Cable

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81 Exercises

Alternating Cable Shoulder Press

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Move the cables to the bottom of the tower and select an appropriate weight.
  • Grasp the cables and hold them at shoulder height, palms facing forward. This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping your head and chest up, extend through the elbow to press one side directly over head.
  • After pausing at the top, return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side.

Bent Over Low-Pulley Side Lateral

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • lower back
  • middle back
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Select a weight and hold the handle of the low pulley with your right hand.
  • Bend at the waist until your torso is nearly parallel to the floor. Your legs should be slightly bent with your left hand placed on your lower left thigh. Your right arm should be hanging from your shoulder in front of you and with a slight bend at the elbow. This will be your starting position.
  • Raise your right arm, elbow slightly bent, to the side until the arm is parallel to the floor and in line with your right ear. Breathe out as you perform this step.
  • Slowly lower the weight back to the starting position as you breathe in.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions and repeat the movement with the other arm.

Bosu Ball Cable Crunch With Side Bends

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Connect a standard handle to each arm of a cable machine, and position them in the most downward position.
  • Grab a Bosu Ball and position it in front and center of the cable machine.
  • Lie down on the Bosu Ball with the small of your back arched around the ball. Your rear end should be close to the floor without touching it.
  • With both hands, reach back and grab the handle of each cable.
  • With your feet positioned in a wide stance, extend your arms straight out in front of you and in between your knees. Your hands should be at knee level.
  • Keep your arms straight and in-line with the upward angle of the cable. Elevate your torso in a crunching motion without dropping or bending your arms.
  • Maintain the rigid position with your arms. Slowly descend back to the starting position with your back arched around the Bosu Ball and your abdominals elongated.
  • Repeat the same series of movements to failure.
  • Once you reach failure, keep your abs tight and raise your torso into plank position so your back is elevated off the Bosu Ball.
  • Lower your arms down to your side; keep them straight. Start doing alternating side bends; reach for your heels! This finishing movement will focus on your obliques.

Cable Chest Press

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • chest
Secondary Muscles:
  • shoulders
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Adjust the weight to an appropriate amount and be seated, grasping the handles. Your upper arms should be about 45 degrees to the body, with your head and chest up. The elbows should be bent to about 90 degrees. This will be your starting position.
  • Begin by extending through the elbow, pressing the handles together straight in front of you. Keep your shoulder blades retracted as you execute the movement.
  • After pausing at full extension, return to th starting position, keeping tension on the cables.
  • You can also execute this movement with your back off the pad, at an incline or decline, or alternate hands.

Cable Crossover

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • chest
Secondary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • To get yourself into the starting position, place the pulleys on a high position (above your head), select the resistance to be used and hold the pulleys in each hand.
  • Step forward in front of an imaginary straight line between both pulleys while pulling your arms together in front of you. Your torso should have a small forward bend from the waist. This will be your starting position.
  • With a slight bend on your elbows in order to prevent stress at the biceps tendon, extend your arms to the side (straight out at both sides) in a wide arc until you feel a stretch on your chest. Breathe in as you perform this portion of the movement. Tip: Keep in mind that throughout the movement, the arms and torso should remain stationary; the movement should only occur at the shoulder joint.
  • Return your arms back to the starting position as you breathe out. Make sure to use the same arc of motion used to lower the weights.
  • Hold for a second at the starting position and repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions.

Cable Crunch

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Kneel below a high pulley that contains a rope attachment.
  • Grasp cable rope attachment and lower the rope until your hands are placed next to your face.
  • Flex your hips slightly and allow the weight to hyperextend the lower back. This will be your starting position.
  • With the hips stationary, flex the waist as you contract the abs so that the elbows travel towards the middle of the thighs. Exhale as you perform this portion of the movement and hold the contraction for a second.
  • Slowly return to the starting position as you inhale. Tip: Make sure that you keep constant tension on the abs throughout the movement. Also, do not choose a weight so heavy that the lower back handles the brunt of the work.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Cable Deadlifts

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Move the cables to the bottom of the towers and select an appropriate weight. Stand directly in between the uprights.
  • To begin, squat down be flexing your hips and knees until you can reach the handles.
  • After grasping them, begin your ascent. Driving through your heels extend your hips and knees keeping your hands hanging at your side. Keep your head and chest up throughout the movement.
  • After reaching a full standing position, Return to the starting position and repeat.

Cable Hammer Curls - Rope Attachment

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Instructions:
  • Attach a rope attachment to a low pulley and stand facing the machine about 12 inches away from it.
  • Grasp the rope with a neutral (palms-in) grip and stand straight up keeping the natural arch of the back and your torso stationary.
  • Put your elbows in by your side and keep them there stationary during the entire movement. Tip: Only the forearms should move; not your upper arms. This will be your starting position.
  • Using your biceps, pull your arms up as you exhale until your biceps touch your forearms. Tip: Remember to keep the elbows in and your upper arms stationary.
  • After a 1 second contraction where you squeeze your biceps, slowly start to bring the weight back to the original position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Cable Hip Adduction

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Stand in front of a low pulley facing forward with one leg next to the pulley and the other one away.
  • Attach the ankle cuff to the cable and also to the ankle of the leg that is next to the pulley.
  • Now step out and away from the stack with a wide stance and grasp the bar of the pulley system.
  • Stand on the foot that does not have the ankle cuff (the far foot) and allow the leg with the cuff to be pulled towards the low pulley. This will be your starting position.
  • Now perform the movement by moving the leg with the ankle cuff in front of the far leg by using the inner thighs to abduct the hip. Breathe out during this portion of the movement.
  • Slowly return to the starting position as you breathe in.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions and then repeat the same movement with the opposite leg.

Cable Incline Pushdown

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Instructions:
  • Lie on incline an bench facing away from a high pulley machine that has a straight bar attachment on it.
  • Grasp the straight bar attachment overhead with a pronated (overhand; palms down) shoulder width grip and extend your arms in front of you. The bar should be around 2 inches away from your upper thighs. This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping the upper arms stationary, lift your arms back in a semi circle until the bar is straight over your head. Breathe in during this portion of the movement.
  • Slowly go back to the starting position using your lats and hold the contraction once you reach the starting position. Breathe out during the execution of this movement.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Cable Incline Triceps Extension

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Lie on incline an bench facing away from a high pulley machine that has a straight bar attachment on it.
  • Grasp the straight bar attachment overhead with a pronated (overhand; palms down) narrow grip (less than shoulder width) and keep your elbows tucked in to your sides. Your upper arms should create around a 25 degree angle when measured from the floor.
  • Keeping the upper arms stationary, extend the arms as you flex the triceps. Breathe out during this portion of the movement and hold the contraction for a second.
  • Slowly go back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Cable Internal Rotation

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Sit next to a low pulley sideways (with legs stretched in front of you or crossed) and grasp the single hand cable attachment with the arm nearest to the cable. Tip: If you can adjust the pulley’s height, you can use a flat bench to sit on instead.
  • Position the elbow against your side with the elbow bent at 90° and the arm pointing towards the pulley. This will be your starting position.
  • Pull the single hand cable attachment toward your body by internally rotating your shoulder until your forearm is across your abs. You will be creating an imaginary semi-circle. Tip: The forearm should be perpendicular to your torso at all times.
  • Slowly go back to the initial position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions and then repeat the movement with the next arm.

Cable Iron Cross

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • chest
Instructions:
  • Begin by moving the pulleys to the high position, select the resistance to be used, and take a handle in each hand.
  • Stand directly between both pulleys with your arms extended out to your sides. Your head and chest should be up while your arms form a “T”. This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping the elbows extended, pull your arms straight to your sides.
  • Return your arms back to the starting position after a pause at the peak contraction.
  • Continue the movement for the prescribed number of repetitions.

Cable Judo Flip

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Connect a rope attachment to a tower, and move the cable to the lowest pulley position. Stand with your side to the cable with a wide stance, and grab the rope with both hands.
  • Twist your body away from the pulley as you bring the rope over your shoulder like you’re performing a judo flip.
  • Shift your weight between your feet as you twist and crunch forward, pulling the cable downward.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat until failure.
  • Then, reposition and repeat the same series of movements on the opposite side.

Cable Lying Triceps Extension

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Lie on a flat bench and grasp the straight bar attachment of a low pulley with a narrow overhand grip. Tip: The easiest way to do this is to have someone hand you the bar as you lay down.
  • With your arms extended, position the bar over your torso. Your arms and your torso should create a 90-degree angle. This will be your starting position.
  • Lower the bar by bending at the elbow while keeping the upper arms stationary and elbows in. Go down until the bar lightly touches your forehead. Breathe in as you perform this portion of the movement.
  • Flex the triceps as you lift the bar back to its starting position. Exhale as you perform this portion of the movement.
  • Hold for a second at the contracted position and repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Cable One Arm Tricep Extension

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • With your right hand, grasp a single handle attached to the high-cable pulley using a supinated (underhand; palms facing up) grip. You should be standing directly in front of the weight stack.
  • Now pull the handle down so that your upper arm and elbow are locked in to the side of your body. Your upper arm and forearm should form an acute angle (less than 90-degrees). You can keep the other arm by the waist and you can have one leg in front of you and the other one back for better balance. This will be your starting position.
  • As you contract the triceps, move the single handle attachment down to your side until your arm is straight. Breathe out as you perform this movement. Tip: Only the forearms should move. Your upper arms should remain stationary at all times.
  • Squeeze the triceps and hold for a second in this contracted position.
  • Slowly return the handle to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions and then perform the same movement with the other arm.

Cable Preacher Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Place a preacher bench about 2 feet in front of a pulley machine.
  • Attach a straight bar to the low pulley.
  • Sit at the preacher bench with your elbow and upper arms firmly on top of the bench pad and have someone hand you the bar from the low pulley.
  • Grab the bar and fully extend your arms on top of the preacher bench pad. This will be your starting position.
  • Now start pilling the weight up towards your shoulders and squeeze the biceps hard at the top of the movement. Exhale as you perform this motion. Also, hold for a second at the top.
  • Now slowly lower the weight to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Cable Rear Delt Fly

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Adjust the pulleys to the appropriate height and adjust the weight. The pulleys should be above your head.
  • Grab the left pulley with your right hand and the right pulley with your left hand, crossing them in front of you. This will be your starting position.
  • Initiate the movement by moving your arms back and outward, keeping your arms straight as you execute the movement.
  • Pause at the end of the motion before returning the handles to the start position.

Cable Reverse Crunch

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Connect an ankle strap attachment to a low pulley cable and position a mat on the floor in front of it.
  • Sit down with your feet toward the pulley and attach the cable to your ankles.
  • Lie down, elevate your legs and bend your knees at a 90-degree angle. Your legs and the cable should be aligned. If not, adjust the pulley up or down until they are.
  • With your hands behind your head, bring your knees inward to your torso and elevate your hips off the floor.
  • Pause for a moment and in a slow and controlled manner drop your hips and bring your legs back to the starting 90-degree angle. You should still have tension on your abs in the resting position.
  • Repeat the same movement to failure.

Cable Rope Overhead Triceps Extension

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Attach a rope to the bottom pulley of the pulley machine.
  • Grasping the rope with both hands, extend your arms with your hands directly above your head using a neutral grip (palms facing each other). Your elbows should be in close to your head and the arms should be perpendicular to the floor with the knuckles aimed at the ceiling. This will be your starting position.
  • Slowly lower the rope behind your head as you hold the upper arms stationary. Inhale as you perform this movement and pause when your triceps are fully stretched.
  • Return to the starting position by flexing your triceps as you breathe out.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Cable Rope Rear-Delt Rows

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • middle back
Instructions:
  • Sit in the same position on a low pulley row station as you would if you were doing seated cable rows for the back.
  • Attach a rope to the pulley and grasp it with an overhand grip. Your arms should be extended and parallel to the floor with the elbows flared out.
  • Keep your lower back upright and slide your hips back so that your knees are slightly bent. This will be your starting position.
  • Pull the cable attachment towards your upper chest, just below the neck, as you keep your elbows up and out to the sides. Continue this motion as you exhale until the elbows travel slightly behind the back. Tip: Keep your upper arms horizontal, perpendicular to the torso and parallel to the floor throughout the motion.
  • Go back to the initial position where the arms are extended and the shoulders are stretched forward. Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Cable Russian Twists

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Connect a standard handle attachment, and position the cable to a middle pulley position.
  • Lie on a stability ball perpendicular to the cable and grab the handle with one hand. You should be approximately arm’s length away from the pulley, with the tension of the weight on the cable.
  • Grab the handle with both hands and fully extend your arms above your chest. You hands should be directly in-line with the pulley. If not, adjust the pulley up or down until they are.
  • Keep your hips elevated and abs engaged. Rotate your torso away from the pulley for a full-quarter rotation. Your body should be flat from head to knees.
  • Pause for a moment and in a slow and controlled manner reset to the starting position. You should still have side tension on the cable in the resting position.
  • Repeat the same movement to failure.
  • Then, reposition and repeat the same series of movements on the opposite side.

Cable Seated Crunch

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Seat on a flat bench with your back facing a high pulley.
  • Grasp the cable rope attachment with both hands (with the palms of the hands facing each other) and place your hands securely over both shoulders. Tip: Allow the weight to hyperextend the lower back slightly. This will be your starting position.
  • With the hips stationary, flex the waist so the elbows travel toward the hips. Breathe out as you perform this step.
  • As you inhale, go back to the initial position slowly.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Cable Seated Lateral Raise

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • middle back
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Stand in the middle of two low pulleys that are opposite to each other and place a flat bench right behind you (in perpendicular fashion to you; the narrow edge of the bench should be the one behind you). Select the weight to be used on each pulley.
  • Now sit at the edge of the flat bench behind you with your feet placed in front of your knees.
  • Bend forward while keeping your back flat and rest your torso on the thighs.
  • Have someone give you the single handles attached to the pulleys. Grasp the left pulley with the right hand and the right pulley with the left after you select your weight. The pulleys should run under your knees and your arms will be extended with palms facing each other and a slight bend at the elbows. This will be the starting position.
  • While keeping the arms stationary, raise the upper arms to the sides until they are parallel to the floor and at shoulder height. Exhale during the execution of this movement and hold the contraction for a second.
  • Slowly lower your arms to the starting position as you inhale.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions. Tip: Maintain upper arms perpendicular to torso and a fixed elbow position (10 degree to 30 degree angle) throughout exercise.

Cable Shoulder Press

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Move the cables to the bottom of the towers and select an appropriate weight.
  • Stand directly in between the uprights. Grasp the cables and hold them at shoulder height, palms facing forward. This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping your head and chest up, extend through the elbow to press the handles directly over head.
  • After pausing at the top, return to the starting position and repeat.

Cable Shrugs

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Grasp a cable bar attachment that is attached to a low pulley with a shoulder width or slightly wider overhand (palms facing down) grip.
  • Stand erect close to the pulley with your arms extended in front of you holding the bar. This will be your starting position.
  • Lift the bar by elevating the shoulders as high as possible as you exhale. Hold the contraction at the top for a second. Tip: The arms should remain extended at all times. Refrain from using the biceps to help lift the bar. Only the shoulders should be moving up and down.
  • Lower the bar back to the original position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Cable Wrist Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Start out by placing a flat bench in front of a low pulley cable that has a straight bar attachment.
  • Use your arms to grab the cable bar with a narrow to shoulder width supinated grip (palms up) and bring them up so that your forearms are resting against the top of your thighs. Your wrists should be hanging just beyond your knees.
  • Start out by curling your wrist upwards and exhaling. Keep the contraction for a second.
  • Slowly lower your wrists back down to the starting position while inhaling.
  • Your forearms should be stationary as your wrist is the only movement needed to perform this exercise.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Close-Grip Front Lat Pulldown

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • middle back
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Sit down on a pull-down machine with a wide bar attached to the top pulley. Make sure that you adjust the knee pad of the machine to fit your height. These pads will prevent your body from being raised by the resistance attached to the bar.
  • Grab the bar with the palms facing forward using the prescribed grip. Note on grips: For a wide grip, your hands need to be spaced out at a distance wider than your shoulder width. For a medium grip, your hands need to be spaced out at a distance equal to your shoulder width and for a close grip at a distance smaller than your shoulder width.
  • As you have both arms extended in front of you - while holding the bar at the chosen grip width - bring your torso back around 30 degrees or so while creating a curvature on your lower back and sticking your chest out. This is your starting position.
  • As you breathe out, bring the bar down until it touches your upper chest by drawing the shoulders and the upper arms down and back. Tip: Concentrate on squeezing the back muscles once you reach the full contracted position. The upper torso should remain stationary (only the arms should move). The forearms should do no other work except for holding the bar; therefore do not try to pull the bar down using the forearms.
  • After a second in the contracted position, while squeezing your shoulder blades together, slowly raise the bar back to the starting position when your arms are fully extended and the lats are fully stretched. Inhale during this portion of the movement.
  • 6. Repeat this motion for the prescribed amount of repetitions.

Elevated Cable Rows

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • middle back
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Get a platform of some sort (it can be an aerobics or calf raise platform) that is around 4-6 inches in height.
  • Place it on the seat of the cable row machine.
  • Sit down on the machine and place your feet on the front platform or crossbar provided making sure that your knees are slightly bent and not locked.
  • Lean over as you keep the natural alignment of your back and grab the V-bar handles.
  • With your arms extended pull back until your torso is at a 90-degree angle from your legs. Your back should be slightly arched and your chest should be sticking out. You should be feeling a nice stretch on your lats as you hold the bar in front of you. This is the starting position of the exercise.
  • Keeping the torso stationary, pull the handles back towards your torso while keeping the arms close to it until you touch the abdominals. Breathe out as you perform that movement. At that point you should be squeezing your back muscles hard. Hold that contraction for a second and slowly go back to the original position while breathing in.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

External Rotation with Cable

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Adjust the cable to the same height as your elbow. Stand with your left side to the band a couple of feet away.
  • Grasp the handle with your right hand, and keep your elbow pressed firmly to your side. We recommend you hold a pad or foam roll in place with your elbow to keep it firmly in position.
  • With your upper arm in position, your elbow should be flexed to 90 degrees with your hand reaching across the front of your torso. This will be your starting position.
  • Execute the movement by rotating your arm in a backhand motion, keeping your elbow in place.

Face Pull

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • middle back
Instructions:
  • Facing a high pulley with a rope or dual handles attached, pull the weight directly towards your face, separating your hands as you do so. Keep your upper arms parallel to the ground.

Flat Bench Cable Flyes

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • chest
Instructions:
  • Position a flat bench between two low pulleys so that when you are laying on it, your chest will be lined up with the cable pulleys.
  • Lay flat on the bench and keep your feet on the ground.
  • Have someone hand you the handles on each hand. You will grab each single handle attachment with a palms up grip.
  • Extend your arms by your side with a slight bend on your elbows. Tip: You will keep this bend constant through the whole movement. Your arms should be parallel to the floor. This is your starting position.
  • Now start lifting the arms in a semi-circle motion directly in front of you by pulling the cables together until both hands meet at the top of the movement. Squeeze your chest as you perform this motion and breathe out during this movement. Also, hold the contraction for a second at the top. Tip: When performed correctly, at the top position of this movement, your arms should be perpendicular to your torso and the floor touching above your chest.
  • Slowly come back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Front Cable Raise

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Select the weight on a low pulley machine and grasp the single hand cable attachment that is attached to the low pulley with your left hand.
  • Face away from the pulley and put your arm straight down with the hand cable attachment in front of your thighs at arms' length with the palms of the hand facing your thighs. This will be your starting position.
  • While maintaining the torso stationary (no swinging), lift the left arm to the front with a slight bend on the elbow and the palms of the hand always faces down. Continue to go up until you arm is slightly above parallel to the floor. Exhale as you execute this portion of the movement and pause for a second at the top.
  • Now as you inhale lower the arm back down slowly to the starting position.
  • Once all of the recommended amount of repetitions have been performed for this arm, switch arms and perform the exercise with the right one.

Full Range-Of-Motion Lat Pulldown

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • middle back
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Either standing or seated on a high bench, grasp two stirrup cables that are attached to the high pulleys. Grab with the opposing hand so your arms are crisscrossed about you and your palms are facing forward.
  • Keeping your chest up and maintaining a slight arch in your lower back, pull the handles down as if you were doing a regular pulldown. The range of motion will be more of an arc. During the movement, rotate your hands so that in the bottom position your palms face each other rather than forward. Return slowly to the starting position and repeat.

High Cable Curls

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Instructions:
  • Stand between a couple of high pulleys and grab a handle in each arm. Position your upper arms in a way that they are parallel to the floor with the palms of your hands facing you. This will be your starting position.
  • Curl the handles towards you until they are next to your ears. Make sure that as you do so you flex your biceps and exhale. The upper arms should remain stationary and only the forearms should move. Hold for a second in the contracted position as you squeeze the biceps.
  • Slowly bring back the arms to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Incline Cable Chest Press

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • chest
Secondary Muscles:
  • shoulders
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Adjust the weight to an appropriate amount and be seated, grasping the handles. Your upper arms should be about 45 degrees to the body, with your head and chest up. The elbows should be bent to about 90 degrees. This will be your starting position.
  • Begin by extending through the elbow, pressing the handles together straight in front of you. Keep your shoulder blades retracted as you execute the movement.
  • After pausing at full extension, return to the starting position, keeping tension on the cables.

Incline Cable Flye

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • chest
Secondary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • To get yourself into the starting position, set the pulleys at the floor level (lowest level possible on the machine that is below your torso).
  • Place an incline bench (set at 45 degrees) in between the pulleys, select a weight on each one and grab a pulley on each hand.
  • With a handle on each hand, lie on the incline bench and bring your hands together at arms length in front of your face. This will be your starting position.
  • With a slight bend of your elbows (in order to prevent stress at the biceps tendon), lower your arms out at both sides in a wide arc until you feel a stretch on your chest. Breathe in as you perform this portion of the movement. Tip: Keep in mind that throughout the movement, the arms should remain stationary. The movement should only occur at the shoulder joint.
  • Return your arms back to the starting position as you squeeze your chest muscles and exhale. Hold the contracted position for a second. Tip: Make sure to use the same arc of motion used to lower the weights.
  • Repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions.

Kneeling Cable Crunch With Alternating Oblique Twists

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Connect a rope attachment to a high pulley cable and position a mat on the floor in front of it.
  • Grab the rope with both hands and kneel approximately two feet back from the tower.
  • Position the rope behind your head with your hands by your ears.
  • Keep your hands in the same place, contract your abs and pull downward on the rope in a crunching movement until your elbows reach your knees.
  • Pause briefly at the bottom and rise up in a slow and controlled manner until you reach the starting position.
  • Repeat the same downward movement until you’re halfway down, at which time you’ll begin rotating one of your elbows to the opposite knee.
  • Again, pause briefly at the bottom and rise up in a slow and controlled manner until you reach the starting position.
  • Repeat the same movement as before, but alternate the other elbow to the opposite knee.
  • Continue this series of movements to failure.

Kneeling Cable Triceps Extension

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Place a bench sideways in front of a high pulley machine.
  • Hold a straight bar attachment above your head with your hands about 6 inches apart with your palms facing down.
  • Face away from the machine and kneel.
  • Place your head and the back of your upper arms on the bench. Your elbows should be bent with the forearms pointing towards the high pulley. This will be your starting position.
  • While keeping your upper arms close to your head at all times with the elbows in, press the bar out in a semicircular motion until the elbows are locked and your arms are parallel to the floor. Contract the triceps hard and keep this position for a second. Exhale as you perform this movement.
  • Slowly return to the starting position as you breathe in.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Kneeling High Pulley Row

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • middle back
Instructions:
  • Select the appropriate weight using a pulley that is above your head. Attach a rope to the cable and kneel a couple of feet away, holding the rope out in front of you with both arms extended. This will be your starting position.
  • Initiate the movement by flexing the elbows and fully retracting your shoulders, pulling the rope toward your upper chest with your elbows out.
  • After pausing briefly, slowly return to the starting position.

Kneeling Single-Arm High Pulley Row

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • middle back
Instructions:
  • Attach a single handle to a high pulley and make your weight selection.
  • Kneel in front of the cable tower, taking the cable with one hand with your arm extended. This will be your starting position.
  • Starting with your palm facing forward, pull the weight down to your torso by flexing the elbow and retract the shoulder blade. As you do so, rotate the wrist so that at the completion of the movement, your palm is now facing you.
  • After a brief pause, return to the starting position.

Low Cable Crossover

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • chest
Secondary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • To move into the starting position, place the pulleys at the low position, select the resistance to be used and grasp a handle in each hand.
  • Step forward, gaining tension in the pulleys. Your palms should be facing forward, hands below the waist, and your arms straight. This will be your starting position.
  • With a slight bend in your arms, draw your hands upward and toward the midline of your body. Your hands should come together in front of your chest, palms facing up.
  • Return your arms back to the starting position after a brief pause.

Low Cable Triceps Extension

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Select the desired weight and lay down face up on the bench of a seated row machine that has a rope attached to it. Your head should be pointing towards the attachment.
  • Grab the outside of the rope ends with your palms facing each other (neutral grip).
  • Position your elbows so that they are bent at a 90 degree angle and your upper arms are perpendicular (90 degree angle) to your torso. Tip: Keep the elbows in and make sure that the upper arms point to the ceiling while your forearms point towards the pulley above your head. This will be your starting position.
  • As you breathe out, extend your lower arms until they are straight and vertical. The upper arms and elbows remain stationary throughout the movement. Only the forearms should move. Contract the triceps hard for a second.
  • As you breathe in slowly return to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Low Pulley Row To Neck

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • middle back
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Sit on a low pulley row machine with a rope attachment.
  • Grab the ends of the rope using a palms-down grip and sit with your back straight and your knees slightly bent. Tip: Keep your back almost completely vertical and your arms fully extended in front of you. This will be your starting position.
  • While keeping your torso stationary, lift your elbows and start bending them as you pull the rope towards your neck while exhaling. Throughout the movement your upper arms should remain parallel to the floor. Tip: Continue this motion until your hands are almost next to your ears (the forearms will not be parallel to the floor at the end of the movement as they will be angled a bit upwards) and your elbows are out away from your sides.
  • After holding for a second or so at the contracted position, come back slowly to the starting position as you inhale. Tip: Again, during no part of the movement should the torso move.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Lying Cable Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Instructions:
  • Grab a straight bar or E-Z bar attachment that is attached to the low pulley with both hands, using an underhand (palms facing up) shoulder-width grip.
  • Lie flat on your back on top of an exercise mat in front of the weight stack with your feet flat against the frame of the pulley machine and your legs straight.
  • With your arms extended and your elbows close to your body slightly bend your arms. This will be your starting position.
  • While keeping your upper arms stationary and the elbows close to your body, curl the bar up slowly toward your chest as you breathe out and you squeeze the biceps.
  • After a second squeeze at the top of the movement, slowly return to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Lying Close-Grip Bar Curl On High Pulley

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Instructions:
  • Place a flat bench in front of a high pulley or lat pulldown machine.
  • Hold the straight bar attachment using an underhand grip (palms up) that is about shoulder width.
  • Lie on your back with your head over the end of the bench.
  • Now extend your arms straight above your shoulders. Your torso and your arms should make a 90-degree angle and the elbows should be in. This will be your starting position.
  • As you breathe out, curl the bar down in a semicircular motion until it touches your chin. Squeeze the biceps for a second at the top contracted position. Tip: As you execute this motion only the forearms should move. At no time should the upper arms be moving at all. They are to remain perpendicular throughout the movement.
  • Return to starting position slowly.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

One Arm Lat Pulldown

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • middle back
Instructions:
  • Select an appropriate weight and adjust the knee pad to help keep you down. Grasp the handle with a pronated grip. This will be your starting position.
  • Pull the handle down, squeezing your elbow to your side as you flex the elbow.
  • Pause at the bottom of the motion, and then slowly return the handle to the starting position.
  • For multiple repetitions, avoid completely returning the weight to keep tension on the muscles being worked.

One-Arm High-Pulley Cable Side Bends

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Connect a standard handle to a tower. Move cable to highest pulley position.
  • Stand with side to cable. With one hand, reach up and grab handle with underhand grip.
  • Pull down cable until elbow touches your side and the handle is by your shoulder.
  • Position feet hip-width apart. Place free hand on hip to help gauge pivot point.
  • Keep arm in static position. Contract oblique to bring the weight down in a side crunch.
  • Once you reach maximum contraction, slowly release the weight to the starting position. The weight stack should never be unloaded in a resting position. The aim is constant tension during the set.
  • Repeat to failure.
  • Then, reposition and repeat the same series of movements on the opposite side.

One-Legged Cable Kickback

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • glutes
Secondary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Hook a leather ankle cuff to a low cable pulley and then attach the cuff to your ankle.
  • Face the weight stack from a distance of about two feet, grasping the steel frame for support.
  • While keeping your knees and hips bent slightly and your abs tight, contract your glutes to slowly "kick" the working leg back in a semicircular arc as high as it will comfortably go as you breathe out. Tip: At full extension, squeeze your glutes for a second in order to achieve a peak contraction.
  • Now slowly bring your working leg forward, resisting the pull of the cable until you reach the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
  • Switch legs and repeat the movement for the other side.

Overhead Cable Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Instructions:
  • To begin, set a weight that is comfortable on each side of the pulley machine. Note: Make sure that the amount of weight selected is the same on each side.
  • Now adjust the height of the pulleys on each side and make sure that they are positioned at a height higher than that of your shoulders.
  • Stand in the middle of both sides and use an underhand grip (palms facing towards the ceiling) to grab each handle. Your arms should be fully extended and parallel to the floor with your feet positioned shoulder width apart from each other. Your body should be evenly aligned the handles. This is the starting position.
  • While exhaling, slowly squeeze the biceps on each side until your forearms and biceps touch.
  • While inhaling, move your forearms back to the starting position. Note: Your entire body is stationary during this exercise except for the forearms.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions prescribed in your program.

Pallof Press

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Secondary Muscles:
  • chest
  • shoulders
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Connect a standard handle to a tower, and—if possible—position the cable to shoulder height. If not, a low pulley will suffice.
  • With your side to the cable, grab the handle with both hands and step away from the tower. You should be approximately arm’s length away from the pulley, with the tension of the weight on the cable.
  • With your feet positioned hip-width apart and knees slightly bent, hold the cable to the middle of your chest. This will be your starting position.
  • Press the cable away from your chest, fully extending both arms. You core should be tight and engaged.
  • Hold the repetition for several seconds before returning to the starting position.
  • At the conclusion of the set, repeat facing the other direction.

Pallof Press With Rotation

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Secondary Muscles:
  • chest
  • shoulders
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Connect a standard handle to a tower, and position the cable to shoulder height.
  • With your side to the cable, grab the handle with one hand and step away from the tower. You should be approximately arm’s length away from the pulley, with the tension of the weight on the cable. Align outstretched arm with cable.
  • With your feet positioned hip-width apart, pull the cable into your chest and grab the handle with your other hand. Both hands should be on the handle at this time.
  • Facing forward, press the cable away from your chest. You core should be tight and engaged.
  • Keeping your hips straight, twist your torso away from the pulley until you get a full quarter rotation.
  • Maintain your rigid stance and straight arms. Return to the neutral position in a slow and controlled manner. Your arms should be extended in front of you.
  • With the side tension still engaging your core, bring your hands to your chest and immediately press outward to a fully extended position. This constitutes one rep.
  • Repeat to failure.
  • Then, reposition and repeat the same series of movements on the opposite side.

Pull Through

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • glutes
Secondary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Begin standing a few feet in front of a low pulley with a rope or handle attached. Face away from the machine, straddling the cable, with your feet set wide apart.
  • Begin the movement by reaching through your legs as far as possible, bending at the hips. Keep your knees slightly bent. Keeping your arms straight, extend through the hip to stand straight up. Avoid pulling upward through the shoulders; all of the motion should originate through the hips.

Reverse Cable Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Stand up with your torso upright while holding a bar attachment that is attached to a low pulley using a pronated (palms down) and shoulder width grip. Make sure also that you keep the elbows close to the torso. This will be your starting position.
  • While holding the upper arms stationary, curl the weights while contracting the biceps as you breathe out. Only the forearms should move. Continue the movement until your biceps are fully contracted and the bar is at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a second as you squeeze the muscle.
  • Slowly begin to bring the bar back to starting position as your breathe in.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Reverse Grip Triceps Pushdown

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Start by setting a bar attachment (straight or e-z) on a high pulley machine.
  • Facing the bar attachment, grab it with the palms facing up (supinated grip) at shoulder width. Lower the bar by using your lats until your arms are fully extended by your sides. Tip: Elbows should be in by your sides and your feet should be shoulder width apart from each other. This is the starting position.
  • Slowly elevate the bar attachment up as you inhale so it is aligned with your chest. Only the forearms should move and the elbows/upper arms should be stationary by your side at all times.
  • Then begin to lower the cable bar back down to the original staring position while exhaling and contracting the triceps hard.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Rope Crunch

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Kneel 1-2 feet in front of a cable system with a rope attached.
  • After selecting an appropriate weight, grasp the rope with both hands reaching overhead. Your torso should be upright in the starting position.
  • To begin, flex at the spine, attempting to bring your rib cage to your legs as you pull the cable down.
  • Pause at the bottom of the motion, and then slowly return to the starting position.
  • These can be done with twists or to the side to hit the obliques.

Rope Straight-Arm Pulldown

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Instructions:
  • Attach a rope to a high pulley and make your weight selection. Stand a couple feet back from the pulley with your feet staggered and take the rope with both hands. Lean forward from the hip, keeping your back straight, with your arms extended up in front of you. This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping your arms straight, extend the shoulder to pull the rope down to your thighs.
  • Pause at the bottom of the motion, squeezing your lats.
  • Return to the starting position without allowing the weight to fully rest on the stack.

Seated Cable Rows

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • lats
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • For this exercise you will need access to a low pulley row machine with a V-bar. Note: The V-bar will enable you to have a neutral grip where the palms of your hands face each other. To get into the starting position, first sit down on the machine and place your feet on the front platform or crossbar provided making sure that your knees are slightly bent and not locked.
  • Lean over as you keep the natural alignment of your back and grab the V-bar handles.
  • With your arms extended pull back until your torso is at a 90-degree angle from your legs. Your back should be slightly arched and your chest should be sticking out. You should be feeling a nice stretch on your lats as you hold the bar in front of you. This is the starting position of the exercise.
  • Keeping the torso stationary, pull the handles back towards your torso while keeping the arms close to it until you touch the abdominals. Breathe out as you perform that movement. At that point you should be squeezing your back muscles hard. Hold that contraction for a second and slowly go back to the original position while breathing in.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Seated Cable Shoulder Press

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Adjust the weight to an appropriate amount and be seated, grasping the handles. Your upper arms should be about 90 degrees to the body, with your head and chest up. The elbows should also be bent to about 90 degrees. This will be your starting position.
  • Begin by extending through the elbow, pressing the handles together above your head.
  • After pausing at the top, return the handles to the starting position. Ensure that you maintain tension on the cables.
  • You can also execute this movement with your back off the pad and alternate hands.

Seated One-arm Cable Pulley Rows

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • lats
  • traps
Instructions:
  • To get into the starting position, first sit down on the machine and place your feet on the front platform or crossbar provided making sure that your knees are slightly bent and not locked.
  • Lean over as you keep the natural alignment of your back and grab the single handle attachment with your left arm using a palms-down grip.
  • With your arm extended pull back until your torso is at a 90-degree angle from your legs. Your back should be slightly arched and your chest should be sticking out. You should be feeling a nice stretch on your lat as you hold the bar in front of you. The right arm can be kept by the waist. This is the starting position of the exercise.
  • Keeping the torso stationary, pull the handles back towards your torso while keeping the arms close to it as you rotate the wrist, so that by the time your hand is by your abdominals it is in a neutral position (palms facing the torso). Breathe out as you perform that movement. At that point you should be squeezing your back muscles hard.
  • Hold that contraction for a second and slowly go back to the original position while breathing in. Tip: Remember to rotate the wrist as you go back to the starting position so that the palms are facing down again.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions and then perform the same movement with the right hand.

Seated Two-Arm Palms-Up Low-Pulley Wrist Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Put a bench in front of a low pulley machine that has a barbell or EZ Curl attachment on it.
  • Move the bench far enough away so that when you bring the handle to the top of your thighs tension is created on the cable due to the weight stack being moved up.
  • Now hold the handle with both hands, palms up, using a shoulder-width grip.
  • Step back and sit on the bench with your feet about shoulder width apart, firmly on the floor.
  • Lean forward and place the forearms on your thighs with the back of your wrists over your knees. This will be your starting position.
  • Lower the bar as far as possible, while inhaling and keeping a tight grip.
  • Now curl the bar up as high as possible while contracting the forearms. Tip: Only the wrist should move; not the forearms.
  • After a second contraction at the top go back to the starting position as you inhale.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Shotgun Row

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • middle back
Instructions:
  • Attach a single handle to a low cable.
  • After selecting the correct weight, stand a couple feet back with a wide-split stance. Your arm should be extended and your shoulder forward. This will be your starting position.
  • Perform the movement by retracting the shoulder and flexing the elbow. As you pull, supinate the wrist, turning the palm upward as you go.
  • After a brief pause, return to the starting position.

Single-Arm Cable Crossover

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • chest
Instructions:
  • Begin by moving the pulleys to the high position, select the resistance to be used, and take a handle in each hand.
  • Step forward in front of both pulleys with your arms extended in front of you, bringing your hands together. Your head and chest should be up as you lean forward, while your feet should be staggered. This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping your left arm in place, allow your right arm to extend out to the side, maintaining a slight bend at the elbow. The right arm should be perpendicular to the body at approximately shoulder level.
  • Return your arm back to the starting position by pulling your hand back to the midline of the body.
  • Hold for a second at the starting position and repeat the movement on the opposite side. Continue alternating back and forth for the prescribed number of repetitions.

Standing Biceps Cable Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Instructions:
  • Stand up with your torso upright while holding a cable curl bar that is attached to a low pulley. Grab the cable bar at shoulder width and keep the elbows close to the torso. The palm of your hands should be facing up (supinated grip). This will be your starting position.
  • While holding the upper arms stationary, curl the weights while contracting the biceps as you breathe out. Only the forearms should move. Continue the movement until your biceps are fully contracted and the bar is at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a second as you squeeze the muscle.
  • Slowly begin to bring the curl bar back to starting position as your breathe in.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Standing Cable Chest Press

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • chest
Secondary Muscles:
  • shoulders
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Position dual pulleys to chest height and select an appropriate weight. Stand a foot or two in front of the cables, holding one in each hand. You can stagger your stance for better stability.
  • Position the upper arm at a 90 degree angle with the shoulder blades together. This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping the rest of the body stationary, extend through the elbows to press the handles forward, drawing them together in front of you.
  • Pause at the top of the motion, and return to the starting position.

Standing Cable Lift

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Secondary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Connect a standard handle on a tower, and move the cable to the lowest pulley position.
  • With your side to the cable, grab the handle with one hand and step away from the tower. You should be approximately arm’s length away from the pulley, with the tension of the weight on the cable. Your outstretched arm should be aligned with the cable.
  • With your feet positioned shoulder width apart, squat down and grab the handle with both hands. Your arms should still be fully extended.
  • In one motion, pull the handle up and across your body until your arms are in a fully-extended position above your head.
  • Keep your back straight and your arms close to your body as you pivot your back foot and straighten your legs to get a full range of motion.
  • Retract your arms and then your body. Return to the neutral position in a slow and controlled manner.
  • Repeat to failure.
  • Then, reposition and repeat the same series of movements on the opposite side.

Standing Cable Wood Chop

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Secondary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Connect a standard handle to a tower, and move the cable to the highest pulley position.
  • With your side to the cable, grab the handle with one hand and step away from the tower. You should be approximately arm’s length away from the pulley, with the tension of the weight on the cable. Your outstretched arm should be aligned with the cable.
  • With your feet positioned shoulder width apart, reach upward with your other hand and grab the handle with both hands. Your arms should still be fully extended.
  • In one motion, pull the handle down and across your body to your front knee while rotating your torso.
  • Keep your back and arms straight and core tight while you pivot your back foot and bend your knees to get a full range of motion.
  • Maintain your stance and straight arms. Return to the neutral position in a slow and controlled manner.
  • Repeat to failure.
  • Then, reposition and repeat the same series of movements on the opposite side.

Standing Low-Pulley Deltoid Raise

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Start by standing to the right side of a low pulley row. Use your left hand to come across the body and grab a single handle attached to the low pulley with a pronated grip (palms facing down). Rest your arm in front of you. Your right hand should grab the machine for better support and balance.
  • Make sure that your back is erect and your feet are shoulder width apart from each other. This is the starting position.
  • Begin to use the left hand and come across your body out until it is elevated to shoulder height while exhaling.
  • Feel the contraction at the top for a second and begin to slowly lower the handle back down to the original starting position while inhaling.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
  • Switch arms and repeat the exercise.

Standing Low-Pulley One-Arm Triceps Extension

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • chest
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Grab a single handle with your left arm next to the low pulley machine. Turn away from the machine keeping the handle to the side of your body with your arm fully extended. Now use both hands to elevate the single handle directly above the head with the palm facing forward. Keep your upper arm completely vertical (perpendicular to the floor) and put your right hand on your left elbow to help keep it steady. This is the starting position.
  • Keeping your upper arms close to your head (elbows in) and perpendicular to the floor, lower the resistance in a semicircular motion behind your head until your forearms touch your biceps. Tip: The upper arms should remain stationary and only the forearms should move. Breathe in as you perform this step.
  • Go back to the starting position by using the triceps to raise the single handle. Breathe out as you perform this step.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
  • Switch arms and repeat the exercise.

Standing One-Arm Cable Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Instructions:
  • Start out by grabbing single handle next to the low pulley machine. Make sure you are far enough from the machine so that your arm is supporting the weight.
  • Make sure that your upper arm is stationary, perpendicular to the floor with elbows in and palms facing forward. Your non lifting arm should be grabbing your waist. This will allow you to keep your balance.
  • Slowly begin to curl the single handle upwards while keeping the upper arm stationary until your forearm touches your bicep while exhaling. Tip: Only the forearm should move.
  • Hold the contraction position as you squeeze the bicep and then lower the single handle back down to the starting position as you inhale.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
  • Switch arms while performing this exercise.

Standing Rope Crunch

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Attach a rope to a high pulley and select an appropriate weight.
  • Stand with your back to the cable tower. Take the rope with both hands over your shoulders, holding it to your upper chest. This will be your starting position.
  • Perform the movement by flexing the spine, crunching the weight down as far as you can.
  • Hold the peak contraction for a moment before returning to the starting position.

Straight-Arm Pulldown

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Instructions:
  • You will start by grabbing the wide bar from the top pulley of a pulldown machine and using a wider than shoulder-width pronated (palms down) grip. Step backwards two feet or so.
  • Bend your torso forward at the waist by around 30-degrees with your arms fully extended in front of you and a slight bend at the elbows. If your arms are not fully extended then you need to step a bit more backwards until they are. Once your arms are fully extended and your torso is slightly bent at the waist, tighten the lats and then you are ready to begin.
  • While keeping the arms straight, pull the bar down by contracting the lats until your hands are next to the side of the thighs. Breathe out as you perform this step.
  • While keeping the arms straight, go back to the starting position while breathing in.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Triceps Overhead Extension with Rope

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Attach a rope to a low pulley. After selecting an appropriate weight, grasp the rope with both hands and face away from the cable.
  • Position your hands behind your head with your elbows point straight up. Your elbows should start out flexed, and you can stagger your stance and lean gently away from the machine to create greater stability. This will be your starting position.
  • To perform the movement, extend through the elbow while keeping the upper arm in position, raising your hands above your head.
  • Squeeze your triceps at the top of the movement, and slowly lower the weight back to the start position.

Triceps Pushdown

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Attach a straight or angled bar to a high pulley and grab with an overhand grip (palms facing down) at shoulder width.
  • Standing upright with the torso straight and a very small inclination forward, bring the upper arms close to your body and perpendicular to the floor. The forearms should be pointing up towards the pulley as they hold the bar. This is your starting position.
  • Using the triceps, bring the bar down until it touches the front of your thighs and the arms are fully extended perpendicular to the floor. The upper arms should always remain stationary next to your torso and only the forearms should move. Exhale as you perform this movement.
  • After a second hold at the contracted position, bring the bar slowly up to the starting point. Breathe in as you perform this step.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Triceps Pushdown - Rope Attachment

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Attach a rope attachment to a high pulley and grab with a neutral grip (palms facing each other).
  • Standing upright with the torso straight and a very small inclination forward, bring the upper arms close to your body and perpendicular to the floor. The forearms should be pointing up towards the pulley as they hold the rope with the palms facing each other. This is your starting position.
  • Using the triceps, bring the rope down as you bring each side of the rope to the side of your thighs. At the end of the movement the arms are fully extended and perpendicular to the floor. The upper arms should always remain stationary next to your torso and only the forearms should move. Exhale as you perform this movement.
  • After holding for a second, at the contracted position, bring the rope slowly up to the starting point. Breathe in as you perform this step.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Triceps Pushdown - V-Bar Attachment

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Attach a V-Bar to a high pulley and grab with an overhand grip (palms facing down) at shoulder width.
  • Standing upright with the torso straight and a very small inclination forward, bring the upper arms close to your body and perpendicular to the floor. The forearms should be pointing up towards the pulley as they hold the bar. The thumbs should be higher than the small finger. This is your starting position.
  • Using the triceps, bring the bar down until it touches the front of your thighs and the arms are fully extended perpendicular to the floor. The upper arms should always remain stationary next to your torso and only the forearms should move. Exhale as you perform this movement.
  • After a second hold at the contracted position, bring the V-Bar slowly up to the starting point. Breathe in as you perform this step.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Underhand Cable Pulldowns

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • middle back
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Sit down on a pull-down machine with a wide bar attached to the top pulley. Adjust the knee pad of the machine to fit your height. These pads will prevent your body from being raised by the resistance attached to the bar.
  • Grab the pull-down bar with the palms facing your torso (a supinated grip). Make sure that the hands are placed closer than the shoulder width.
  • As you have both arms extended in front of you holding the bar at the chosen grip width, bring your torso back around 30 degrees or so while creating a curvature on your lower back and sticking your chest out. This is your starting position.
  • As you breathe out, pull the bar down until it touches your upper chest by drawing the shoulders and the upper arms down and back. Tip: Concentrate on squeezing the back muscles once you reach the fully contracted position and keep the elbows close to your body. The upper torso should remain stationary as your bring the bar to you and only the arms should move. The forearms should do no other work other than hold the bar.
  • After a second on the contracted position, while breathing in, slowly bring the bar back to the starting position when your arms are fully extended and the lats are fully stretched.
  • Repeat this motion for the prescribed amount of repetitions.

Upright Cable Row

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • traps
Secondary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Grasp a straight bar cable attachment that is attached to a low pulley with a pronated (palms facing your thighs) grip that is slightly less than shoulder width. The bar should be resting on top of your thighs. Your arms should be extended with a slight bend at the elbows and your back should be straight. This will be your starting position.
  • Use your side shoulders to lift the cable bar as you exhale. The bar should be close to the body as you move it up. Continue to lift it until it nearly touches your chin. Tip: Your elbows should drive the motion. As you lift the bar, your elbows should always be higher than your forearms. Also, keep your torso stationary and pause for a second at the top of the movement.
  • Lower the bar back down slowly to the starting position. Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

V-Bar Pulldown

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • middle back
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Sit down on a pull-down machine with a V-Bar attached to the top pulley.
  • Adjust the knee pad of the machine to fit your height. These pads will prevent your body from being raised by the resistance attached to the bar.
  • Grab the V-bar with the palms facing each other (a neutral grip). Stick your chest out and lean yourself back slightly (around 30-degrees) in order to better engage the lats. This will be your starting position.
  • Using your lats, pull the bar down as you squeeze your shoulder blades. Continue until your chest nearly touches the V-bar. Exhale as you execute this motion. Tip: Keep the torso stationary throughout the movement.
  • After a second hold on the contracted position, slowly bring the bar back to the starting position as you breathe in.
  • Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.

Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • middle back
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Sit down on a pull-down machine with a wide bar attached to the top pulley. Make sure that you adjust the knee pad of the machine to fit your height. These pads will prevent your body from being raised by the resistance attached to the bar.
  • Grab the bar with the palms facing forward using the prescribed grip. Note on grips: For a wide grip, your hands need to be spaced out at a distance wider than shoulder width. For a medium grip, your hands need to be spaced out at a distance equal to your shoulder width and for a close grip at a distance smaller than your shoulder width.
  • As you have both arms extended in front of you holding the bar at the chosen grip width, bring your torso back around 30 degrees or so while creating a curvature on your lower back and sticking your chest out. This is your starting position.
  • As you breathe out, bring the bar down until it touches your upper chest by drawing the shoulders and the upper arms down and back. Tip: Concentrate on squeezing the back muscles once you reach the full contracted position. The upper torso should remain stationary and only the arms should move. The forearms should do no other work except for holding the bar; therefore do not try to pull down the bar using the forearms.
  • After a second at the contracted position squeezing your shoulder blades together, slowly raise the bar back to the starting position when your arms are fully extended and the lats are fully stretched. Inhale during this portion of the movement.
  • Repeat this motion for the prescribed amount of repetitions.

Wide-Grip Pulldown Behind The Neck

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • middle back
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Sit down on a pull-down machine with a wide bar attached to the top pulley. Make sure that you adjust the knee pad of the machine to fit your height. These pads will prevent your body from being raised by the resistance attached to the bar.
  • Grab the bar with the palms facing forward using the prescribed grip. Note on grips: For a wide grip, your hands need to be spaced out at a distance wider than your shoulder width. For a medium grip, your hands need to be spaced out at a distance equal to your shoulder width and for a close grip at a distance smaller than your shoulder width.
  • As you have both arms extended in front of you holding the bar at the chosen grip width, bring your torso and head forward. Think of an imaginary line from the center of the bar down to the back of your neck. This is your starting position.
  • As you breathe out, bring the bar down until it touches the back of your neck by drawing the shoulders and the upper arms down and back. Tip: Concentrate on squeezing the back muscles once you reach the full contracted position. The upper torso should remain stationary and only the arms should move. The forearms should do no other work except for holding the bar; therefore do not try to pull down the bar using the forearms.
  • After a second on the contracted position squeezing your shoulder blades together, slowly raise the bar back to the starting position when your arms are fully extended and the lats are fully stretched. Inhale during this portion of the movement.
  • Repeat this motion for the prescribed amount of repetitions.