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How to Do a Rope Pullover

I'm a Trainer, and This Simple Move Is Great For Strengthening Your Upper Body and Abs

A few months ago, I had this great idea to train like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson for a few weeks. I had come across his workout programs online and was feeling slightly lazy and didn't want to design my own, so I worked out like The Rock.

The Rock trains like a bodybuilder — if you couldn't tell by the size of his arms — and his workouts are legit and insanely hard. His rep and set scheme is designed to leave every muscle in your body quivering while you're training and then have them feeling extremely sore for the days to come.

Out of all the workouts I did, his back and legs workouts were my favourite. One move that I really liked from his back workout, and have begun to incorporate into my programs, is the cable rope pullover. The first time I did it, I was shocked at how well it worked my back (specifically my lats) and abs, leaving me sore for days. And because of that, I'm now sharing the move with all of you.

How to Do a Cable Pullover

  • Attach a triceps rope handle to the pulley on the carriage of a cable station. Adjust the carriage so that it's near the top third of the machine. The exact position will vary based on your height.
  • Next, select the amount of resistance you want: 10 to 15 pounds is a great starting point. As you begin to become more comfortable with the movement, feel free to increase the weight.
  • Facing the pulley, grab the rope and step approximately one foot away from the machine. Stand with a slight bend at your hips, your knees, and elbow joints.
  • On an exhale, drive your elbows back, pulling the rope down to your thighs. Be sure to keep your shoulders relaxed and your back flat. This completes one rep.
  • Complete three sets of 12 reps.
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Tamara Pridgett
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