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Flex Wheeler’s Back Widow is one of the most versatile cable machine attachments ever created. It’s great as a “back blaster” for lat pulldowns and rows, but works just as well for curls and tricep work. If that wasn’t enough, it also doubles as a deadlift jack and also works as a landmine.
Honestly, unless you’re conscious of all it does, you’ll forget just how often you can use it. It is expensive for a cable attachment and we do recommend it, but only to those who will use its various capabilities and don’t want a ton of different attachments to take up space in their home gym. Our Flex Wheeler’s Back Widow attachment review will go over some of the features of this versatile piece of home gym equipment, as well as give you an in-depth look at what it’s like to use it.
Flex Wheeler's Back Widow
The patent-pending Back Widow, by Flex Wheeler, is the gym version of a Swiss Army Knife, potentially replacing more than a dozen separate handle attachments and accessories with a single, all-in-one alternative. Users can quickly adjust the Back Widow into more than 15 different grip positions without having to remove the attachment, making it uniquely equipped for high traffic gyms or more time-efficient individual workouts.As the name suggests, the Back Widow is designed, first and foremost, as a back blaster, with easy set-ups for high/mid/low range cable pulls and T-bar rows. The same device works equally well as a cable attachment for biceps and triceps work; as a pull-up bar attachment for neutral grip pull-ups; or as a dumbbell attachment for dumbbell rows. Many users even adopt the Back Widow as their primary bar-jack: the moving parts are all at a 16,000 LB sheer test, so no weight load threatens the Widow's overall structural integrity.One adjustable and collapsible Back Widow can do the job of a dozen clunky cable handles, saving your gym on both costs and storage space. Weighing just under 10 LBS and offering more than 15 grip positions, this unique back blasting attachment can be used for high lat pulls, seated rows, T-bar rows, neutral grip pull-ups, bicep and tricep cable work, and much more. The moving parts of the Back Widow are all at a 16,000 LB sheer test, so stability and durability are never a concern, regardless of the weight load.Versatility goes a lot further when it comes with convenience and efficiency. The Back Widow’s adjustments can be made without having to remove the attachment; a major innovation that allows multiple athletes to quickly customize their workout without throwing a training partner off their game. In a smaller home gym, it also allows individual athletes to add more variety to a training regimen without wasting time looking for a different attachment or having to take down and set-up a new handle.Specifications:Multi-Use Attachment for Back Workouts 15+ Adjustable Positions Length: 5.5" (Lower Handles) / 4.25" (Upper Handles) Diameter: 1.25" (Handles) Weight: 9.25 LBS Carabiner Slot for Attachments: 9/16” wide x 1” tall Color: Black
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I like to try out everything from pricey home gym equipment to the best budget home gym equipment so I can recommend something for everybody. But no matter how much something costs, my main goal is to make sure everything I recommend provides great value. That means if it is expensive, it should be worth the money and not just a little bit better than something you could purchase for a lot less.
A Quick Look at the Flex Wheeler’s Back Widow Attachment
Introducing the Swiss Army knife of the workout world: the Back Widow by Flex Wheeler. If you aren’t familiar with the name Flex Wheeler, let me catch you up to speed. Kenneth “Flex” Wheeler is a retired American IFBB professional bodybuilder. He won the Arnold Classic bodybuilding competition four times, and was once described by Arnold Schwarzenegger as one of the greatest bodybuilders he had ever seen.
All that to say, Flex knows what he’s doing. No wonder the Back Widow is the cable attachment to end all cable attachments. This thing could potentially replace more than a dozen separate handle attachments and accessories with a single blow.
As the Back Widow’s witty name suggests, it was initially designed as a lat pulldown back attachment, with over 15 different position variations. This thing is sure to give you a back pump you’ll feel for a couple of days.
- You should closely examine everything this piece of equipment has to offer to get your money’s worth out of it.
- Although it was made for a cable machine, it can also be used with dumbbells, barbells, and your bodyweight.
- Collapsible, so it’s great for small spaces or anyone who travels a lot
- Made of aircraft aluminum, meaning it’s practically indestructible and corrosion-proof
- Feels as solid during use as a traditional lat pulldown bar
- Has 15 different adjustment position to help you get the perfect range of motion
- This is an expensive piece of equipment, though I think it’s worth it for most home gym owners
- The handles don’t really allow for wide-grip lat pulldowns, but this is what allows it to be so compact
Is the Flex Wheeler’s Back Widow Attachment Worth It?
You don’t earn the title of the Swiss Army knife of cable attachments by only being good at one thing. The Back Widow is incredibly versatile, working equally well for biceps and triceps work; as a pull-up bar attachment for neutral grip pull-ups, or even as a landmine attachment for T-bar row…heck, you can even use it as a deadlift jack.
This handy-dandy little multi-workout tool is nice to have on hand if you hate breaking up your superset fumbling around for different cable handles. The Back Widow is a one-stop-shop, designed to give the user the ideal range of motion. Versatility goes a long way, but when it comes coupled with convenience and efficiency it’s a game-changer.
However, with all of this said, is it worth spending the extra money for an all-in-one back attachment versus buying them individually? No doubt about it, the Back Widow is one of the most expensive pulldown attachments on the market.
Here’s who we think might find it worth it, and who should probably pick something else.
- Lifters who want to superset without changing attachments
- Anyone who wants to replace countless attachments with one piece of equipment
- Anyone who needs a compact piece of home gym equipment
Not recommended for:
- Trainees who don’t do a ton of cable work
- People with larger hands or those who prefer a wide grip
Flex Wheeler’s Back Widow Attachment Specs
|Footprint||5.5″ W (lower handles) / 4.25″ W (upper handles)|
|Made in the USA?||No|
Great in Home Gyms and High-Traffic Gyms
The Back Widow’s adjustments can be made without having to remove the attachment, which is a big deal, especially when you are working out in an area with multiple athletes and sharing equipment. The ability to quickly customize your workout without throwing others off their game is huge, and it makes the Back Widow uniquely equipped for high-traffic gyms.
Maybe, like most of our readers, you prefer your home gym or a smaller gym with less traffic. The Back Widow allows individual athletes to add variety to their training regimen without wasting time searching for different attachments, or having to take down and set-up a new handle.
The Back Widow isn’t just adjustable, it’s also collapsible, which makes it perfect for smaller gyms by eliminating the need for dozens of clunky cable handles that can be difficult to store. Flex’s Back Widow is all about versatility, and it fills those shoes well. The Back Widow is designed for someone who wants a ton of variety in one easy-to-use, compact package. Some people prefer having 20 different attachments, others want something that does it all. This is the device that does it all.
What We Like About Flex Wheeler’s Back Widow Attachment
When I first saw the pictures of the Back Widow, then saw the price, I was a bit skeptical. In pretty much every picture and video I saw that was posted, it looked like it was made of plastic. In fact, I decided to run through some photos again as well as checked every product description on every retailer where the Widow is sold and guess what, there’s still no mention of it being made of metal.
So, as of this writing, this is the only place where you will find what material it’s made of: metal. Solid, machined steel capable of handling whatever you want to throw at it. (Specifically, it’s made of the same type of aluminum as aircrafts).
As soon as you unbox it, you realize why it’s priced around $300. It’s a unique idea that is made of expensive materials. In fact, the weight was one of the most surprising things to me. At 9.25 pounds it’s likely not just one of the most expensive “back blaster” attachments (their terminology), but also one of the heaviest. As previously stated, Flex Wheeler designed the Back Widow with a full metal construction and then tacked on moving parts that lead to resistance up to 16,000 pounds shearing, so no weight, no matter if you row a 300-pound stack or use the deadlift jack on a 900-pound loaded barbell, will cause the Back Widow to break.
One feature that stood out to us that wasn’t obvious from the pictures is there are multiple styles of knurling on the handles. Knurling is most often used on barbells for added friction to increase your gripping power, but it’s also well suited for pulling movements. The knurling on the round tubes is passive, but enough to increase your grip on heavy lat pulldowns or even cable curls. I especially liked the feeling of the knurl on the outside rounded-square grips. It was something that I didn’t notice in earlier designs and I’m glad they added it, even if I would prefer it to be more aggressive.
Really, where the Back Widow shines is in its versatility. To be honest, it has more features than I think most people realize. Here are just some basic movements we did with it:
- Lat pulldowns
- Seated low rows
- Cable curls
- Tricep extensions
- Landmine T-bar rows
- Dumbbell rows (the center of the handle has a crook to hold a dumbbell. So smart.)
- Deadlift jack
And these are just a few of the movements. It only takes a couple quick “clicks” to adjust the Widow into any one of its 15-plus positions. Between the ability to change grip length without ever having to remove the bar, and the easy set-up for high/mid/low range cable pulls, the Widow makes for a more time-efficient workout and is great for supersets.
It’s also ideal for home gyms that don’t have a ton of extra space for equipment. Instead of having a full set of handles at various lengths, landmine handles, and a deadlift jack, you could opt for just one Back Widow.
Is the Widow expensive for a handle? Yes, the price point is high, but if you compare the cost to how much money you would spend on the pile of handles the Widow replaces…not only is it a similar price range, or less depending on which handles you’re looking at, but it’s also going to save you a ton of space.
Suggested Improvements For The Back Widow
I like the Back Widow and use it on pretty much every back day. However, there are definitely a few things about the Widow that we would have liked to see done differently.
Let me start by saying what everyone is thinking, “For one handle, this thing is very expensive!”
And you’re right.
At $299, as of this writing, that’s a hefty price to pay for a handle and it’s at the top of our suggested improvements list. We’d like to see the handle come in at a lower cost. However, I know how these things work. The Back Widow isn’t as expensive as it is just because they’re trying to hit margins, it’s also expensive because of the previously stated build quality, level of materials, amount of handles being sold, and the versatility available with the handle.
I think to appease the crowd, one possible option is to create the product out of injection-molded plastic such as HDPE (High Density Polyethylene). This wouldn’t have quite the strength or feel of the metal, obviously, but it may be able to bring the price down for those who want the handle, but can’t drop the cash for it. The current Back Widow could become the Back Widow PRO, and the new plastic version could be the classic or economy version. We see this often. For me though, I like the metal version.
The other improvement we’d like to see is increasing the distance between the outermost handles and the connector piece that fits your hand between. For as much attention to detail that the Widow shows off, this was a missed opportunity for another hand placement, unless you just have small hands.
Lastly, it would be nice if the handle was a bit longer to allow for a wider grip on lat pulldowns. This may limit some of the other functionality if done, so it may not be worth it.
Regardless, if you do a lot of back work and want a versatile handle, the Back Widow is about as good as they get.
Flex Wheeler’s Back Widow Vs. Competitors Attachments
Prime RO-T8 Handles
The handles that changed the game. The unique swivel design of these handles yields a drastic increase in output potential. The ergonomically enhanced grip of the RO-T8 handles reduce grip fatigue, allowing for optimal exercise efficiency-perfect for use with our Functional Trainer.• Available in PRIME Green and Black.
So how does the Back Widow compare to the MAG (Maximum Advantage Grip) Handles or Prime RO-T8 Handles?
If you wanted an individual MAG or Prime handle to replace every position the Widow offers, you would definitely save some cash by buying the Widow. If you are looking at Prime RO-T8 Handles, they would be a little more comparable in price depending on the options you choose but you’d still be spending quite a bit more.
One of the big advantages to the Widow is its compact design. It saves a lot of space and, let’s be honest, nobody likes a cluttered gym. Back to the MAG and Prime scenario, if you wanted an individual handle to replace every position the Widow offers, you’re talking about a pile of handles, which means you have to store them all.
MAG does offer a certain “feel” to their handles (MAG users know.) So, if you’re looking for that MAG “feel” during your cable workout, the Back Widow will feel very different. It’s not bad by any means, it just feels different than a MAG.
If you are looking for more of a traditional bar handle feel, you’ll probably prefer the Back Widow rather than the Prime RO-T8 Handles. These handles are some of the most popular today that are outside the norm and they all have merit because they’re all different. Regardless, the Back Widow feels the most similar to a traditional lat pulldown bar.
Flex Wheeler's Back Widow is one of the most versatile cable machine attachments ever created. It's great as a "back blaster" for lat pulldowns and rows, but works just as well for curls and tricep work. In addition to that, it doubles as a deadlift jack and also works as a landmine. Honestly, unless you're conscious of all it does, you'll forget just how often you can use it. It is expensive and we do recommend it, but only to those that will use it's various capabilities and don't want to take up space with a ton of different attachments.
Product Brand: Rogue Fitness
Product Currency: $
Product Price: 299
Product In-Stock: InStock
Flex Wheeler’s Back Widow Attachment FAQs
What is Flex Wheeler’s Back Widow?
The Back Widow from Flex Wheeler is one of the most versatile cable machine attachments ever made. It’s wonderful for lat pulldowns and rows as a “back buster,” but it’s also great for curls and tricep exercises. If that wasn’t enough, it also functions as a landmine and a deadlift jack.
What do back widows work?
You may target traps, rhomboids, and posterior deltoids with the Back Widow exercise. The Sliding Lat Pulldown targets your middle back, particularly your lats.
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