Recently strength training is finally getting the respect it deserves in the fitness world. People now realize that lifting weights isn’t just for the big guys. Weight training is for everyone! Training your muscles will make you stronger and leaner. Yes, leaner. Weight lifting can help you lose weight.
If you regularly lift weights, chances are you have mastered the dumbbells and barbells. However, you have probably overlooked one of my favorite sections on the gym floor… the cable machines.
If you are looking for a quick total body workout that allows you to stay in one place, you need to try this versatile piece of gym equipment.
If you do not workout at a gym, cable machine exercises can be done at home with resistance bands. I utilize band work often in my workout videos for the MFit Membership and other at home workout programs. Band and cable machine workouts share similar benefits. So, let’s talk about some of those benefits.
Safer to use
If you are trying to avoid injury, cable machines are much safer. It can be risky to increase your resistance while using barbells and dumbbells. You don’t realize a weight is too heavy until you have dropped it on your foot or hurt your back trying to pick it up. When using a cable machine, the only risk of going to heavy is you let go of the cable handle and the metal plates make a loud noise. I personally prefer a loud noise to a broken foot or back.
Challenges the muscles
Dumbbell work stimulates the muscles differently than band or cable exercises. When you hold onto a dumbbell you feel the weight of the dumbbell instantly and it stays the same as you move the weight around. However, when you use a band or cable, the resistance gets heavier as you get deeper into the exercise. This makes bicep curls harder at the top of the curl, rows more challenging when you pull further back, and so on. You can also slow down the tempo or do pause reps to feel your muscles engage in and even different way. The options are endless.
Saves you time
Setting up a cable machine is much quicker and easier than moving plates on and off a barbell or searching the gym for a matching set of dumbbells. Changing resistance and cable height takes seconds. You can also do a wide range of exercises with a cable machine, so you could do your whole workout in one place without having to move around the gym.
Effective cardio solution
I personally love using the cable machine for total body cardio routines. The versatility makes for a fast and effective workout. A few of my favorite cable machine exercises are: squat to row, stretching tricep push, chest press, lat pull down, and cable rotations for the obliques. Put all of those exercises together in a circuit, and you have burnt some major calories without moving around the gym floor.