How To Work With Cable Attachments in the Gym

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Personal/Fitness Training Blog

For many novice gym-goers, the cable machine can often be an intimidating piece of equipment that looks like you might need a degree to understand. However, this strange-looking equipment can be a very useful machine to introduce into your workouts.

The cable machine, in essence, serves to provide resistance for you to work your muscles against. To train with the machine it is as simple as moving the cables around, usually by making use of the various attachments available for it. As the cables can pulled in many different directions, there are several exercises that you can perform all with this one machine. If all the attachments seem a little overwhelming, here is a useful guide for what they are and how you can make use of them.

Long Bar

The long bar, or lat pulldown bar, attachment is simply what the name say, a long metal bar which can be attached to the machine. This is often used for back exercises, and other exercises where you would like to have a wide grip, such as wise-grip tricep press-downs and wide-grip upright rows.

Straight Bar

This attachment can come in a variety of lengths, so experiment and choose the length that works for you. This bar can be utilised for exercises for which you prefer a narrower grip (in contrast to the long bar), for example, bicep curls, tricep curls, as well as back exercises such as the seated cable row.

V Bar

This attachment is a bar shaped in a downward-facing V, and is often utilised for tricep and bicep exercises.

Rope Attachment

The cable rope is a common attachment for a cable machine. It is often a thick rope with two rubber-end stoppers that you can utilise as handles. This attachment can best be utilized for exercises such as rope curls, overhead extensions, and tricep pressdowns.

As with many of the attachments on the cable machine it is a versatile piece of equipment which can be utilised for a variety of exercises, depending on what muscles you are focusing on in your workout.

Horseshoe Handle

This attachment, also known as the single grip handle or the stirrup handle, functions much like a dumbbell. It can be utilised for a variety of workouts but limits the exercise to one hand. This is a useful ability for those who would like to focus on one side of the body more than the other, or to target specific muscles individually.

Double D Handle

Also known as the close-grip bar, this attachment allows for a narrow and tight grip which allows you to target muscle groups with more accuracy. It is often used for back exercises but can help target biceps and triceps as well.

There are many other attachments for cable machines, but these are just a few of the most popular or likely to be at your local gym. Do not avoid this useful machine just because it looks intimidating. Make sure to experiment with the different attachments and find out what works for you!

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