The make-up community isn’t the only group of people always in a debate: the fitness community also has its own sets of compare and contrasts. One of the most popular arguments is about weights and cables—which one is more efficient and effective? Many physical trainers might recommend this equipment for your first time, or weights to get those pecs ripped in no time, but which should you choose?
According to many PTs, cables are more versatile than weights, thus a much better choice than its counterpart. According to a fitness article by Men’s Health (see source: https://www.menshealth.com/uk/building-muscle/a755943/why-you-need-to-use-cable-machines/), cables are an excellent choice for someone who can’t lift their bodyweight just yet. Getting into these exercises first builds up your strength and resistance with the pulley’s constant push and pull. Not to mention it’s relatively safer than weightlifting.
All About The Cable Machine
If you’re a newbie at gym equipment, you probably have no idea what a cable machine is. If you want to pursue this new routine, you should know what a cable machine is and how it works.
You may see a machine with a stack of weights connected to a cable. It moves like a pulley, up and down, while the user can move their limbs back and forth, upwards and downwards, even flapping them open and closed as if imitating a flying bird. That’s what you call a cable machine. This machine can be used in functional or weight training and is not over complicated like weight lifting.
You can do many exercises using these machines, and we’ll get into that in a little bit.
Reasons Why Cable Machines Are Worth Trying
- You’ll Have Some Weight Off Your Shoulders
You might think this is a disadvantage rather than the contrary since the whole point of a gym workout is to get those chiseled abs and biceps. Thus, looking at these machines makes you think free weights can get you more ripped, but that’s far from the truth. Machine cables can do everything dumbbells can do, sometimes even more than they can.
But with gyms closed these past several months, it’s hard to keep up with your routine. That’s why instead of going to the gym, bring the gym to you with home cable machines, or you may click here to find out which is the right home cable machine for your home. You don’t have to sacrifice any hard-earned results just because the gym is closed. Your house can be where you continue this routine, and with much more ease and comfort too. You can get ideas and tips for investing in equipment from home gym reviews and start building your own home gym.
- Safer and Beginner-friendly
The most common injury in the gym originates from dumbbells and other weights, according to studies. The reason, PTs have surmised, is a lack of real exercise and warm-ups, or going for weights far off their capacity. The most crucial thing in lifting weights is to know your ability and gradually add weights. Sudden heaviness can conclude into an accident, or worse, death
In comparison, the cable machine can hardly cause an accident because of the way it’s built. Because of the cables holding the weights as they lift, and not you holding it back directly, there’s less tension for your muscles, and less likely to overextend or sprain them. It’s also safer for the joints and bones, especially when you’re still a beginner.
- Versatile Under Your Control
You can literally do anything with the cable machine and form any exercises you see fit. It isolates muscles so you can work on any muscle group that needs more firming without the weight room’s stress. Plus, they’re the perfect choice for a workout when you’re injured—they can quickly bring you back in shape without causing a relapse on your part.
7 Benefits For 7 Workouts You Can Do At Home
There are a lot of beneficial exercises done with this machine. As such, we only want to introduce the most significant for your home exercises:
- Straight Bar Biceps Curl
The counterpart of barbell curls, single-arm cable curl makes use of the cable machine in this regard. All you have to do is use one cable pulley while facing away from the device and then do dumbbell curls that way. Unlike the inconsistent tension that dumbbell exercises give during their circular motion, you get a disadvantage. With cable machines, your muscles are all engaged from start to finish.
- Triceps Extension
When doing an overhead triceps extension, the best thing would be to use a cable machine. Sit facing away from the machine, take the two pulleys, and gradually pull them up over your head. You can check out demo videos on the net on how this exercise is done for more visual reference. You can do this using a single arm or both arms, depending on what results you want to bring in (correct muscle imbalance, for example).
- Chest Fly Exercises
With traditional weight exercises, the biggest problem is the consistency of the tension. It’ll be hard to maintain pressure when gravity controls the other half of your form with nothing to control it. Still, you can find an alternative exercise for cable crossover using resistance bands to avoid losing control. Getting into these exercises first builds up your strength and resistance with the pulley’s constant push and pull. Not to mention it’s relatively safer than weightlifting. Hence, cables can be an ideal option for the best pre-workout for beginners.
The only thing to note here is the angle of the cable machine. Use an inclined one to target the upper chest and a declined one for the lower torso.
- Weighted Crunches
Crunches can be your ticket to those coveted 6-packs, which is why you need cable machines to achieve it most efficiently. Using this equipment, you can move your muscles in the most extensive range of motion, all the while putting your torso in constant tension. At home, you can assume a kneeling position in front of the cable machine, then flex your abdominal muscles while blowing out air really hard.
Chiseled abs achieved during the quarantine, at your home? It’s never been done before!
- Lateral Raise Exercise
This exercise is another slightly tricky form, but it can be relatively more comfortable using a cable machine. To start, you need to bend over your hips horizontally, with your back straight. You can do this with one arm or both arms using the pulley. If you plan to do both arms, stand in between two cable machines in this position and use their respective pulleys, one to each separate arm.
As always, dumbbells can have less tension in this position that cable machines provide. Thus, it is much more preferable. It also makes sure gravity doesn’t pull you down and cause an accident, which is always the problem with beginners.
- Side Lateral Exercises
This one is related to the prior, only that you need to stand up in the cable machine’s cable stand. Take a firm grip at it, then pull the pulley upwards towards your head. Repeat this position to maintain the position and tension of said arm. This exercise is ideal for those with muscle imbalance or an injury to one arm or leg.
- Lats Pullover
Traditionally, this is done while lying on a flat bench perpendicularly, with a single dumbbell on hand, performing a pullover. This also means at the top half of the range of motion, you lose tension. With a cable machine, tension and resistance between you and the machine is maintained.
Cable machines are excellent equipment for starters and beginners looking to build up muscle. It doesn’t have stress like traditional weights, nor does it give the immense pressure on muscles that causes accidents.
If you’re injured, a greenhorn, or just looking to save a couple of minutes in your exercise, this choice of gym equipment is for you. You just have to choose the best variety that caters to your bodily needs, may it be a six-pack, firmer biceps, or building up muscles for your triceps.