“Different Equipment, Different Goals”: Cables (#23)

Cables Machines: “Stabilization and Control”


Although I utilize all three types of exercise equipment, cable machines are hands down my favorite! If you’re new to working out I recommend cables as a great way to mix up your routine. I look at cables machines as the intermediate bridge between novice stationary machines and advanced free weights. Cable machines are different in that they offer a unique combination of strength, stability and control.


Most cable machines come with detachable hooks to work out the same muscle group at multiple angles. Generally speaking, cables are mostly used for upper body and core exercises, but with some creativity you can even utilize cable machines for your legs as well. These machines differ from other weights in that the focus is solely on muscular endurance, that is, cables are ideal for anyone whose goal is to remain physically active.


When utilizing cable weights, the emphasis is usually on “high repetitions-low weight”. This allows the user to gain quality contractions without placing as much strain on the joints and ligaments. This is particularly significant for those who are either rehabbing an injury or getting older in age. When used correctly, cables can be a great way to stay lean and fit without having to worry about injuries down the line.


Try starting with these! Here are six of the most common cable exercises that you do in just about any gym :


  • Bicep cable curls


  • Triceps cable pull-downs

  • Chest fly cables


  • Back rows cables


  • Shoulder press


  • Cable squats


Key Takeaways:


  • offer a unique combination of strength, stability and control
  • emphasizes higher repetitions and lower weights
  • ideal for older population and rehab patients

[Next: “Different Equipment, Different Goals”: Free Weights (Strength and Size)]

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