Whether you are a beginner or intermediate or even advance lifter, cable machine exercises will always benefit you. Cable exercises not only allows you to extend your range of motion, but also puts constant tension on the muscle. While dumbbells and barbells has limit in terms of weight you can lift and the range of motion you can go through, cable machine exercises will let you adjust your range of motion. You will have constant tension on your muscles throughout the motion. Here are some cable exercises for your body that you can perform.
Cable Fitness Equipment
The equipment you will need are easily available in most of the gym. You need not worry for the equipment being fancy or hard to get. You will just need equipment like
- Pulley machine
- Different attachment for the cable
These two are the only thing you will require. With pulley machine, you can adjust the height of the cable. And with the attachments, you can workout different regions of your muscles targeting differently.
You will easily find some of the attachments as in the picture above in your local gym. These all can be used for different exercises. Straight bar, V-bar, D-bar, Rope, single handle etc.
Exercises with Cable
Given below are few of the most effective exercises that you can perform with cable. They not only mimic the action of Barbell and Dumbbells, but also provide constant tension and extended range of motion.
Cable Cross Over
Cable cross overs are the well known exercise variation for the chest fly and pressing movement. You can keep your chest muscle fibers engaged throughout the exercise maintaining constant tension. By maintaining different angle of the pulley, you can emphasize different regions of chest.
- Place the pulley in appropriate position(say high).
- Position yourself on the crossover machine.
- Attach the single handle on the both end.
- Exhale while you bring the hands together in front performing the fly movement.
- Inhale while you bring your hands back.
- Perform slow controlled reps.
Cable Upright Row
Upright row has very bad reputation for being bad on your wrist. But, it is a very effective exercise to target the lateral head of your shoulder, your traps, also your rear delt to higher extend. With the cable you can perform this exercise safely without risking your wrist.
- Attach a EZ bar or straight bar to the cable.
- Leaning slightly backward, place your hand shoulder width apart.
- Now while inhaling, bring the bar up to your chest level with elbow leading the path.
- Now exhale and lower the bar.
You can also perform this exercise with rope attachment, giving you more flexibility in the wrist.
Cable Lateral Raise
Lateral raise is the very important exercise in building that round looking shoulder. All those boulder shoulder is achieved with variations of lateral raises. While dumbbell lateral raises doesn’t provide constant tension specially on the lower end, cable is the perfect variation. With cable machine lateral exercise, you can stress your lateral head of shoulder in tension throughout the movement.
- Attach a single handle to the cable machine.
- Hold on to the machine with one hand slightly leaning away from the machine.
- Inhale and raise the handle till your shoulder level leading with elbow.
- Exhale and lower the handle to the starting position.
- Unlike dumbbell, you cannot lift lot of weight because your muscle is in constant tension.
Cable Front Raise
Front raise is a controversial exercise involving in the discussion whether or not to train front delt. As per my recommendation, it is continuously used muscle meaning it requires more work, so you better work it more. With cable, you can perform either each side separately or together.
- For single side, grab a single handle.
- Stand about a feet away from the machine.
- Raise the handle with a slight bent at the elbow, across your body.
- Perform slow controlled reps.
You can perform this both hands together with straight bar attachment. You can even use rope attachment to increase the range of motion.
Also See: Shoulder Workout Routine
It might be surprising at first about how you can perform squat with cable. But it is a great movement for you glutes and hamstring. It is somewhat safe version of squat to perform if you are having any injury or coming out of an injury.
- Grab a rope attachment with both hands.
- Stand farther from the low pulley to have tension on the cable.
- With a deep inhale, lower yourself in the squat position driving your hips backward.
- Squeeze your hips and hamstring on the way up with an exhale.
- Remember to keep your back straight throughout the movement.
With this version of squat, you will have constant burning sensation in your glutes and hamstring.
While you cannot lift a ton of weight on the barbell, cable machine biceps exercise helps you focus on your lift. You can have constant stress in your biceps and yet lift weights as your level.
- You can perform all the versions of biceps exercises with cable.
- Grab whichever attachment you like to work. Rope will allow you to perform the hammer movement.
- Position yourself on the machine.
- With controlled inhale and exhale, curl your way up and down.
Similar to the biceps, triceps movements too can be performed with the cable. From pushdown to kickback to extension, all movements are possible.
- Grab the attachment for your version of exercise. Rope gives more range of movement and flexibility.
- Inhale on the positive portion of the workout and exhale on the negative portion.
- Perform slow controlled reps.
- Try other attachments too for your preference.
Cable Core Rotation
You can work your core specially your obliques with cable machine exercises. You can perform movements like woodchopper, core twist and few others. To perform the core rotation follow the following steps.
- Attach a single handle to the end.
- Stand away from the pulley kept at chest level on your either side.
- Bring your arms straight front with the cable pulling towards the side.
- Now resisting the motion of the cable, twist your torso on opposite side keeping your head and feet straight.
- You will feel the twisting movement of your obliques.
- Perform for both sides.
Take Away for Cable Machine Exercises
These are just few of the cable variations. There are lot more to cover. You can perform a single exercise with multiple variations to break through any plateau you are having. This as well provides variety in your workout and helps shock the muscle for growth. Give these exercises a chance in your routine to witness the change.