Looking for a different way to pack on some muscles, burn calories, gain strength and boost your training sessions? You can enhance the effectiveness of your workouts with only one machine and amazing exercises you can perform using it.
The cable machine is a common piece of equipment, but the resistance you get from exercising using it, can help you build your core strength, burn calories and generate powerful results. The cable can also help you produce explosive movements, and add intensity without a high amount of stress on your joints
Try these 7 exercises and watch how you’ll become stronger, leaner and more athletic. You can make these exercises your training session, or just add some of them to your current one.
- CABLE SHRUG
The cable shrug is a great alternative to barbell shrugs, because you can vary the angle of pull. You can take a step or two back to shift the emphasis to your middle and lower traps or you stand directly over the pulley for a near-vertical pull.
How to: Grab a cable bar attachment that is fastened to a low pulley and grab it with a shoulder-width grip and your palms down. Keep your arms at full extension and elevate your shoulders so that you lift the bar as high as possible. Pause at the top for a count and slowly lower back to the start.
- CABLE CRUNCH
With the cable crunch, you to adjust the load so you can train with any number of rep ranges, depending on what your goal is. You can perform the cable crunch standing or kneeling, so you can focus on the upper-ab region.
How to: Kneel below the high pulley and hold the cable rope attachment with both hands. Place your wrists against your head and keep your hips back and flex them, allowing resistance on the cable pulley to lift your torso upward so that your spine will be hyperextended. Now flex your waist so the elbows travel toward the middle of your thighs, keeping your hips unmoved. Hold for a count, return and repeat.
- CABLE DEADLIFT
The cable version of the deadlift helps you perform this fundamental move safely and without any worries. You can also vary the movement and put more emphasis on your muscles by adjusting your distance from the machine.
How to: Stand on an elevated platform between two very low pulleys. Grab them with a shoulder width stance and keep your arms straight down to sides. Bow forward by bending your hips and knees slightly during descent, keeping your waist straight and flexing low back at the bottom. With knees slightly bent, raise your torso by extending at waist, then hips, gradually extending knees until standing upright.
- CABLE STANDING FLY
This is a great single-joint chest exercise, where it’s easy to change your angles of resistance.
How to: Grasp two opposing high pulleys, one for each side. Flex your hips and knees and bend over slightly. Bend elbows also and internally rotate shoulders so your elbows are back initially. Bring cable attachments together in hugging motion keeping your elbows in a fixed position. Keep your shoulders internally rotated so your elbows are pointed upward at top and out to the sides at the bottom. Set the pulleys at the top and do cross-overs for the lower pecs, set them at the bottom and work your upper region.
- SINGLE LEG SQUAT PULL
This is a one-legged squat followed by a lat pull that allows you to engage up to 20% more muscle and the use of multiple joints in your upper and lower body. The exercise is a great caloric burner.
How to: Position the levers at chest height, shoulder-width apart. Hold a handle in each hand in front of you with your arms extended and palms facing the floor. Lift your left foot off the floor in front of you and squat down on your right. Squat back into the start position, while simultaneously pulling the handles straight down to your sides, just below your pecs.
- PLANK WITH CABLE ROW
Spice up your plank and add a cable row that can help you engage more muscles and build strong, broad, healthy shoulders.
How to: Start in a plank position, facing a cable handle set to the lowest height. Hold your core tight, glutes squeezed and your lower back flat. Reach forward with one arm and grab the handle, rowing it to your rib cage while keeping your body rigid.
- CABLE STANDING HIP EXTENSION
The muscles of hip extension, which include the gluteus maximus and the hamstring muscles, are involved in standing, walking, running, jumping, swimming and many other activities. The cable standing hip extension will help you maintain strength in the muscles surrounding the hip joint.
How to: Attach the ankle cuff to low pulley. With cuff on one ankle, grasp ballet bar with both hands and step back with your other foot, keeping your elbows straight. The attached leg has to be kept straight and the foot slightly off floor. Pull the cable attachment back by extending your hip and return leg to original position.
Here are 3 reasons why you should give the cable machine a try:
- It’s safe – 90% of gym injuries come from dumbbells and barbells. Cables are more fluid and smooth than the free weights. You’re less likely to get hurt using a series of pulleys, as you don’t directly push or pull against the force of gravity – this also puts less stress on your joints for safer sets and reps.
- You can work it however you want – want to build muscles, torch fat, recover from an injury and so on, you can work the cable machine from every angle. Besides, unlike free weights, you can pull on the cables from the side, from below, from above, from the front, and from the back. The flexibility the machine offers can improved muscle development a lot.
- It’s fast – if you are super busy you can see the benefits of everything you need in one place. You can work any muscle groups using the cable machine and it’s one of the best ways to get an effective workout.
By adding new elements, exercises and diversity to your workout sessions, you get to train your muscles differently and shock them into building more muscle. These standing, bending, twisting, kneeling exercises in every plane of motion can target your muscle groups in a very effective way.
Give the cable machine a try today!