Cable Machine: Train Your Whole Body
Are you looking for a new way to challenge your body? Many times we are strapped for time and need to just focus on getting our workouts done, with little time to try out new moves and new equipment. But what if I told you there is a way to build bigger muscles and get a more athletic build? I bet you are interested now!
People tend to use the cable machine for single muscle movements and only perform one or two drills as well. But the cable machine is one of the most effective ways to work out your whole body and build muscle. This is a great way to diversify your workout by challenging your body in new ways.
Cable machines come in different varieties, but every gym has at least one and they usually all run off the same premise. They allow for a full variety of functional exercises that challenge strength, power, and endurance. Another great feature is that the weight is on a pulley system, so when you execute a movement your muscles are working through the entire movement.
Benefits of the Cable Machine
Micheal R.Bracko, sports physiologist for the Calgary-based Institute for Hockey Research, described the cable machine, saying, “It is the ultimate form of athletic weight training.” He goes on to say, “the cable machine is a great tool because a greater number of muscles are engaged, more energy is used, and the basal metabolic rate increases.”
One of the main benefits of the cable machine is that your core and other stabilizers work along with the muscle or muscles you are focusing on, more so than with traditional exercises. This is because your body is forced to recruit other muscles to help distribute the weight when you perform more complex movements.
Another great benefit is that you can effectively work out your entire body in a short amount of time .I f you are in a rush to get back to work but want to work your muscles hard, this is the machine for you. Because of the pulley system you can do plyometrics, twisting, and multiplanar movements that are effective and challenging.
As I mentioned before your muscles continue to be challenged through the eccentric, or lengthening, phase of the movement. Gravity is acting along with the weight stack as your muscles lengthen, making your muscles work hard as you release the exercise.
Exercises on the Cable Machine
Now that you’re ready to start exercising on the machine, I’ve got five great exercises for you to incorporate into your next workout. Remember to always keep proper form, and if you have any questions, ask a fitness professional.
1. Squat and Row – Stand facing the cable machine and attach the rope handles to a low-pulley position. Grab a rope with each hand take a couple of steps away from the machine. Pulling the ropes to tension, stand straight with your feet shoulder width apart, elbows bent at a 90-degree angle. Now squat low, bending at the hips and knees, and let your arms straighten out in front of you. When your thighs are parallel to the floor, stand back up, and bring your elbows by your sides and squeezing your shoulder blades together. Repeat.
2. Split Squat and Press – Stand so that the weight stack is on the right and the pulley is at a medium to low setting; attach a handle to the pulley. Grab the handle with your right hand and position your legs into a split squat position. Your left leg should be in front at a 90-degree angle and your right leg should be behind and bent, almost touching the floor. Now stay in split squat and raise your right hand towards the ceiling, allowing your torso to bend to the right. Then bring back to starting position and repeat. Switch forward leg and arm and repeat the set on the other side.
3. Front Lunge with Chest Fly – Stand in the middle of a cable machine with handles attached on both sides and at a height just above middle. Grab each handle and stand with feet shoulder width apart. Arms should have a slight bend at the elbow. Lunge forward with your right foot and bring your hands together, out in front of you. Then come back to center and repeat with opposite leg. Keep alternating legs. It is important to keep you body tall and not lean forward during this movement. Abs should be engaged though whole movement to protect the back.
4. Wood-chopper Kneeling on BOSU – This is one of my favorite moves. Place BOSU next to weight stack. Attach a handle on a high attachment on the pulley. Now kneel on BOSU, not letting your feet touch the floor, and with your right side towards the machine. Grab the handle so your right hand is on top of your left hand. Keeping arms straight (slight bend in elbows, wrists straight and locked) and your body facing forward, bring your arms down to your left side. You should make a diagonal line with your hands. Then bring your hands back up towards the cable machine. You should feel this in your rear delt and your left side. Perform a full set, then switch sides.
5. Punch and Pull – Stand in the middle of the cable machine and grab the front handle with your left hand. The pulley should be in a low position. Then grab the back handle with your right hand. This pulley should be in a high position. Now face the low pulley and place your feet in a split stance. Start with your left hand straight out and your right hand next to your shoulder with your fingers facing down. Now straighten your right hand and punch forward as you bring your left hand back, then return to start position. Repeat for a full set, then switch sides. Again make sure your abs are tight and your upper body does not lean forward.
Now you won’t be intimidated when you see the cable machine on the floor. Use this piece of equipment to challenge your whole body, burn more calories, and strengthen your muscles. The cable machine will make your workouts more intense and more interesting.
Get ready to see bigger muscles and a more athletic body!