Cable rear drive exercise
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Cable rear drive

Exercise details

  • Target muscles: Triceps Brachii, Posterior Deltoid
  • Synergists: Lateral Deltoid, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor, Rhomboids, Middle and Lower Trapezius
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Force: Pull and push

Starting position

  1. Attach a single-ended rope to a shoulder-height cable pulley. If you don’t have a single-ended rope, you can just use the end of the cable.
  2. Grasp the rope and stand perpendicular to the pulley, with your loaded arm away from the pulley.
  3. Step away from the pulley until the cable is pulled taut and your arm is stretched across your chest.


  • Exhale as you pull your elbow out to the side until it points away from the pulley and then extend your elbow. You can do this in one motion or two.
  • Hold for a count of two.
  • Inhale as you reverse the motion and return the rope to the starting position.
  • Repeat for more repetitions.
  • Repeat the exercise with your opposite arm.

Comments and tips

  • Keep your body still. Only your arm should move.
  • Keep your upper arm horizontal. If your elbow drops, your latissimus dorsi will get involved.
  • Adjust the way you stand to ensure resistance throughout the full range of motion.
  • The cable rear drive is a rare exercise that combines a pulling movement (when you pull your elbow out to the side, more properly known as horizontally shoulder extension) and a pushing movement (when you extend your elbow). It’s a kind of rear delt row to horizontal triceps extension.
  • When you go heavy with the cable rear drive, numerous muscles in your legs and core are significantly activated to stabilize your body.
  • See also the cable face pull, the barbell rear delt row, the incline cable triceps extension, and the bent-over barbell reverse raise.

Cable rear drive video

None! The cable rear drive is rare. I couldn’t find any demo videos, unfortunately. If you know of one, if you find one under a different name, or if you create one, please contact me. I’ll post it here.

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