Looking to lose weight? Try our FREE Calorie Counter »  |  Log In
Articles Fitness Nutrition

An Introduction to the Cable Machine

The cable machine can be used for both functional training as well as weight training. Structurally, it is made up of a steel frame that is rectangular and vertically oriented, 3 meters wide and 2 meters high; a weight stack can be found at either end of the machine. Adjustable pulleys that you can fix to any height run through the cables which connect the handles of the machine to its weight stack. Jack LaLanne is credited as the inventor of the cable machine. Harold Zinkin took this concept further in the 1950s by inventing the Universal Gym Equipment, a home machine that incorporated the cable machine prominently. Today, you can see the cable machine at most gyms.

Body Parts Benefiting From Workout

The cable machine is a versatile machine, and as such, it targets a whole host of muscles in your body. Depending on the type of exercise you actually do on the cable machine, you can get a good workout that will both target and then benefit your chest muscles, your back muscles, your deltoids, your biceps, your triceps, your abdominal muscles and your lower back muscles, your leg muscles and your hips, too.

Safe and Proper Use of the Cable Machine

Safe and proper use of the cable machine involves first adjusting its pads to fit your comfort zone. Again, since this is a versatile machine for different uses, how to adjust the pads depends on the type of cable machine you use. For instance, if you are using an upper-body cable machine, you should adjust the pads to suit your personal range. If you are using a chest machine, then simply make sure that you adjust the machine so that your hands are just an inch from your chest at the lower end of the range of your motion. But before you even attempt to adjust any part of your cable machine, you ought to first engage in some lighter warm-ups as this prepares your entire body for the greater weights you will be lifting on the cable machine. These warm-ups are great because they prepare your body both in a psychological as well as a physical sense. You may also want to consult your doctor to see if you have any conditions that prevent you from trying out the cable machine.

Types of Exercises

The cable machine is versatile. You can elect to do only a few drills on it or also a full-body workout. For example, one type of exercise that will target your chest muscles is the cable press. Lie on the bench flat with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms straight up; gradually, pull down on the cables so that your arms are eventually next to your shoulders and your elbows bent. Another type of exercise is the cable crunches. You kneel with the cable or rope next to your ears, while your elbows are parallel to each other and bent. You then pull down on the cable so that your elbows are brought down to the floor.

Article Comments