Whether you’re a longtime gym member or a newbie, the weight machines can be intimidating. They're often located at the back of the gym, near the free weights, bench press, and the sweaty men who seem to congregate around this equipment. It’s hard to know the purpose and proper use of each weight machine. Yet, weight machines can be just as useful for women as they are for men. In particular, the cable tower is versatile and can be used to work various muscles. So, work up the courage to jump off that elliptical and tone your arms on a weight machine at least two times per week.
Warm up by walking or jogging for 10 minutes.
Perform bicep curls on the cable tower. Choose the weight you want to lift by adjusting the pin in the weight stack. On your first try, start with low weight and add more later. Stand facing the cable tower with your feet hip-width apart. Grab the low cable pulley bar. Straighten your arms, positioning them slightly in front of your body. Your palms should face the wall in front of you. Stand tall and bend your elbows, lifting the pulley bar to your shoulders. Straighten your arms and lower the pulley bar back down slowly. Focus on keeping your wrists stable and upper arms close to your body. Repeat 15 times.
Do triceps extensions. Stand up with your back facing the cable tower. Lift your arms into the air, bend your elbows and grab onto the medium high cable pulley bar. Step forward with your left foot. Bend your left knee and lean forward with your upper body. Keep your right leg straight. Lift your arms up so that your upper arms are near your ears. Straighten your arms. Your arms should be parallel with the floor with your palms facing down. Bend your elbows and bring the pulley bar behind your head. Straighten your arms. Repeat 15 times.
Work your brachialis muscles in your upper arms with the cable concentration curl. Place a bench or chair facing the cable tower. Sit on the edge of the chair with your legs apart. Rest your elbow against your inner thigh. Grab onto the stirrup attachment. Straighten your arm. Your palm should face the ceiling. Bend your elbow, bringing your hand to your shoulder. Lower slowly. Repeat 20 times on each arm.
Cool down by walking or jogging for 10 minutes.
Stretch your biceps and brachialis. Grab your hands together behind your back. Interlace your fingers and push your hands back until you feel a stretch in your biceps. Your palms should be facing the wall behind you. Hold for 20 seconds.
Stretch your triceps. Lift your shoulders up and then roll them back. Raise your left arm into the air, bend your left elbow and bring your left hand behind your back. Grab onto your left elbow with your right hand. Press down slightly with your right hand until you feel a stretch. Hold for 20 seconds.
- If you feel pain while stretching, stop immediately.
Though constantly traveling the world, Julia Williams is based in Chicago and has been writing since 2006. Williams holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting. She is also a licensed fitness instructor, specializing in Pilates since 2003 and has written hundreds of articles on exercise and health.