10 Effective Cable Machine Workouts ( Full Body Workout)

cable machine workouts

Cable cross workout might be  one stop solution to full body workout. Cable Machine is phenomenally versatile piece of equipment because the adjustable pulley allows the user to move freely with resistance, minimizing the chances of injury. Unfortunately, it is mostly used for only a few exercises and therefore many people aren’t aware of the functional benefits of using a cable machine in working up any kind of muscle group.

Also, many wonder if free weights are more effective than cable machine workout. The answer is, cable machine workout is as effective as free weights, but it also provides more range of motion and brings the chances of getting injured dramatically down as compared to free weights.

The normal exercises and physical activities help you keep fit but when you involve gym equipment and a series of routine effective exercises, the results are tenfold. And that is is why we will be talking about one of the most popular gym equipment –the cable machine. We will also discuss about all the effective cable machine workouts and the muscles they target.

cable machine workout

How does the Cable cross workout Machine work?

A Cable cross workout machine is a large size equipment utilized in weight training or functional training. It consists of an oblong, vertically oriented steel frame with a weight stack attached via a cable and pulley system to at least one or more handles.

The cables connect the handles to the weight stacks run through the adjustable pulleys which can be fixed at any height. The resistance of these cables allow you to perform numerous exercises in a variety of directions.

One end of the cable is attached to a perforated steel bar that runs down the middle of the weight stack. The opposite end of the cable forms a loop, which allows the user to connect the suitable handle for the exercise. Most cable machines have a minimum of 20 pounds (~9 kilograms) of resistance so as to counterbalance the weight of the standard attachment.

cable machine workout

Benefits of the Cable cross workout machine

  • It allows the users to perform exercises in varied range of motions.
  • Also, stepping faraway from barbells and dumbbells and using cables for a couple of weeks can help increase your strength and break a fitness plateau.
  • Cable machine workout provide a smooth, non-jerky concentric and eccentric contraction while exercising.
  • A cable machine also enables you to perform more exercise variants for multiple muscle groups and also allows you to go light or heavy with resistance.
  • Plus, because this equipment is usually safe, beginners are less likely to be injured while utilising a cable machine compared with free weights or traditional weight machines, Wickham explained.
  • Cable machines are easy to use, you can easily get set up fast, which allows you to move quickly through your workout.
  • That said, it does take a while to get used to utilising the cable and the kind of handles you’ll use for different kinds of exercises. But once you get the hang of it, you’re likely to enjoy the efficiency and intensity of this total-body trainer.

Safety tips

The Cable cross workout machine is generally a very safe piece of exercise equipment with no immediate or far off safety threats. But a few steps can be taken to enhance your safety while using it.

Check the machine before using it
Checking cables and attachments for damage, before using them will minimize the chances of getting injured.

Ask for help
If you will be using the cable machine for the first time, always take assistance from a certified trainer or assistant. 

Do not overdo
Like every exercise, overdoing the Cable cross workout back might result in muscle strain or injury. Listen to your body and take it slow.

10 Exercises at a Cable cross workout Machine

Triceps Pushdown

Tricep pushdown is a strength training exercise which strengthens the tricep muscles in the back of the arm and increase stabilization around the shoulder joint and is a very effective cable machine workout.

You’ll need a rope handle for this Cable cross workout machine exercise. Fix the rope to the high pulley & then do the following:

  • Keep your elbows tucked in at the edges
  • Grab the rope handle with both hands
  • Brace your core
  • Lower your hands using just your forearms
  • Keep going till both your arms are fully extended
  • Return and repeat

Reps: 10-15

Sets: 3

Cable cross workout Crossover

One of the most famous double cable pulley exercises is additionally one among the best. It targets the upper body region and delivers the rapid results. Here’s the way to execute:

  • Stand evenly between two pulleys
  • Grab each cable pulley stirrup by the hand
  • Keep your arms outstretched with minor bend at your elbows
  • Step slightly forward with one foot and tighten your core
  • Pull both cables downwards across your body in order that your wrists form an “X” at the waistline
  • Carefully return to the starting position and repeat

Reps: 10-15

Sets: 3-5

Wide-Grip Lat Pulldowns

This Cable cross workout machine involves the bar attachment and works a number of upper body muscle groups. Select a weight founded on your personal metrics. Here’s the way to execute:

  • Sit on the bench, so that you face the cable machine
  • Adjust the machine till both your thighs fit under the support.
  • Grab the bar with an overhand grip
  • Keep your hands slightly further than shoulder-width apart
  • Exhale as you slowly pull bar down until it touches the upper chest
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades and pause
  • Inhale as you come back to the position where you started
  • Repeat

Reps: 10-15

Sets: 3

ALSO READ: 9 Amazing Inner Chest Workouts – For Ripped Chest

Overhead Cable Curl

Like the biceps curl, this Cable cross workout machine exercise targets the elbow and upper arm. You’ll execute it using both cables directly (as laid out below) or by using one cable at a time to further engage your core. Perform these steps for a very engaging cable machine workout:

  • Stand evenly between the two overhead pulleys (with stirrups)
  • Hold each of cable pulley stirrups by the hand, with the palms facing inward
  • Then flex at the elbows, bringing the pulley toward each ear
  • Pause and squeeze
  • Return to the starting position and repeat

Reps: 10-15

Sets: 3

Cable Squat

Who wants to work those quads, lats, and glutes?! Well, here comes this Cable cross workout machine exercise:

  • Stand arm’s length faraway from the cable machine
  • Keep your feet slightly wider or about shoulder-width apart
  • Grab the rope handles or the low pulley stirrups with both hands
  • Keep your chest high and back straight
  • Pull at those handles as you raise your hips and knees
  • Don’t stop until your legs are straight
  • Bend your knees forward and your hips backward as you squat
  • Keep your back straight and your knees pointed within the same direction as your feet
  • Squat till both your thighs are parallel to the ground
  • Return and repeat

Reps: 10-15

Sets: 3

Abdominal Cable Crunches

No full-body workout is complete without some abs exercises. Concentrate because loads of individuals do this one incorrectly (though the “correct” form is additionally open to interpretation). Here we go:

  • Attach a rope handle to the pulley
  • Kneel and face the cable machine
  • Keep your hips high and during a locked position so that most of the movement is coming from your spine
  • Grab the rope with both hands
  • Keep your hands (and the rope) ahead of your face or toward the top part of your face, together with your thumb knuckles even with either your forehead or at your crown
  • Tuck your chin into your chest
  • Lower your head to the waist till your elbows hit your upper thighs
  • Return and repeat

Reps: 10-15

Sets: 3-4

Standing Single Arm Cable Rows

Find a gym cable machine with a low pulley and fasten a single handle. Now perform these steps:

  • Stand a couple of feets from the machine
  • Bend slightly at the knees as you grab handle with one hand
  • Row the weight towards your body
  • Contract the muscles in your middle back
  • Return and repeat

Reps: 10-15Keep your back straight and brace your core

Sets: 3 (per arm)

Seated Rows Cable cross workout

This is a compound exercise that requires a weighted horizontal cable machine with footplate and a bench. It targets the rear muscles and forearms. Perform these subsequent steps for this wholesome cable machine workout :

  • Position the bench in order that you’re sitting upright with back support
  • Grab the cable handle
  • Bend your knees slightly but make it a point that your lower back remains perfectly straight
  • Brace your core
  • Pull the handle towards your lower abdomen, bending at the elbows
  • Keep your back straight and chest out
  • Squeeze your shoulders together as you row

Reps: 10-15

Sets: 3

Standing Biceps Cable cross workout Curl

A veritable classic, this isolation cable exercise builds strength within the upper biceps. Set an appropriate weight (based on your personal metrics) then perform the undermentioned steps:

  • Face the cable machine
  • Keep your feet flat on the ground
  • Grab the bottom cable handle with one hand or both of your hands
  • Keep your back straight and also brace your core
  • Hold the cable in front of the waist
  • Use only your forearms, and curl the cable towards your chest
  • Hold for a minute or so and then come back to the starting position
  • Repeat

Reps: 10-15

Sets: 3

Cable cross workout Flyes

This double cable exercise cranks respectable mileage out of easy manoeuvres and bolsters the chest area. Perform the following steps for an effective cable machine workout:

  • Set the pulleys to chest height and then stand exactly between them
  • Grab each handle by the hand
  • Keep your back straight and your palms facing to forward
  • Brace your core
  • Step forward until you feel some tension at the each cable
  • Keep one foot ahead of the second
  • Bend slightly at elbows to assume the starting position
  • Pull your hands toward each one in front of your chest
  • Pause, return, and repeat
  • Switch the position of your feet with each set

Reps: 10-15

Sets: 3-4

ALSO READ: Can You Workout Twice A Day? 10 Health Tips, Benefits & Risks


Can you build muscles with cable machines?

Yes, you can. If you are a beginner or if you have an injury, you shouldn’t risk an injury with the use of dumbbells or barbells. Cable machine workouts are safe and all the free weights exercises can easily be replicated on cable machines.

Are cables better than free weights?

Honestly, the answer to it depends on your goals, individuality and at what level of training you are at. Cables are better if you are a gym novice and need more range of motion without risking injury

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