10 pulley exercises to build muscle mass

Are you tired of repeating the same exercises in your training sessions? Are you looking for new motivations and exercises that allow you to experience new sensations?

Working in the gym with pulleys is highly recommended for all types of users, whatever their level, since it allows a wide range of exercises with very varied weights to be performed. They are a great work alternative also for when the dumbbells you want to use are held by another user, or you simply want to change the angle of movement of the usual exercises and stimulate the muscles with another type of movement.

Find out which are the 10 best exercises you can do with this system.

Los mejores ejercicios en polea que puedes hacer

10 pulley exercises to build muscle

1. Front squat

It is an exercise to give strength and tone the muscles of the quadriceps, hamstrings and buttocks, mainly.

  • Get in front of a squat pulley, in a squat position.
  • Use a short bar that rests below your biceps.
  • Pull the pulley so that the weight is lifted.
  • Hold the weight the entire way and perform a full squat.

2. Pulley lunges

Perform this exercise to give the back of your leg specific work.

  • Start in front of the pulley machine and with enough space to allow you to take two steps to get closer.
  • Lift the weight and don’t let the plates drop.
  • Take a wide step forward to finish off a knee bend.
  • Repeat the movement with the opposite leg.

3. Lateral lunge with cable

With this exercise we will mainly work the quadriceps muscles.

  • Stand with your legs straight at the width of your hips. Grab the handle and stand on the side of the plates.
  • Take a side step, flexing the supporting leg that is closest to the weight. The other leg should be straight.
  • Go back to the starting position.

4. Bench climb with pulley

Boost your quadriceps muscles with this exercise. To execute it you need the help of a step or a step.

  • Place the step in front of the pulley machine and catch the cable overhead, resting your hands on your shoulders.
  • Pull the plates so that the pulley rises and the weight is on our back.
  • Go up and down the bank. Do it alternately with one leg and the other.

5. Static lunge with one-sided pulley chest press

With this exercise you will add isometric strength work in the lower body and a concentric work of the pectoral, in addition to working the core, being responsible for the support and stabilization of the spine in a correct position. To run it:

  • Stand with your back to the pulley machine.
  • Bring one leg forward and semi-flex for support.
  • Grab a handle with one of your arms and raise your elbow to shoulder level.
  • In the right angle elbow position, extend your arm to full extension.
  • Return to the ninety degree position.

6. Unilateral military cable press

Work your shoulder muscles differently with this exercise.

  • Stand with your back to the machine. Grab a way with one arm and place your elbow at a ninety degree angle.
  • From that point, make a complete movement towards the vertical, staying with the arm above the head.

7. Pulley row

If you want to perform a more concentrated work on the back and commit the rest of the muscles to a work of stability and isometric strength, you must perform this exercise.

  • In a semi-bent leg and straight back position, take the pulley at a medium height, so that it is at the level of the sternum.
  • Pull the pulley with one hand to bring it to your chest.
  • Control the movement and return to the starting position.

8. Kneeling Unilateral Upright Row

This is a fantastic exercise to boost your back muscles .

  • Set the high pulley and kneel close to it.
  • With one leg forward and the other back, stand upright, avoiding spinal flexion.
  • Grab the pulley with one of your arms and pull it to bring it to your chest, performing the movement with the work only of the dorsal.

9. Press Pallof

This exercise is great for working the core at all angles. It is a fantastic work option since it prevents you from making the typical shrinkages that cause excessive wear of the intervertebral discs, so in addition to strengthening the abdomen, it takes care of the health of your spine.

  • Grab the pulley and stand away from the weight plates until they are lifted from the tension. Legs should be shoulder-width apart and slightly bent.
  • Grab the handle with both hands at chest level.
  • Extend your arms until they are fully stretched while holding your breath.
  • Hold your arms out for a few seconds and slowly return to your chest.

10. Side plank with pulley row

If you want a demanding exercise that allows you to gain strength practically completely in all regions of the body, use the side plank with this variant that we propose.

  • Lying on the side facing the pulley machine. Hold the pulley with your free hand and use no support.
  • Raise your hips and tighten your abdomen. In that position, he performs controlled pulley pulls.


If you get bored of repeating the same exercises over and over again in the gym and want to add new stimuli to experience different sensations, try including some of the exercises that we propose in your workouts.


  • Arsenault, K. 12 Cable-Machine Moves That Build Muscle and Torch Calories. For Livestrong. ⌈Revised January 2017⌋.