Pull Throughs – a Safe Alternative to Deadlifts

If the thought of performing Deadlifts is enough to give you a twinge in your back, consider the Pull Through.

Pull throughs - a safe alternative to deadliftsRevered as one of the “Big 3,” the Deadlift can cause serious back problems if not performed correctly, if your form is not perfect or if your body alignment is out of whack. When you’re dealing with weight plus gravity and balance, a lot of things can go wrong.

The Pull Through is a great exercise for people with rounded shoulders or weak backs, and beginners who are trying to work up to a deadlift. It works the hamstrings and lower back, in essence, the entire posterior kinetic chain of the body. It is extremely important to strengthen this large group of muscles – especially if you’re a bodybuilder – as they provide support for many of our movements and other exercises. Performing Pull Throughs (or Deadlifts) will strengthen this area and will help to prevent injuries.

You can perform Pull Throughs with either a cable machine or resistance bands. As you progress and are ready to advance to the next step, alter your grip on the bands, by grabbing farther down and increasing your distance from the anchor point.

Once the band is secured around a solid object, straddle the bands with your back to the anchor and your feet hip-width apart. With a straight back and relaxed shoulders, squat down to grab the bands, one in each hand, pulling through the legs, engaging your glutes and using your hips to shift your weight forward and up, bringing your hands forward to finish in a standing position. Avoid using your lower back and shoulders to pull up the bands. Perform 3 sets of 10-12 reps.


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