups in a manner similar to the cable kickback.

There are several alternative exercises to the cable pull, ranging from fairly intense, long-range compound movements like the Romanian deadlift to similar machine-assisted isolation exercises like the cable pull.

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Cable machine alternatives for cable winding

If a cable machine is available and the user simply wants to alternate the cable pullback with a similar exercise in their training routine, there are other cable machine-related exercises that can replicate the activation of the hamstring muscle group. Cable. rewind.

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It should be noted that the following exercises, despite their similarity in terms of equipment and muscles worked, may not directly replace the kick cable, either because they are compound exercises and as such activate multiple muscles, or because the angle of tension can be very different.

1. Cable routing

A compound cable exercise that not only targets the glutes, but also other muscle groups in the leg, such as the quadriceps femoris, soleus, and gastrocnemius in the calves and hamstrings, the Cable Step Up is an excellent alternative forcreate adequate training stimuli in the buttock muscles, very similar to the recoil of the cable itself.

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However, the cable step may require the presence of a fairly specialized form of cable machine, or at least a sufficiently stable platform near the cable machine to facilitate the exercise.

2. Cable front squats

Yet another compound cable exercise, the cable front squat, is performed with the exerciser facing the machine and squatting while grasping an attached handle with both hands against their chest, not justActivation of the hamstrings and gluteus headsSimilar to cable kickback, but also works the entire posterior chain and other muscles in the legs.

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This may or may not be beneficial to the user depending on their particular goals, although it is much more efficient than the cable itself in terms of intensity and time savings.

3. Reverse lunges on the cable

Slightly more difficult in form compared to the reverse lunge with free weights, the cable reverse lunge is an excellent alternative to the cable lunge, both in terms of a dynamic muscle building exercise and improving individual flexibility.

Cable reverse lunges primarily require a cable carabiner-attached, one-handed pulley attachment that is pulled toward the torso as the athlete moves backward on one leg, engaging their entire posterior chain as well as the quadriceps, various hip muscles, and specific muscle groups in to the poor.

Free weight alternatives to the cable kick

In cases where cable machines are used or unavailable to the user, you can use certain types of free weight machines that can produce similar or greater training stimulus intensities.

However, if the user needs to perform the cable kickback for physical rehabilitation purposes, it is best to consult a physical therapist beforehand as the cable kickback may have been prescribed because it does not activate the muscles. muscles, which free weight exercises regularly do.

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4. Stiff-legged or stiff-legged deadlifts

Straight-legged deadlift is a compound barbell exercise in which you hold the weights in an overhead grip with both hands and lower the weights through your hips and core. resulting in many considering the deadlift and its variants the "King of the Deadlift".

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Due to the relative intensity of activation of nearly every muscle group in the human body, stiff-legged deadlifts may be somewhat unsuitable for individuals who typically perform light to moderate intensity cable kickbacks or for patients with hernias or similar conditions.

5. Bulgarian squat

The Bulgarian squat, performed with any type of free weight exercise equipment such as plates, kettlebells, or even barbells, trains the hamstrings and glutes as secondary motor muscles because that's what they arethe quadriceps femoris is the focusWhile the training.

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However, the Bulgarian squat is one of many possible alternatives to the cable kickback due to the similarity in training intensity and activated muscle groups.

Of course, as always, the Bulgarian squat is not suitable for patients undergoing physical rehabilitation with certain types of injuries or disorders, and it is best to consult a physical therapist first before attempting it as an alternative exercise.

6. Glute bridges

Very similar to the ever-popular hip thrust, glute bridges are performed with theUsing an exercise machine with free weightsor all with himthe athlete's own body weight, making it suitable for both calisthenics and strength training with free weights.

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Glute bridges, true to their name, primarily activate all three glute heads plus the hamstrings, a near-perfect recreation of the kind of muscle activation patterns found in cable pullbacks, albeit at a slightly higher or lower level. Training stimuli depending on the amount and type of resistance used.

Glute Bridges can be used as a direct, one-to-one replacement for cable kickbacks in an exercise or athletic training program, provided the resistance chosen is less than or equal to the resistance originally intended for use with cable kickbacks.

Calisthenic or no-equipment alternatives to the kickback cable

For people who don't have access to a gym or exercise equipment, using cable calisthenics alternatives may be sufficient, although this may not be entirely sufficient in the long run depending on individual training goals. .

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Exercises like the bodyweight compound pistol squat or the easier-to-perform fire hydrant exercise can easily act as an alternative level of training to the cable pushback and still provide the maximum benefit to be found in it.

7. Unilateral Steps

Performed as a bodyweight exercise or using additional resistance equipment, the step-up requires the user to have a sufficiently stable elevated platform, which they use by literally walking up one leg at a time. to the movement of going up a flight of stairs.

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This has the intended effect of inducing muscle activation and training stimuli in the muscleGluteal muscle group and partially the hamstring and quadriceps muscle groupthat replicate the cable recoil activation pattern to some degree.

8. Fire hydrant exercise

Typically performed as a calisthenics-type isolation exercise, the fire hydrant exercise is a closed chain kinetic movement performed on a reasonably comfortable portion of the floor, with the practitioner resting on all fours before raising one leg to the left. once in a horizontal motion to fully engage all three heads of the glutes.

The fire hydrant exercise is one of the few calisthenics exercises that specifically isolates the gluteus group, and as such is also one of the most viable alternatives to the cable kickback for physical rehabilitation, athletic training, or muscle hypertrophy purposes.

9. Pistol squats

A more advanced form of the standard calisthenic squat exercise, the pistol squat shifts the trainee's entire body weight onto a single leg while pushing them to the top of their range of motion, with an emphasis on andTraining stimulus for almost all muscle groups of the lower leg.

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The pistol squat rivals the cable return in terms of intensity and muscle activation, but with the disadvantage that it's a unilateral exercise and a compound movement, which makes its particular chain of muscle activation and low-tempo loading quite different.

Various alternatives to cable recoil

The following exercises, while certainly a form of resistance training, are considered diverse because they do not use free weight machines, the use of a cable machine, or the athlete's own body weight as a source of resistance.

However, this does not mean that they are any more or less suitable than the above types of exercises, and whether or not the user should choose the following cable kickback alternatives depends on equipment availability and their goals. .

10. Side squats with resistance bands

Using a type of exercise machine known as a resistance band, the resistance band side squat is performed by the athlete wrapping the elastic band around the lower legs before taking a single step to the side and then squatting down, activating all of the leg muscles, and the core and spinal stabilization muscles.

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This creates a very intense workout stimulus and is very comparable to workout routines that involve the cable pull at moderate to high intensity, not only focusing on the same muscle groups but also some that aren't typically included in most exercises such as: B. the hip kidnapper.

11. Bribes from resistance bands

A direct replacement for the cable setback, the only difference being that thewith a resistance bandInstead of a cable pull or cable machine, the resistance band's recoil activates the exact same muscle groups in a similar pattern and in a similar manner as its counterpart on the cable machine, which also allows for variable resistance value when choosing a resistance band, stiffer or harder elastic.

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Resistance band kickbacks can be used in a direct one-to-one substitution ratio in terms of volume in an exercise program or physical rehabilitation routine.

12. Yoga Ball Glute Bridges

A variation of the glute bridge mentioned earlier in this article, the yoga ball glute bridge is just a regular glute bridge with the added resistance and stabilizing training stimuli of a yoga ball built into its benefits.

The glute bridge with yoga balls is performed like the regular glute bridge while the athlete lies with the upper back on the floor while the feet rest heels first on the elevated surface; in this case, a yoga ball of adequate size and strength. enough stuff

The athlete then "bridges" the hips and legs by lifting the chest, tightening the glutes, and straightening the knees to maximize posterior chain and core muscle activation.

This creates a muscle activation pattern very similar to cable recoil, allowing the yoga ball's glute bridge to act as a potential alternative to the cable exercise if one is not available.


1. Net WK, Soares EG, Vieira TL, Aguiar R, Chola TA, Sampaio VL, Gama EF. Activation of the gluteus maximus during joint resistance and hypertrophy exercises: a systematic review. J Sports Sci Med February 24, 2020; 19(1):195-203. PMID: 32132843; PMC ID: PMC7039033.

2. Boren K, Conrey C, Le Coguic J, Paprocki L, Voight M, Robinson TK. Electromyographic analysis of the gluteus medius and gluteus maximus during rehabilitation exercises. Int J Sport Phys Ther. 2011 Sep;6(3):206-23. PMID: 22034614; PMC ID: PMC3201064.

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