A cable machine is a piece of weight lifting equipment commonly seen in exercise facilities such as the gym. These machines have a stack of uniform weights formed into rectangular plates that slide along poles attached to a frame. One of the ends of a cable is attached to the stack of weights where it winds around one or two pulleys. The other end of the cable is attached to a movable bar that has handles where you grip the bar to hoist the desired weight. You choose the desired weight by placing the adjustment pin into the groove between the weights. Before using the machine you position yourself either sitting or lying on the upholstered bench, and by applying force to the handles of the bar lift the weight from the stack via the cable and pulley system.
There are cable machines to target every muscle group within the body, such as the biceps, triceps, quadriceps, leg biceps, shoulders, abdominals, back muscles, glutes and calves. One machine will not work all the muscle groups, but most gymnasiums will have a variety of machines to exercise each muscle accordingly.
Cable Machines vs Free Weights
There are certain advantages that training on a cable machine would have over lifting free weights. Exercising with free weights requires muscular coordination and balance to be able to support the weight. Since the weights of a cable machine are supported through its frame, balancing the weight is not necessary. This frees you from concentrating on lifting the weight. This is especially evident for a newcomer to the exercise where safety may be a factor.
If you’re pressed for time you may opt for a cable machine due to the efficient method of changing the weight lifted by inserting the adjustment pin into the stack of weights. This is much easier than placing and replacing the weight onto a bar or searching for the desired dumbbell.