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BodyReviews

We Researched The Best At Home Cable Machines. Here Are Our Recommendations.

Best At Home Cable Machines At A Glance

XMARK Functional Trainer Cable Machine

Best Overall Cable Machine

XMARK Functional Trainer Cable Machine

This functional trainer has everything you could want in a cable machine. It features 19 adjustability settings, dual 200 lb weight stacks, a pull-up bar, and easily interchangeable accessories.

Premium Dual Cable Machine

FreeMotion Dual Cable EXT Crossover

This state-of-the-art cable machine can be found in gyms all across the US. Each arm rotates vertically in a 12″ setting and horizontally in a 9″ setting which accommodates a wide variety of movements.

Cable Machine With The Most Freedom For Movement

Inspire Fitness FTX Functional Trainer

This machine comes with 30 swivel pulley positions that provide movement in practically any direction for unrestricted exercise.

Compact Mid-Range Functional Trainer

Body-Solid Powerline PFT100 Functional Trainer

This functional trainer from Body-Solid is more affordable than most dual-weight stack trainers and is also more compact.

Great For High And Low Pulley Exercises

Body-Solid Powerline PCCO90X Cable Crossover Machine

This machine features top and bottom pulleys that smoothly swivel more than 180 degrees. It supports both Olympic and standard plates, but they must be purchased separately.

Highly Rated Cable Crossover Station

Valor Fitness BD-61 Cable Crossover Station

This cable crossover station is incredibly popular for two main reasons – not only is it one of the most affordable models available today, but it also comes with tons of features that are typically found in higher price point machines.

Affordable Single Weight Stack Functional Trainer

Body-Solid Best Fitness BFFT10R Functional Trainer

This machine offers a more affordable option for functional training and comes with a single 190 lb weight stack.

Multi-Trainer With Options For Heavy Weight

Bowflex Blaze Home Gym

This machine allows you to train 60+ exercises and comes with 210 lb Power Rod resistance technology that can be upgraded to 310 lbs or 410 lbs.

Best Home Gym Cable Machine at a Glance

For Beginners Who Want A Little Of Everything

Valor Fitness Cable Machine

This multifunctional system supports lat pulldowns, upright rows, cable curls, abs workouts, and more.

Archon Cable Machine Wall Mount

Minimalistic Design With Generous Weight Capacity

Archon Cable Machine Wall Mount

Both the top and the bottom of this cable station mount to your wall and it supports a max weight of 250 lbs.

Most Affordable Wall Mount

Valor Fitness BD-62 Wall Mount Cable Station

This wall mount cable station comes with 16 adjustment positions and a double bar track that allows for smooth movements.

MAXPRO Smart Cable Gym

Portable Smart Cable Machine

MAXPRO Smart Cable Gym

This Bluetooth-compatible smart gym combines strength, cardio, suspension, plyometrics, and functional training all into one 9 lb device that folds conveniently.

As more people find ways to work out at home in their spare time, the demand for home gym equipment has skyrocketed. Many people opt for the most common equipment found in the gym, such as dumbbells or a squat rack, however, there is another piece of equipment that may be safer, more versatile, and more enjoyable.

The cable machine is one of the most versatile pieces of gym equipment you can buy due to its use of pulleys and unrestricted, multiple plane motions. These machines allow users to complete hundreds of different exercises and train more muscle groups in less time.

It’s no secret that cable machines for home use can be expensive, and as such, many people take their time when it comes to actually buying one. So, to help you decide whether a cable machine is worth adding to your home gym, I’ll walk you through its benefits, its uses, and how to get the most out of your money.

What To Look For In A Cable Machine

When searching for an at-home cable machine, you should consider the following factors in order to make the best selection possible:

  • Price – What’s your preferred price range for a cable machine? Premium cable machines typically exceed $2,000, while medium-tier ones may cost between $800 and $1,600. Higher price point cable machines often come with other perks not found in more basic models so make sure to keep that in mind.
  • Intended Use – Do you want a cable machine solely for the purpose of performing isolateral movements? Or do you want one that allows you to perform more compound movements as well? Make sure to choose a cable machine that accommodates your preferred style of training and has everything you need for the muscle groups you want to strengthen.
  • Total Resistance – How much weight do you intend to lift? While most cable machines support up to 200 lbs of added resistance, others may support as much as 400 lbs or more. If you only need a cable machine for isolateral movements or training smaller muscle groups, then having a lower weight load isn’t a big deal. However, if you’re more experienced and use your cable machine for more complex exercises, then you should definitely consider a cable machine with a higher weight capacity.
  • Included Accessories – Does the cable machine you’re considering come with accessories like handles and plates? It can be incredibly helpful to purchase a machine that comes with at least a few sets of handles and plates to start out. However, some machines come with the bare minimum and require you to purchase everything else separately.
  • Desired Dimensions – Pay careful attention to how large the cable machine you’re considering is and whether or not you have enough space in your home to accommodate it. There’s nothing worse than spending thousands of dollars on premium equipment for it to barely fit for your home gym. While some people may have ample space, others should consider wall mount cable machines or portable ones.
  • Weight – Just as important as dimensions, you want to make sure your house can support the weight of the cable machine you plan to purchase. The packaged weight might be less than 100 lbs, but once you add on plates and accessories the total weight of your product may be much higher than you expected. If you plan on using your cable machine in a home gym that’s on ground level and have plenty of help with assembly, then purchasing a higher-weight machine is completely fine. However, if you’re training above the 1st floor of your home or have limited assistance with assembly, then going with a lighter machine is best.
  • Assembly Time – If you live alone or don’t have any help setting up your cable machine, then it’s probably best to purchase a machine with fewer parts and a shorter assembly time. However, if you have more than 1 person in your house or can easily get help with setup, then assembly time isn’t as big of a deal.
  • Warranty – Does the cable machine you want to buy have a warranty, even if it’s limited? Although no one plans for their new equipment to break down quickly, it may be helpful to have coverage in the rare occurrence that something is defective.
  • Reputation – What do customers say about the cable machine they purchased? Does it have at least 4 out of 5 stars? Make sure to read through the reviews on Amazon to see what people say about the product and check for any potential red flags.

The Best Cable Machine For Home Gym Use: Our Top 12 Recommendations

Due to the high demand for cable machines, the market is gradually becoming oversaturated, making it more difficult to determine which home gym cable machines stand out above the rest. However, we did the work for you and compiled a list of the 12 best cable machines.

XMARK Functional Trainer Cable Machine

Best Overall Cable Machine

XMARK Functional Trainer Cable Machine

This functional trainer is one of the most versatile pieces of equipment for home use. It’s easily adjustable and provides plenty of resistance for you to challenge yourself.

Its key features include 19 adjustment slots spaced at 3.5” apart, dual 200 lb stacks with each plate weighing 10 lb, and a pull-up bar.

It also comes with easily interchangeable accessories including a pair of 8″ hand straps, a pair of 17″ long strap handles, a 23″ tricep rope, a short bar and a 42″ long bar, a leg extension/leg curl strap, and an ankle strap.

This machine has risen to the top of heavy-duty cable machines due to its heavy-duty 11-gauge 2″ x 3″ steel mainframe construction, skid-resistant feet, and scratch-resistant, baked powder coat finish. Its dimensions are 65” W x 43.5” L x 83” H and its total weight is around 807 lbs.

Finally, it comes with a lifetime warranty for its frame and a 1-year warranty on moving parts and hardware.

Customers have rated it a 4.8 out of 5 stars from among 591 reviews. Based on their feedback, this machine will require a few hours for assembly and you’ll need at least one other person around to help.

Features

  • Dual pulley system with 19 settings for height
  • Each side provides resistance ranging from 10 lbs to 200 lbs
  • Has a pull-up bar and several accessories

But be aware of…

  • Higher price point compared to other brands
  • Takes up a lot of space
  • Assembly requires 2 or more people and several hours to complete

Premium Dual Cable Machine

FreeMotion Dual Cable EXT Crossover

This state-of-the-art cable machine can be found in gyms all across the US. Each arm rotates vertically in a 12″ setting and horizontally in a 9″ setting which accommodates a wide variety of movements.

The FreeMotion Dual Cable EXT Crossover comes with dual weight stacks that each weigh 210 lbs so there’s plenty of resistance to train with. It’s constructed out of 7 and 11-gauge steel tubing and is electrostatically powder-coated.

It weighs 925 lbs and has dimensions of 60″ L x 113″ W x 84″ H. Coverage includes a lifetime warranty on the frame, a 10-year warranty for parts, and a 1-year warranty for cables.

Over 50% of customers have rated it 5 stars, however, it’s not easy to assemble so we highly recommend that you pay for in-home delivery and assembly.

Features

  • Dual pulley system with flexibility
  • Each side provides resistance up to 210 lbs
  • Incredibly durable

But be aware of…

  • Most expensive cable machine on our list
  • Only comes with one set of handles
  • Does not have other accessories or built-in features like a pull-up bar

Cable Machine With The Most Freedom For Movement

Inspire Fitness FTX Functional Trainer

If you’re looking for a cable machine that gives you the most freedom for movement, then the Inspire Fitness FTX Functional Trainer is what you need.

This machine comes with 30 swivel pulley positions that provide movement in practically any direction for unrestricted exercises.

It also comes with two 165 lb. weight stacks, a pull-up station, and accessories including a triceps rope, pair of deluxe D handles, a chin/dip belt, and a curl bar.

You can have confidence in its durability as it’s made with heavy-duty steel and finished with a matte black powder coat. Its dimensions are 40″ L x 54″ W x 85″ H and its total weight is around 624 lbs.

The best part? the Inspire Fitness FTX Functional Trainer has a lifetime warranty for both its frame and parts – this is rare to find.

Customers have rated it a 4.8 out of 5 stars and say that assembly is relatively easy as long as you have two or more people.

Features

  • 30 swivel pulley positions
  • Dual weighted stacks that each provide a resistance of up to 165 lbs.
  • Has a pull-up bar and several accessories

But be aware of…

  • Higher price point compared to other brands
  • Takes up a lot of space
  • Assembly requires 2 or more people and several hours to complete

Compact Mid-Range Functional Trainer

Body-Solid Powerline PFT100 Functional Trainer

This functional trainer from Body-Solid is more affordable than most dual-weight stack trainers and is also more compact.

It has vertically adjustable pulleys that swivel smoothly through a 180-degree range of motion and there are 20 starting positions to choose from.

Each weight stack is 160 lbs, but you can upgrade to two 210 lb weight stacks as well. It also comes with a built-in pull-up bar and two adjustable nylon cable handles.

The Body-Solid Powerline PFT100 Functional Trainer weighs 476 lbs and its dimensions are 42″ L 63″ W 83″ H. It’s covered by a 10-year warranty for the frame and a 1-year warranty for parts.

Customers have rated it a 4.6 out of 5 stars and said that it’s reasonably easy to set up, but it will take 2-3 hours.

Features

  • 20 positions for pulleys
  • Dual weighted stacks that each provide a resistance of up to 160 lbs.
  • Has a pull-up bar and comes with handles

But be aware of…

  • Higher price point compared to other brands
  • Does not include accessories
  • Similar products come with lifetime warranties, not 10-year

Great For High And Low Pulley Exercises

Body-Solid Powerline PCCO90X Cable Crossover Machine

This is a great option if you’re looking for a machine that allows you to do a variety of high and low pulley exercises.

It comes with 180° swivel high and low pulleys for exercises like chest cross over, chops, standing double bicep curls, and tricep extensions. Two cable handles and one ankle strap are also included so that you can train variations of certain exercises and even train legs and glutes.

Something to keep in mind with this machine is that its resistance is based on its plate load and all weight plates, collars, and adapter sleeves must be purchased separately. The good news is that it supports both Olympic and standard plates.

This machine is supported by a wide and tall mainframe, a professional carriage system, patented nylon bushing technology, eight sealed ball bearing, and is made with aluminum. Its dimensions are 112″ L x 39″ W x 82″ H and it weighs 108 lbs.

On top of all the above, it comes with a 10-year warranty on its frame and a 1-year warranty for its parts.

Customers have rated it a 4.5 out of 5 stars and say that its assembly isn’t difficult but you may want to have someone else around to help.

Features

  • 180° swivel high and low pulleys
  • Supports both Olympic and standard plates
  • Comes with two cable handles and one ankle strap

But be aware of…

  • Must purchase plates separately
  • Takes up a lot of space
  • Pulleys are not vertically adjustable

Highly Rated Cable Crossover Station

Valor Fitness BD-61 Cable Crossover Station

This cable crossover station is incredibly popular for two main reasons – not only is it one of the most affordable models available today, but it also comes with tons of features that are typically found in higher price point machines.

It features 16 adjustable positions and comes with a lat pull-down bar, a curl/row bar, 2 single strap handles, and a pull-up station. Additionally, it supports a 200 lb max weight load and comes with adapter sleeves so that you can use either standard or Olympic plates.

It weighs 940 lbs and has dimensions of 50″ L 56″ W 81″ H. The frame is covered by a 3-year warranty and the cable is covered by a 2-year warranty.

Customers have rated it a 4.4 out of 5 stars and say that its assembly requires 2-3 hours.

Features

  • 16 positions for pulleys
  • Supports standard and Olympic plates
  • Has a pull-up bar and comes with several accessories

But be aware of…

  • Only supports up to 200 lbs
  • Some people prefer a standard pull-up bar
  • Similar products come with longer warranties

Affordable Single Weight Stack Functional Trainer

Body-Solid Best Fitness BFFT10R Functional Trainer

This machine proves that not all functional trainers have to cost an arm and a leg.

This affordable functional trainer comes with a single 190 lb weight stack and features adjustable pulleys which swivel 180 degrees and allow you to train in a variety of positions.

It also comes with an integrated straight chin-up bar along with two adjustable nylon cable handles.

The BFFT10R Functional Trainer weighs 309 lbs and its dimensions are 55″ L x 61″ W x 84″ H. It has a 3-year warranty for the frame and a 1-year warranty for parts.

Customers have rated it a 4.3 out of 5 stars and say that assembly is fairly easy.

Features

  • Has adjustable swivel handles
  • Comes with pull-up bar and handles
  • Takes up less space than other functional trainers

But be aware of…

  • Missing other perks found in premium functional trainers
  • Not ideal for heavy lifters
  • No other attachments included

Multi-Trainer With Options For Heavy Weight

Bowflex Blaze Home Gym

Most cable machines don’t come with the accessories you need for a true full-body workout. The Bowflex Blaze Home Gym, however, is quite the exception.

This machine allows you to train 65+ exercises and features a 210 lb Power Rod resistance technology that can be upgraded to 310 lbs or 410 lbs.

It comes with a sliding seat rail that allows you to perform aerobic rowing and leg presses, multiple cable/pulley positions, a lat pulldown bar and squat bar, triple function hand-grip/ankle cuffs, as well as a folding bench.

The Bowflex Blaze Home Gym weighs 191 lbs and its dimensions are 90″ L 38″ W 83″ H. It’s covered by a ‎5-year manufacturer’s limited warranty.

Customers have rated it a 4.6 out of 5 stars and report that assembly takes several hours and that it’s best to have help with setup.

Features

  • No weight stacks are required
  • Comes with everything you need for basic full-body training
  • More affordable than other functional trainers

But be aware of…

  • No pull-up area
  • Customers report that leg exercises are not comfortable
  • Heavy lifters must upgrade

Best Home Gym Cable Machine at a Glance

For Beginners Who Want A Little Of Everything

Valor Fitness Cable Machine

The Valor Fitness Cable Machine’s overall functionality and simple design set it apart from the competition, especially since it is also safe, durable, and inexpensive and has all of the essential features of a cable machine.

Its multifunctional system supports pulldowns, low rows, cable curls, and abs workouts. Additionally, the adjustable lower utility T-Bar and lat bar maximize lat, shoulder, and arm exercises while providing risk-free training. 

This machine has a max weight capacity of 200 lbs and can accommodate both 1” size plates and 2” Olympic size plates.

The Valor Fitness Cable Machine’s heavy-duty foundation is constructed from 2” x 2” 12-gauge steel, and stands out in terms of safety and structural integrity. The seat pads are made of high-density dual-layered padding that can withstand stress over time. Weighted storage pegs made of steel rods are also available for added strength and durability. 

The machine weighs 83 lbs and has assembled dimensions of 53.5″ L 24″ W 80″ H. Its warranties include ‎a 3-year frame, a 2-year pad and cable, and a 1-year popper pin.

Customers have rated it a 4.5 out of 5 stars and say that assembly takes an hour or less.

Features

  • Supports full-body training
  • Accommodates both Olympic and standard plates
  • 16 adjustment positions

But be aware of…

  • Must purchase plates separately
  • Not ideal for heavy lifters
  • Fewer perks than other functional trainers

Archon Cable Machine Wall Mount

Minimalistic Design With Generous Weight Capacity

Archon Cable Machine Wall Mount

Trying to take up as little space as possible? Try this cable machine wall mount.

Both the top and the bottom of the cable station mount to your wall and this machine is quite versatile.

Its crossover system consists of a dual swivel pulley station with 17 vertical adjustable bilateral and unilateral training positions. These allow various workout methods to hit different muscle groups on a single cable machine.

The system can carry a maximum capacity of 250 pounds without interfering with the mounting system and it’s able to support 1” standard and 2” Olympic plates. Additionally, it has four linear bearing plate carriages to reduce friction on solid steel rods during exercises. 

It weighs 82 lbs and the dimensions are 19.73″ L 29.89″ W 90.5″ H. Although it’s not stated on Amazon, Archon typically provides a 5-year warranty for structural damage and a 2-year warranty for both hardware and pulley bearings.

Customers have rated it a 4.7 out of 5 stars and say that assembly is easy.

Features

  • Top and bottom mount to wall
  • Supports both Olympic and standard plates
  • 17 vertical adjustable bilateral and unilateral training positions

But be aware of…

  • Must purchase plates separately
  • Not ideal for heavy lifters
  • Missing perks of free-standing cable machines

Most Affordable Wall Mount

Valor Fitness BD-62 Wall Mount Cable Station

The Valor Fitness BD-62 is another wonderful option for a wall mount cable station and it’s one of the most affordable ones available.

This wall mount cable station comes with 16 adjustment positions and a double bar track that allows for smooth movements. It attaches to both the top and bottom of the wall you secure it to for enhanced stability.

Its plate-loaded carriage system supports a max weight load of 200 lbs and the machine can be used with Olympic plates.

This wall mount cable station only weighs 62 lbs and has dimensions of ‎25″ L 24.5″ W 80″ H. It comes with a 3-year warranty for the frame and a 1-year warranty for the cable.

Customers have rated it a 4.6 out of 5 stars and say that assembly is easy and can be done without assistance.

Features

  • Top and bottom mount to wall
  • Supports both Olympic and standard plates
  • 16 adjustment positions

But be aware of…

  • Must purchase plates separately
  • Not ideal for heavy lifters
  • Missing perks of free-standing cable machines

MAXPRO Smart Cable Gym

Portable Smart Cable Machine

MAXPRO Smart Cable Gym

If you’re searching for a truly portable cable machine then the MAXPRO Smart Cable Gym deserves your consideration.

It combines strength, cardio, suspension, plyometrics, and functional training all into one 9 lb device that folds conveniently.

Each purchase comes with Raw Metal SmartConnect, a 3-piece quick connect long bar, workout handles, ankle/wrist straps, door mount brackets, and a USB charger.

One of the standout features of the MAXPRO Smart Cable Gym is that it’s Bluetooth compatible and is able to track your workout, monitor your progress, provide data analysis, and give coaching recommendations while working out.

Despite only weighing 9 lbs, it can withstand resistance from 5lbs to 300lbs. The tension is adjustable with a simple turn of a dial after the succeeding exercises. 

This cable machine comes with a 2-year warranty and customers have rated it a 4.2 out of 5 stars.

Features

  • Most portable cable machine ever
  • Supports up to 300 lbs of resistance
  • Bluetooth capability

But be aware of…

  • Quite expensive for such a small device
  • Users report issues with the app
  • Not ideal for true full-body training

Best Cable Machine Attachments

Depending on which cable machine you select, you may need to purchase certain attachments separately. The following 4 attachments are among the most popular for cable machine exercises.

Tricep Rope Cable

Yes4All Deluxe Tricep Rope Cable Attachment

Tricep ropes can be used for a wide variety of exercises including tricep press-downs and extensions, bicep curls, face pulls, pull-throughs, and more.

This tricep rope is made from a 27″ black nylon braided open and comes with a stainless steel carabiner, a chrome-plated attachment hook, and solid plastic ends.


Double D Row Handle

Yes4All Double D Row Handle

Generally, this type of handle is used for seated cable rows but it can also be used for other exercises like lat pulldowns and squat rows.

This double d row handle features a non-slip, textured surface and is made of steel with a chrome finish for corrosion control.


Lat Pulldown Bar

CAP Barbell LAT Exercise Machine Attachment

Lat pulldown bars can be used to perform variations of cable lat pulldowns which are one of the best exercises for developing the back.

This bar is made from steel, has a protective chrome finish, and comes with rubber handgrips and end caps for ease of use.

It weighs 4.85 lbs and its dimensions are 20″ L 3.35″ W 1.8″ H.


Ankle Strap

DMoose Ankle Strap

Ankle straps are used primarily for glute kickbacks, abductions, leg curls, and leg extensions.

This ankle strap is made with sweat-resistant, breathable neoprene and comes with stainless steel D-rings for attaching to a clamp.


Cable Machine Dimensions

If you’re trying to narrow down your options when it comes to selecting the best cable machine based on size, here’s a list of each machine’s height and weight in ascending order:

  • MAXPRO Smart Cable Gym – 10’’L x 4” W x 16’’ H, 9 lbs
  • Valor Fitness BD-62 Wall Mount Cable Station – 25’’ L x 24.5’’ W x 80’’ H, 62 lbs
  • Valor Fitness Cable Machine – 53.5″ L 24″ W 80″ H, 83 lbs
  • Valor Fitness BD-61 Cable Crossover Station – 50″ L 56″ W 81″ H, 940 lbs
  • Body-Solid Powerline PCCO90X Cable Crossover Machine – 112″ L x 39″ W x 82″ H, 108 lbs
  • Bowflex Blaze Home Gym – 90″ L 38″ W 83″ H, 191 lbs
  • Body-Solid Powerline PFT100 Functional Trainer – 42″ L x 63″ W x 83″ H, 476 lbs
  • XMARK Functional Trainer – 43.5” L x 65” W x 83” H, 807 lbs
  • Body-Solid Best Fitness BFFT10R Functional Trainer – 55″ L x 61″ W x 84″ H, 309 lbs
  • FreeMotion Dual Cable EXT Crossover – 60″ L x 113″ W x 84″ H, 925 lbs
  • Inspire Fitness FTX Functional Trainer – 40″ L x 54″ W x 85″ H, 624 lbs
  • Archon Cable Machine Wall Mount – 19.73″ L x 29.89″ W x 90.5″ H, 82 lbs

What Types Of Cable Machines Are Available?

Cable machines come in different designs, structures, weight capacities, and overall functionality, and selecting the right kind should be based on your workout routine. Here are the common types of cable machines.

Plate-Loaded 

Plate-loaded cable machines use stack-up plates to perform pulling and tension exercises. It enables anyone to train without needing a spotter while lowering the risk of injury due to the structural support and controlled movement range.

Weighted Stack

A weighted stack is a cable machine that consists of a weighted stack in two variations: single-weighted stack and double-weighted stack.

Power Rack Extension

Power rack extensions offer additional attachments to the existing pulley system. This attachment includes a plate-loaded cable machine with adjustable levels.

Functional Trainer

A functional trainer is a cable machine built with two pulley systems attached to dual weighted stacks. Each pulley can be adjusted in height, angle, and horizontal placement to suit the users’ needs.

Lat Pulldown

A lat pulldown is a cable system with a detachable seat for lat pulldown exercises. The chair is useful for other activities that require the use of the cable machine.

Home Gym Cable Machine Benefits

Home gym cable machines have become quite popular due to their numerous uses and resulting benefits. It’s a safer option than other pieces of equipment because you’re always pulling or pushing away, and if something goes wrong, then you can simply let go of the pulley.

Another advantage of using cable machines is that they’re able to constantly work your core. When using a cable machine, you are almost always standing, which requires your entire body to work, unlike other exercises, such as the chest press, which requires you to lie down. 

It also provides tough resistance to the muscles without the need for heavy loads or other equipment, saving you money while improving your physique effectively through consistent training.

On top of these key features, cable machines are also customizable and can be adjusted to best suit each person’s height or preferred weight as they get stronger. You can also use specific attachments to incorporate other types of exercises.

Finally, cable exercises can target a wide variety of muscle groups and they are most commonly used in exercises such as the following: cable squats, standing kickbacks, cable pull-throughs, single-arm chest press, chest flys, standing rows, kneeling lat pull-downs, wood chops, and Pallof presses.

Cable Machine Exercise Resources

Cable machines are among the most versatile pieces of gym equipment available today. While this is certainly a great attribute, it can feel a bit overwhelming when it comes down to selecting which specific exercises are best for your goals as the options seem endless.

Below are some of the best channels on Youtube that provide guidance on cable machine training. The videos from these channels can help you get started and come up with more ideas for exercises.

Bodybuilding.com

Bodybuilding.com is one of the best places to go when searching for demonstrations on how to execute certain exercises. Their Youtube channel offers tons of instructional videos for cable machine-specific exercises and is great for beginners who need to learn proper form.

Here’s a video from their channel on how to perform a cable rope overhead tricep extension:

Muscle & Strength

Muscle & Strength is another bodybuilding-centric website that provides thousands of free workouts, diet plans, guides, and tools. Many of their videos feature IFBB Pros and world-renown fitness professionals and they have several guides to training with cable machines.

Here’s a video featuring IFBB Men’s Physique Pro Brandon Hendrickson providing guidance on the best cable exercises for chest isolation:

Gym Body Motivation

Gym Body Motivation is dedicated to providing weekly motivational videos about bodybuilding and fitness. One of their playlists is exclusively focused on cable-only workouts and offers tons of exercises for all muscle groups.

Here’s a video covering 6 cable exercises for a bigger back:

Erin Stern

Erin Stern is a fitness model and bodybuilder who won Ms. Figure Olympia twice and is a 14-time IFBB Champion. She is regarded as one of the greatest icons of women’s figure in the history of bodybuilding and continues to assist thousands of people each year on their journey to better living.

Her channel shares training techniques, workouts, meal tips, and lifestyle tips. Here’s a video of a standing abs workout that she completed through the use of cable machine exercises:

Jeff Nippard

Jeff Nipard is a Canadian natural pro bodybuilder and internationally-qualified powerlifter whose channel is dedicated to providing science-based training and nutrition information. Some of his playlists include Full Body Science Applied Workouts, Technique Tuesday, and Myth Bust Monday.

In this video, he explains how to build bigger glutes and features Stephanie Buttermore performing the cable glute kickback:

FAQs About Cable Machines

What Is A Cable Machine?

A cable machine is a piece of gym equipment that comes with adjustable cable pulleys that attach to various styles of handles or rods which are used in different directions to target specific muscle groups. The machine’s resistance is derived from the addition of standard or Olympic weight plates (plate-loaded) or weight stacks that are built into the machine.

Cable machines are versatile in that they allow the user to switch up their angle, weight, and grip to perform a wide variety of exercises that rely on certain ranges of motion. Other pieces of gym equipment typically do not have this range of flexibility and are intended for single exercises or muscle groups.

Additionally, cable machine exercises typically require very low amounts of weight compared to those used during compound movements such as squats or deadlifts. As such, they’re used by a larger population and can be used to target smaller muscle groups like biceps, triceps, and shoulders.

Although they’re not typically used for larger or heavy movements, some cable machines come with add-ons like benches, a leg extension/leg curl bar, or a lat pulldown area so that it can be used for full-body training and compound movements.

How Much Is A Cable Machine?

Generally, you can expect to pay between $800 to $3,000 for a cable machine depending on factors such as add-ons, accessories, weight capacity, and size.

Smaller, more basic cable machines typically come in the form of wall mounts that don’t take up much space and cost around $300-$600. They generally don’t come with many add-ons and support a lower weight capacity.

Less advanced functional trainers with cables or basic dual-pulley cable machines usually cost between $600 and $900. They support a bit heavier weight than mall mounts and typically come with a few accessories like handles or a pull-up bar.

More advanced cable machines generally cost $2,000+ and serve as a compact home gym. Not only do they support a higher weight capacity, but they also have the most add-ons and support a greater range of compound movements.

How Much Does Each Weight Stack Weigh In Cable Machines?

Typically, weight stacks are around 10 lbs each and most cable machines offer a weight capacity of around 200 lbs, or 20 stacks total.

What Exercises Can You Do On A Cable Machine?

The amount of exercise you can do on a cable machine seems infinite. However, here are some of the most popular cable machine exercises:

  • Cable Crossover
  • Bicep Curls
  • Tricep Extensions
  • Crunches
  • Woodchoppers
  • Cable Flyes
  • Lat Pulldowns
  • Lat Press
  • Single-Arm Rows
  • Lateral Raises
  • Glute Kickbacks
  • Pull-Throughs
  • Reverse Flyes

Can You Build Muscle With Cable Machines?

Absolutely! Cable machines allow you to train a much wider range of muscle groups than most machines and support higher volume training.

Despite having lower weight capacities than other types of equipment, they typically offer enough options for resistance for most people to challenge themselves with and are ideal for targeting smaller muscle groups that often get left behind. Not only that, they offer an incredible range of motion that’s often hard to achieve with most machines.


Editor’s note: we are regularly updating this review. If you see any problems, weird interpretations of the data, or just want to say hi, please reach out to hello@the-unwinder.com.

Photo by Total Shape on Unsplash

About the author

Vella is a freelance content writer specializing in health and wellness, fitness, lifestyle, and CBD, among others. She worked as a journalist for a radio station before venturing into freelance writing. In her free time, she travels and explores nature and beaches. She can be reached via email at vellagonzaga@gmail.com.

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