Cable Machine Exercises

The best cable exercises for your entire body. Using cable machines to train your muscles is a safer and effective way to add resistance. Because the cable machine has cables and safety features.

Illustration of cable machine exercises.

According to “Weight Training for Dummies”, a cable machine is a vertical metal beam, called a tower, with a pulley attached. You can adjust the height of the pulley so that it’s close to the floor, up over your head, or anywhere in between. Cable exercises can train all sections of your body effectively using the correct attachment and movements. Cable machines are versatile and only free weight provides a freer workout movement.


Cable machine attachments 

There are several cable machine attachments you can use for different exercises and varieties. Different angle bars can create variations for the same exercises. For example, you can do tricep pushdowns with a curved short bar, a horseshoe or v-shaped bar attachment. They all work the tricep muscle but just at different angles. 

Cable attachments 

Long bar. These bars come in various lengths and are commonly used for back exercises that involve pulling the bar to your chest, such as the lat pulldown. You can pull these bars with an underhanded or overhand grip, and you can place your hand as far apart or close together as you like. 

Curved short bar: Some of these are U-shaped and some oare v-shaped. Both varieties are used almost exclusively for triceps exercises, such as the Tricep Pushdown. 

Straight short bar: This bar is used in triceps exercises, biceps curls and rows We especially like to use this bar for the Triceps Pushdown and the seated Cable Row. 

Horseshoe: Unlike with the other bars, you grasp the houseshoe with one hand It’s used for numerous chest, arm, and back exercises in which you work each side individually. Try the horseshoe with the Triceps Pushdown, the seated Cable Row, and the Cable Lateral Raise. 

Rope: This attachment is most commonly used for triceps exercises such as the Triceps Pushdown. 

Ankle collar: You clip this wide leather ankle bracelet to the pulley to perform exercises such as leg lifts, back kicks, and leg curls. It’s great for strengthening your inner and outer thighs while you’re standing. We don’t use the ankle collar in this book, but a trainer can fill you in. 

Handlebar: this attachment allows for a neutral grip (palms facing together). Great for back exercises such as close grip pulldowns.  

Before using a cable machine, inspect the cables to make sure they are not worn or unraveling. You wouldn’t want to be doing arm curls when the cable snaps. 


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