A hidden gym gem (until now), the cable machine cords hold the power to tone it all. Here’s exactly how it changes your fitness and your body…
You’ll get stronger faster (yes please!)
Imagine doing a biceps curl with a dumbbell — it’s tough on the way up and easier on the way down. That second part — what experts call eccentric movement – is harder with cables. “The cable machine is unique in that it provides continuous tension on the muscle throughout the exercise,” says certified strength and conditioning specialist Joe Dowdell.
You have to keep flexing to prevent the cables from pulling you in the opposite direction. Two-way resistance means muscle fibres experience more stress during strength exercises, leading to quicker muscle growth.
You’ll tighten your core from every angle
Cable towers force you to counter instability as you move because you’re not seated in position as you are with other machines. That means cable exercises recruit more of your core to keep you stable, says certified strength and conditioning coach Rachel Cosgrove, building solid ab and back muscles as you work out.
Even exercises that aren’t specifically for your core will help — it’ll be fired up as you stabilise or fight rotation throughout the motion. In other words, the rest will come.
You’ll slash those pesky aches and pains
The pulley system means you’re not working against the force of gravity as you work out, which takes stress off your joints. For example, “being able to stand upright while performing a row or chest press relieves pressure on your back,” says Cosgrove.
And swapping free weights for cables allows you to practise controlled, fluid form during tough exercises – in a safe environment. Note: 90 percent of gym injuries come from dumbbells and barbells, according to The American Journal of Sports Medicine. (You can’t drop a cable on your toe!)
You’ll boost your burn
Full-body workout without leaving your station? Can do. All you need are a few quick weight and pulley adjustments to hit every muscle group. That versatility makes for a fast, efficient workout and, with speedier transitions between moves, you’ll save time and increase your overall calorie burn and fat loss, says Cosgrove.