Why buy cable machine equipment?
Cable pulley machines allow you to easily target and isolate muscle groups when compared to other strength training equipment. Cables provide consistent tension against the muscles that free-weight and bodyweight exercises don’t necessarily provide. Additionally, cable machines are typically easier to set up and are much safer than free-weight exercises. They’re great for beginners at weight training since they’re easy to learn and use. Plus, they’re fantastic options for home gyms because users don’t need a spotter.
What should you consider in cable machine equipment?
- Space: Think about the space you have available in your home gym and consider whether a cable machine would fit or not. This can be a big concern for those short on space. But don’t think that you can’t get a cable machine if your home gym isn’t so spacious. Our picks include compact options as well as full-fledged machines to accommodate different square footage.
- Height: With some cable machines, you may only be able to pull from one direction or angle, making exercise options limited. Height-adjustable machines will be favorable if you want an expansive range of exercises. However, it is still possible to emphasize specific muscles with a more limited range of movements.
- Loading Weight: Increasing the weight when you’re comfortable doing so is an important element for continued growth and performance. Cost-effective cable equipment designed for home gym owners typically requires weight plates. As a result, our cable machine picks are great for those who already own plates or who want to purchase plates as they go.
What exercises can you do with a cable machine?
Cable machines are ideal for push and pull movements and are particularly good for your upper body. However, you can still work your whole body by using a cable machine. Just a few popular exercises to do with a cable machine include the following:
- Cable crossovers
- Biceps curls
- Chest flyes
- Tricep pushdowns
- Cable lunges
- Cable squats
- Cable calf raises
BalanceFrom Cable Crossover
The cable crossover system can add strength training variety from every angle for a full-body or targeted workout at home.
Pros: You can own a gym-quality cable and cage setup thanks to this affordable and high-quality system. The cable crossover system attaches to the power rack to create an impressive setup for all of your strength training. It mimics a setup you’d see at a commercial gym, allowing you to adjust the angles of each handle for a versatile, full-body workout.
Cons: The Cable Crossover setup is only compatible with the BalanceFrom Power Cage, which is a separate purchase. The extra handles and the lat pulldown system are also sold separately, making the complete setup quite the investment.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking to add a cable machine to your existing BalanceFrom Power Cage, this additional piece of equipment will add nice variety to your fitness programming. However, if you’re starting from scratch, you’ll have to invest in the BalanceFrom Power Cage as well, as the Cable Crossover (and other attachment options and accessories) are only compatible within this same BalanceFrom family.
Mikolo LAT and Lift Pulley System
Add strength training options to your home gym with this affordable pulley system.
Pros: You’ll get one 78-inch cable and one 90-inch cable in this set for more versatility. The heavy-duty loading pin can hold up to 280 pounds and comes with two detachable grip options. The pulley itself is silent and smooth during use and can be adjusted to support overhead and underhand movements.
Cons: It isn’t a standalone product; you’ll have to attach it to a power cage, beam, pull-up bar, or something similar. This cable doesn’t come with single-hand options, so you’ll be limited in terms of unilateral training. And because this gym accessory includes a single pulley, it will be difficult to perform exercises that require a completely vertical or horizontal line of pull.
Bottom Line: You can secure this gym accessory over a fixed overhead structure like a power cage or pull-up bar, and it’s excellent for home gym owners looking for a budget-friendly option to level up their workout regimen. Just keep in mind that its single pulley limits the range of exercises you can perform.
GDLF Lat Pull-Down Machine Low Row Cable Machine
A familiar gym essential, this machine can help you gain the strength you want in the comfort of your own home.
Pros: This is a heavy-duty steel frame that can handle tons of wear and tear. Space permitting, it’s undoubtedly a dependable and familiar option. If you’re a beginner, it’s easy to set up and allows you to do all the essential movements you need for a solid strength training routine. The foam seat and rollers adjust for proper and safe form. The weight capacity is 350 pounds.
Cons: This machine will take up a good amount of space. It measures 59 inches by 26 inches by 77 inches. You’ll also need free-weight plates to load the machine. If you’re a total home gym newbie and you don’t have or want to purchase plates, you may be better suited with something else.
Bottom Line: The machine is a strong structure and rounds out a complete strength training routine. It’s an excellent option for beginners since it’s easy to use and is able to adjust to support safe form during exercises.
Fitness Reality Lat Pull-down Attachment Only
You can integrate this quality cable attachment into your existing power cage.
Pros: This cable attachment installs onto a power cage, so if you already have one of those in your home gym, you can conveniently add this attachment to provide more exercise diversity. It won’t interfere with any barbell training in the power cage, either. This highly-rated accessory can be loaded with weight plates and is designed to accommodate both vertical and horizontal exercises.
Cons: It must be used with a power rack, and double-check if your power rack will be compatible with it before buying.
Bottom Line: This attachment can save you time and space if you’re looking for optimal efficiency in your home gym. However, if you own an incompatible power rack or don’t currently have one, you might be better suited with one of our other picks.
SERTT Weight Cable Pulley System Gym
Add this pulley system to your existing home gym set up to save on space while adding versatility to your fitness gains.
Pros: This set of cable machine attachments is incredibly versatile despite how basic it may seem. If you already have a power rack or pull-up bar at home, this set will be super convenient and space-saving since you won’t have to purchase a separate frame. You can do overhead and underhand movements with these cables and load them with free-weight plates. They even come with a variety of handle options for your comfort.
Cons: You’ll have to use these accessories on a power rack, squat rack, or pull-up bar that has been purchased separately. It might not be as safe as other cable equipment because the weight is attached freely to the other end of the pulley. You’ll want to cautiously return the cable to its starting position instead of letting it go.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a cost-effective set of cable accessories, this cable pulley system gives you the best bang for your buck, plus some nice variety. Since it can attach to other systems you have, it can help you save on space while adding more variety to your workouts.
Cable machine equipment might be just what you’re looking for to elevate your home gym. Our picks are all cost-effective options for just about anyone looking to improve their strength and tone their muscles.