Are you considering purchasing a cable machine for your home gym? Does the fitness center you are a member have cable machines? If you are new to cable attachments, consider including them in your fitness routine. Cable attachments are versatile and give you a wide range for upper body movements. Recently, when I was at the gym, someone asked me, ‘Why use cable attachments?’ My response was, ‘Why not, don’t limit yourself!’ Let’s discuss the basics! Learn what are cable attachments and what are some of the more popular attachments that will find in the gym or consider purchasing for your home?
Why use Cable Attachments? Cable attachments are designed to use with cable-based machines and easily attach with a carabiner clip to the machine. Using cable attachments will significantly increase the number of exercise possibilities with your upper body. Plus, as you get more advanced, there are lower body exercises that you can do with cable attachments, but I will save that for another blog. Cable attachments allow you to a exercise with greater range of motion because of the freedom of exercising in a variety of different angles. Unlike machines, you are not confined to exercising within a defined range of motion.
What are some of the popular Cable Attachments? Let's discuss (5) commonly used cable attachments that will jump start your workout: Low Row, Strap Grip, Stirrup Grip, Straight Bar and Lat Pulldown.
The Low Row Cable Attachment is sometimes referred to as the Double D or the 3-D V-Shaped Handle. It is often used as a standing or seated row, which is a pulling movement. This compound movement works the lats and biceps. Click to see full product description.
The Strap Grip gives the user tremendous options in an upper body workout because of the flexibility of the strap. Some of the exercises with the Strap Grip are bicep curls, press downs, chest presses, seated rows, and pull downs. The flexibility of the strap allows you to work a variety of upper body muscles including the biceps, triceps, lats, deltoids, and pecs. When working out with a strap grip, it is a one-handed motion. Therefore, you are working out each side of the body independently, which avoids one side compensating for the other that could create a strength imbalance. Click to see full product description.
The Stirrup Grip is sometimes referred to as the cable version of a dumbbell. Like the dumbbell, the stirrup grip on a cable unit allows for a variety of pressing and pulling movements. For example, the bicep curl would be a pulling motion and the tricep press down would be a pressing or pushing motion. Like the Strap Grip, working out on with stirrup grip is a one-handed movement. Therefore, you are working each side of the body independently. Click to see full product description.
The Straight Bar is very versatile because it allows for multiple pulling and pushing upper body movements. Some of these exercises include bicep curl, pull downs, high rows, upright rows and shrugs. With the versatility of this attachment, you can activate the major muscle groups of the upper body. Most straight bars are 20 inches long. However, some brands are available in 14 inches and 26 inches long. This is important because we are not all the same size! You should consider choosing a straight bar based on your shoulder width. If you have a wider stance, consider the 26-inch bar. However, if you have a narrower stance, the 14-inch bar would be a better choice. Click to see full product description.
The Lat Pulldown is a long bar that runs straight and curves at each end, which allows the user to naturally grip the bend in the bar. When attached to the cable machines, you use the bar to perform lat pulldowns to the chest or behind the neck, to exercise your lats. However, do not limit yourself to lat pulldowns! This bar has multiple purposes, especially when performing exercises with a wider grip. This includes exercises such as wide-grip upright rows, wide-grip cable shrugs, wide-grip seated rows and wide-grip tricep press downs. Click to see full product description.
By discussing the basics, hopefully, this article has taken some of the mystery out of using cable attachments and given you the groundwork to use cable attachments the next time you are in the gym. As a fitness educator and former owner of a personal training facility, I have always encouraged the use of cable attachments. Attach those cable attachments and ‘Jump Start Your Workout!’ My next blog, I will focus on the five factors to consider when purchasing cable attachments.