Featured Exercise: Banded Pull-Throughs
There’s a very special place in my heart for exercises that offer multiple benefits in a single package. The banded pull-through is one of them.
This is an exercise that has a lot of potential for improving not just how you look, but also how you move.
In its purest form, it is a loaded hip hinge which allows you to stress the hamstrings and glutes both eccentrically and concentrically to build muscle, strength and improve movement patterns.
One of the things I see lifters struggling with the most is the hip hinge. That’s unfortunate, since it is also one of the most beneficial movements that, when performed correctly, can translate into greater athleticism, strength, muscle gains, injury-prevention, to name a few.
Enter the pull-through.
Because of the direction of the pull, this exercise can be used to reinforce and correct improper hinge patterns, while also serving as a great stimulus for the posterior chain musculature.
This movement can also be done on a cable machine, but if you only have access to strength bands, that’ll do.
- Loop a band around a rig or power rack. Place one hand through the band, and hold the band in place by interlocking both hands, or holding hands with yourself.
- Take a few steps forward, enough to create tension on the band. At your starting position, you should feel that the band wants to pull you back.
- Brace your midsection. Initiate the movement by hinging at the hips: let your hips drift back as far as they’ll go, maintaining a neutral spine throughout. Once you’ve reached maximal hip flexion (the point at which your hips can no longer go back), drive your hips forward by pushing through your feet. Squeeze your glutes at the top, but stand tall and neutral (do not hyperextend through the lower back).
- Repeat for the desired number of reps, anywhere from 8 to 20 per set.