How to Choose the Best Cable Machine

How to Choose the Best Cable Machine

Apr 16, 20210 comments
If you’ve ever visited the gym, you’ve probably come across a cable machine. Otherwise known as a functional trainer, this piece of fitness equipment comes with adjustable cable pulleys that allow the user to perform a variety of exercises targeting different muscle groups. Depending on the machine, you may have one, two or multiple cable stations.

These cables are unique from other fitness equipment in their approach to fitness. When most think of going to the gym, we imagine heavy barbells, dumbbells and bench presses building muscle. Instead, the cable machine takes a slower and more gradual approach to improving your fitness. It does this by providing a smooth, non-jerky concentric and eccentric contraction (i.e. when your muscle length shortens and lengthens).

Why Choose Cable Machines?

The benefits of working with cable machines are endless. Firstly, the movements performed on cable machines more closely match real life movements as compared to other strength building exercises like deadlifts, bench presses and bicep curls.

Instead, the pulley machine enables you to lunge, squat, push, pull, bend and twist. This natural movement is called functional training and is far more efficient at improving your balance and core strength. It does this by providing constant tension when you lift and lower the weight. Since muscle and bone growth is directly correlated to the amount of tension that you place on them, cable machines enable you to work your muscles more efficiently, thus resulting in quicker, better results.

The variety and functionality of cable machines also puts it a cut above the rest. With a multitude of exercises possible on a single machine, it enables you to work all the major muscle groups while having you save money on equipment. On top of that, it’s also a perfect option for beginner fitness goers. This is the because the fluid motion of the machine minimizes the risk of injury that you can incur. The various tensions that you can set the pulleys to also means that you can maximize your workout’s potential by adjusting your cable machine to whatever setting best suits you.

The Importance of the Full Body Workout

One of the biggest advantages of a functional trainer is that they enable you to have a full body workout. That full body workout enables all 7 of your major muscle groups: 1) chest, 2) back, 3) abdominals, 4) legs, 5) shoulders, 6) biceps and 7) triceps. Getting a full body workout gives you the following advantages:

I) Burning More Calories in Less Time: If your goal is weight loss, a full body workout enables you to get the most out of your time by putting tension on the whole of your body. This makes your body use more energy to heal after exercise and therefore, calories.

II) More Strength, More Muscle: Using all of your major muscle groups all at once means building all your muscles while also not putting all the stress on one particular muscle group. This allows you to have a quicker and more effective recovery between workouts which gives you the benefit of continuously having a more efficient and effective workout.

III) The Health Benefits: A full body workout, just like a functional trainer is also ideal for beginner gym goers. In their well-rounded approach, they minimise any risks of injury while also maximizing your core strength, thereby improving balance and more.

Finding the Best Cable Machine for You

Just like with any fitness equipment, there are certain specifics that need to be taken into account for you to get the most out of your workout. For one, it’s important that you know your fitness goals. Are you looking for a more general full-body workout to improve your general fitness or are you looking to build muscle? Are you a beginner, intermediate or advanced when it comes to fitness workouts? What are your limits?

Before going to purchase a functional trainer, it’s important to ask yourself these questions:

  1. Can I adjust the height/weight? Some functional trainers come equipped with a pin and pulley system that allows you to adjust the training apparatus to your needs. Position the ends of the cable near the floor, at head, chest or waist height to best suit your workout plan.

  2. Are there multiple attachments included? Finding the perfect weight is important. Look for machines with multiple handles that allow you to adjust the weight stack. Simply adjust to put on more weight or to change your exercise from a one-handle workout to a two-handle workout.

  3. Does it come with static options? Static options refer to the non-moving parts of the cable machine that are also used to enhance the workout. Some examples include pull-up bars, footholds, T-bar slots and so on. These extra additions are a convenient way to take your workout the extra mile.

A Few Cable Machine Exercises

Once you do get your hands on the cable machine that’s right for you, here are a few popular exercises that you can use to achieve your fitness goal

  1. Bicep Curls: You've probably heard of these before, this exercise is stationary and mainly focuses on one muscle group.
  2. Tricep Extension: This powerful tricep exercise is also great for working out your back, shoulders and chest.
  3. Wood Chop: A high-intensity and super effective lower body exercise, the wood chop works your glutes, quadriceps and calves.
  4. Cable Reverse Lunge: A testament to the cable machine’s versatility, improve your daily exercise by strapping on some weight to your lunges and build up your quadricep, calf, and core strength.
  5. Chest Press: Who needs a barbell? With a functional trainer, work out your upper body’s biceps, triceps, chest and shoulders with this high-intensity exercise.
  6. Rows: This strength exercise not only works out the arms but is also incredibly effective at improving upper back strength.

For the best of in-home cable machines as well as a high-quality local fitness shop for all your needs, visit Fitness Avenue today to find the best of quality fitness equipment at affordable prices.

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