How to Do the Kneeling Cable Pullover

Work the triceps and the abdominals with this exercise.

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The kneeling cable pullover is primarily an exercise for the triceps muscles at the back of the upper arm. The action of pulling the cable over the head from behind exercises the triceps.

However, the kneeling position also forces you to contract the abdominal muscles, adding to the utility of the exercise. Here's how to do it.

  • Adjust a cable with handgrip so that it can be grasped from behind the head while kneeling. It will need to be higher than the line of your head. Face away from the cable attachment. (See figure.)
  • Brace the abdominals and inhale in preparation for the exercise. Breathe out on exertion.
  • Pull the cable over your head until the arms are extended straight, then allow the cable to return.
  • You can do this exercise with both arms, each single arm, or each arm alternating.
  • Do three sets of ten exercise repetitions.

This is a good combination exercise with arm and core work included. Use it for variety in exercise selection.

Half-Kneeling Cable Pullover Variant

A variation of the kneeling cable pullover is the half-kneeling cable pullover. As the name implies, your position is slightly modified, with one knee resting on a foam roller or other padding (for an advanced challenge, you can place your knee on a BOSU ball). Keep your torso upright and abdominals braced, and avoid rocking or leaning as you extend your arms.

The half-kneeling cable pullover adds focus on your lats, in addition to triceps, chest and abdominal muscles.


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