When it comes to working out, it’s difficult to figure out what approach to take. You’ll hear about a new workout that builds muscle and helps to lose extra fat nearly every single week, and that makes it difficult for people to know what to trust.
Those who have never stepped foot in a gym before may have a hard time navigating the fitness industry can become a rabbit hole very quickly, and it’s no surprise why. There are hundreds upon hundreds of different pieces of gym equipment, each with its own set of purposes and benefits.
The first time you step into a gym, you’ll undoubtedly see a dumbbell rack and cable crossover machines scattered all over the place. Many people just walk up to dumbbells and instinctively begin doing bicep curls, but they don’t have a clue what they’re doing. Others will go to the cable machine and start pulling on the cables in every which way.
What Exactly Is A Cable Machine?
With cable machines, you can do nearly as many things as you can with dumbbells. They are versatile in what body parts you can use to work out, and they are also safe to use. With a home gym cable machine or one in the gym, you’re typically using push and pull resistance to work your muscles out.
Regardless of where you’re using a cable machine, it’s important to learn a little more about what cable machines are all about. Cable machines can be complex, but they aren’t complicated to use.
Cable machines contain a weight stack that is connected to a cable. The cable acts as a pulley for the weights that will move in an upward and downward motion. The end of the cable attaches to different handles, cable pulley systems, and bars that can be pushed or pulled to work on different muscles of your body.
When people first start using a cable pulley machine, most look like they are just flapping their wings around, but if you take a look at a seasoned gym-goer on one, you’ll quickly see how good of a workout you can get.
Cable machines simplify weight training and provide a more isolated workout in comparison to dumbbells. There are many reasons why considering a cable machine for your garage gym is worth the money.
What Are Some Reasons Why I Should Get A Home Cable Machine?
Cable machines provide a continuous and controlled tension on the muscles throughout whatever workout you’re doing. With free weights such as dumbbells or barbells to train your upper body, the tension dissipates when you’re lowering the weight back into the position in which you started.
With cables, the resistance and tension will be on your triceps and other muscles in the upper body the entire time, and that will lead to increased muscle growth.
Cables Help You Learn Proper Technique
If you’ve ever had the chance to use a cable machine before, then you know that they feel a lot different in comparison to free weights like dumbbells. Many trainers always like to start beginners with cable machines because they are easier on the joints, and they give beginners a feel of what tension on the muscles will feel like.
Because of the higher degree of control over your workout with cable machines, you can learn exercises easier than learning them initially on dumbbells. In addition, if you have a pre-existing injury, cable machines help you maintain proper form throughout each exercise that you’re doing.
Easy On The Joints
Cable machines are a little easier on the joints when compared to free weights and other fitness equipment, but you have to ensure that you’re using the cable machine properly. Dumbbells work out many muscles at once, while cables isolate the muscles a little more depending on what specific exercise you’re doing at the time.
Many gyms have been closed due to the pandemic, and more and more people have turned to a garage gym or home gym. People have been getting cable machines left, right, and center, and it’s a great addition to include in your daily or weekly workouts.
Having a cable machine in your home gym adds another degree to your workouts that work your muscles to their potential, leading to muscle growth.
Cable Machines Are Safe And Easy To Use For Beginners
Many of the injuries in gyms happen because people don’t know the proper form to use for each workout. Grabbing heavy dumbbells and attempting to do a chest press without understanding the proper form can lead to disastrous results. It’s always good to do some research before attempting any workout.
New gym members sometimes have the misconception that they should be lifting more than everyone else, which can quickly lead to injuries and muscle strain. Studies indicate that dumbbells and barbells lead to injuries more than other types of gym equipment.
When you’re getting into fitness, you’ll want to take things slow and know your weight. Start very light and then gradually work your way up from week to week. No one wants to be injuring themselves by doing workouts when their entire goal was to better themselves in the first place.
Cable machines don’t typically lead to accidents as much as dumbbells because of how they are built. The stack of weights connects to a cable that is usually encompassed in an enclosure. Because a pulley is holding the weight, that means that your muscles won’t be under the same amount of tension as your muscles will be.
Because the pulley is attached to the weights, you won’t be overextending your muscles, and if you start doing a cable workout, you can simply drop the handle that the cable is attached to in case of an emergency. If you dropped a dumbbell while lifting it, you could accidentally crush your foot.
Cable machines are versatile pieces of equipment that you can use for many different types of exercises. Depending on what workout you use the cable machine for, you’ll be isolating your muscles in a way that will put them under stress, which causes them to get stronger.
Many people grow tired of looking around the gym for dumbbells that will work for them. With a cable machine, all you have to do is typically pop a pin to your desired weight level. Doing this eliminates a lot of the setup time involved in performing an exercise. Cable machines are a safe and fun way for beginners to learn these exercises in a controlled way.
Some people might wonder if they can get the same workouts with cable machines as with dumbbells. With cable machines, you can practically perform every workout that you can with dumbbells or barbells, but just differently.
Cable machines are perfect for people coping with injuries because you have a high degree of control over what amount of weight you’re using.
What Exercises Can Be Done With Cable Machines?
There are many cable machine exercises that you can do, ranging from basic ones to very advanced ones. Most people stick to the basics until they become more familiar with what cable machines are all about and how to use them.
Cable Machine Bicep Curl
Cable machine bicep curls will work out your biceps the same way a dumbbell or a barbell bicep does. This basic exercise is one of the many that people should include in their arm workouts. All you do is reverse your grip, grab the bar attached to the pulley, and begin lifting it to your chin level.
You’ll want to use the same tension throughout the entire motion of this exercise to get the full benefits of it. The nice thing about cable machines is that your muscles will be under tension for the entire exercise. For best results, do around three sets of eight reps each.
Cable Tricep Extensions
Another great arm workout is cable tricep extensions. This workout is much safer to do with a cable machine than dumbbells because you have a greater range and degree of control when performing the movement.
You’ll want to start by sitting facing away from the cable machine. Grab the bar that the pulley is attached to, and then pull it upwards and over your head in one fluid and controlled motion. It’s helpful to view a couple of videos before starting this exercise to get the best results.
Like everything else in life, learning workouts will take time to get the proper form down. Once you learn the form, your muscles will get a better workout every time you perform the exercise.
Cable Chest flies
Cable chest flies are a much better way to work out your chest than dumbbell chest flies, and that’s because your pectoral muscles will be under tension for the entire range of movement in the exercise. Some people like to gradually work up to cable chest flies with rubber resistance bands until they’re ready for more resistance.
Cable chest flies are a safe way to work your chest out, and many people like to get a bench that you can set up on an incline or decline to work out different areas of their chest. This workout is one where you’ll want to watch some tutorials before you attempt it, as it could lead to shoulder injuries over time if you’re not using the correct form.
For those who want a good abdominal workout, cable crunches are one of the best ones out there to try. Cable crunches provide a lot of increased tension for your abdominal muscles, and that will cause them to grow much faster.
It might take a while to work up to using the cable machine for cable crunches, and it’s best to start by just doing regular crunches without the increased tension that the cable provides. After doing regular crunches for a few weeks or months, and they start becoming too easy, you can gradually incorporate the cable method to add the increased tension.
Cable Lateral Raises
Cable lateral raises is an exercise that will take some learning, and you might want to watch a couple of tutorials to get this one right. When you do learn how to do it properly, it can lead to a good workout. The dumbbell version of lateral raises is even more complicated to do, so learning this exercise on cables is a good way to get the process started.
You’ll have to keep your hips tilted horizontally while keeping your back completely straight for this exercise to work to its fullest potential. Most people find it easier to do this exercise with just one arm instead of two, just for a greater degree of control.
If you’ve been doing this exercise for several weeks and think you have a good grasp on it, consider trying dumbbells and seeing how much different the exercise feels in comparison to the cable version of it.
Cable Side Lateral Raises
Cable side lateral raises is another rendition of lateral raises, and you’ll be standing in an upright form while gripping the handle. Once you’ve got a good grip on the handle, pull the cable in an upwards motion reaching for your head. Right before you reach your head, lower the cable back down to the position in which you started.
Cable side lateral raises are a good workout for people that are injured. Doing this exercise with dumbbells puts a little more strain on the shoulder than in the cable version. There might be more range of motion with the dumbbell version of side lateral raises, but the movement won’t feel as smooth on the shoulders.
Cable Lat Pullovers
Cable lat pullovers are an exercise that will give you a stronger back. To perform this exercise, you’ll be lying flat on a bench. After that, reach back towards the cable and pull it down while keeping your arms straight. The cable version of this workout keeps tension on your lats throughout the entire exercise, and this is one workout that is undoubtedly easier to do with cables.
You can also do this workout while standing upright and pulling the cable down to the ground. Again, this is another workout where you’ll want to watch a video tutorial for the best results. It can sometimes be difficult putting words on a screen to a visual example in your mind.
Cable Machine Convenience
Cables machines add a convenience to workouts that’s hard to find with other types of gym equipment. Sometimes people purchase dozens and dozens of dumbbells that can tend to get scattered all over the place when you can use a single cable machine to perform many of the same workouts.
Many people who are injured turn to cable machines to reduce the pain they experience during exercises. Others use cable machines to reduce the amount of time a certain exercise will take. If you look at dumbbell flies, you can see that they take a lot of time to set up.
With dumbbell flies, you have to grab two dumbbells, get a flat bench, lay down on the bench, grab the dumbbells as safely as you can, lean back, and then perform the movement. With cable flies, on the other hand, you can stand upright, grab the cables, and do the same movement with relative ease.
Once you learn the fundamentals of cable machines, you’ll quickly see why they are such a common thing that people include in their workouts. It doesn’t matter if you’re a complete beginner to exercising or an Olympia bodybuilder, you will always see the cable machines in the gyms occupied by every type of person.
Home Cable Machines
There are many different home cable machines on the market, and it’s always best to do your research before selecting one.
Macy MWM-988 Total Home Gym
The Macy MWM-988 Total Home Gym provides up to 150 pounds of resistance. It includes a high pulley and a low pulley system that will ensure users can perform dozens of different workouts for different parts of the body.
Having a high pulley system is perfect for workout out the upper parts of the body, and you can use the lower pulley system to do the same, but just in different ways. The creativity in workouts that cable systems provide is why many people turn to these types of equipment for their workouts.
Strength Training – What Are Some Of The Benefits?
Everyone knows that exercise has many different benefits for the body, and some of those benefits are:
- Increasing muscle mass
- Lowering body fat
- Burning calories even when you’re sitting still
- Increased metabolic rate
- Stronger bones
- A greater degree of flexibility
- More range of motion
- Improved mental health state
- Higher energy levels
- Better posture
- Better balance
- Increased stability
Not everyone has the time to go to the gym after a long day at work, and that’s why home gyms are a perfect option. For those that want to keep their workouts even more convenient, cable home gyms are a great solution to do just that.
Starting a home gym doesn’t take a ton of money to get going. Many people pay around $50 a month for a gym membership. If you times that monthly fee by twelve, you can see that you could be spending that money on home gym equipment.
Home gym equipment will always be right in your home, waiting for you, without having to travel to a busy public gym, where you could potentially be waiting to use the machines you want.
Before starting your cable workout, you’ll always want to do a good warm-up to get the blood flowing through your muscles. You can usually do this in under five minutes through some light stretching and movement. Warming up before exercising will lower the chances of injury occurring.
After you’ve finished doing a good warm-up, you can then figure out what type of cable exercise you’ll be doing. If you’re exercising every single day, it’s good to split workouts apart from each other.
For example, if you’re going to be doing a full chest workout with your cables, your shoulders are the secondary muscles you’re working out in the process.
Because of that, you might want to take two or three days before you do a shoulder workout that might include cable side lateral raises so that you don’t run the risk of overworking out your muscles, which could lead to injury.
How Long Should A Workout Be?
The general rule of thumb is to try and keep a workout to around at least thirty minutes a day and about three times per week. Including weight and strength training in your workout plan will ensure your weight-loss journey will be much more beneficial.
On the flip side, some people use weight training to pack on muscle mass and extra weight. No matter your reason for purchasing a home cable machine, you can be sure that the benefits far outweigh the negatives.
Have you ever noticed that your mood is usually always better after getting a good workout in? That’s because exercising increases the feel-good chemicals in your brain known as endorphins, making exercise a perfect remedy for battling mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.