A wide array of machines has made its way into the fitness world in recent years, making weight machine options a cloudy issue. While some of these machines have lots to offer, others fall flat in the benefits department. The cable machine is a staple in most fitness facilities, and while its function may be intimidating to beginners, its benefits are worth stepping out of your comfort zone for. Integrate it into your strength-training programs to build and shape gorgeous muscles.
Cable Machine Function
By default, cable machines are daunting for beginners. Their large design and functionality resembles a Medieval torture device rather than a weight machine. However, when you look past the intimidating façade, its clear to see the functionality is quite simple. Cable machines consist of two weight racks connected by an overhead bar and a system of pulleys you use to lift and lower the weights. These machines resemble selectorized weight machines as you choose weight by inserting a pin underneath your desired weight load for each rack. During the exercise, you pull on the cable handles and lift the weights off the rack. Due to its design, it may be enjoyed by beginners and advanced level exercisers, so you've got no excuses.
Continual Muscle Tension
Build muscles or build strength -- in either case, you must introduce tension to promote fiber changes to get the change you want. While free weights provide tension when lifting the weight against gravity, muscle tension is lost during the downswing of the movement. However, cable machines provide constant tension while you lift and lower the weights. Since muscle growth and strength increases are directly based on how much tension is placed on muscles during the exercise, cable machines may fatigue muscles faster and result in expedited mass and strength gains. Challenge those muscles to meet your goals.
Quickly switching between exercises is an essential part of training methods such as circuit training or supersets. While switching from one exercise to another with dumbbells is a fairly quick affair, weight machines are notorious for disrupting such exercise programs as you must adjust the machines for your height and strength levels, which expand between exercises. Cable machines, on the other hand, may only require changing the weight amount or handles between exercises. This type of flexibility lets you quickly alternate exercises, which can reduce exercise duration while simultaneously supporting the aforementioned strength-training programs. Switch and move on to the next exercise.
Proper Lifting Technique
Learning proper lifting technique is essential to prevent accidental injury or to incorrectly train a muscle. Weight machines are notoriously useful for this purpose. While the cable machine does not feature as strict movement limitations as its plate loaded or selectorized machine counterparts, it does promote proper lifting technique. Lift right to build muscles without a trip to the doctor.
- Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images