Updated: Feb 25, 2021
Trainers get asked all the time about their top exercises for getting results. The truth is that there really is no straight answer to this question- great results come from a combination of sound program design, supportive nutrition, proper rest and recovery, and great exercise technique.
But there is one exercise out there we feel is hands-down the best for warming-up and getting the body primed for a great workout: the Cable Squat to Row.
Here's how to do it:
Stand with feet hip-to-shoulder width apart in front of an adjustable pulley machine set to the lowest setting. Use a rope or double handle attachment for this one.
Start form a squat position with arms extended and stand up, driving the hips forward and simultaneously pulling the rope towards your belly button. Keep your belly button drawn-in throughout the entire exercise.
At the top of the movement, squeeze your shoulder blades and your glutes together. Don't let your shoulders hunch up.
Slowly lower back into a squat while extending your arms to the start position, and repeat.
Perform 2 sets of 15 repetitions in a slow and controlled tempo before your regular strength training routine.
So why is this exercise so great?
For starters, it focuses on many neglected muscles located on the back or posterior chain of the body. It also improves the important integration of two of your largest muscles: the latissimus dorsi and the gluteus maximus. These muscles, along with other structures in the lower back, make up a muscular subsystem called the posterior oblique subsystem.
This system plays an important role in human movement. It stabilizes the lower back and provides a strong foundation to generate force and power. The fibers of this muscle system run diagonal across the low back, forming an “x” that braces the structures of the lower back, pelvis, and core.
Once this system is activated and warmed-up, you’ll move better, lift more weight, and maybe even eliminate aches and pains.