A cable machine is a very simple device that consists of a handle attached to a cable, which is fed through a pulley system and then attached to a weight or other form of mechanical resistance. One of the many different exercises possible with a cable machine is called the double leg drop cable pullover.
This exercise is not for the beginner. Unless you’re in fairly good shape already, you shouldn’t be trying this exercise. It consists of you laying on a platform in front of your cable machine, with your head towards the machine and lifting and lowering your legs and arms at the same time.
Muscle Groups Worked
The double leg drop cable pullover is considered a core group exercise. This means the main muscles worked will be your upper and lower abdominals. Done properly, you will also work your glutes and upper lats, and your biceps and triceps to a lesser degree.
Step 1: Setup
You will need a platform of some sort. Aerobic steps or a weight bench work great. Position this platform in front of and centered on your cable machine. Set your weight to what you’re comfortable with when performing normal pullovers or pull downs. You will want the lower pulley no more than two feet higher than your shoulders.
Step 2: Starting Position
Grab the cable handles and lay out flat on the platform. Keeping your back flat on the platform, raise your legs until your legs and body form an “L,” with your feet pointing straight up. Bring your hands up until they’re straight above and in front of you. Your hands and feet should be almost touching.
Step 3: Lower Hands and Legs
Slowly and in a controlled fashion, lower both your arms and legs until your body is straight and horizontal. You need to keep your legs straight without locking your knees. Also, keep your arms straight without locking your elbows.
Step 4: Back to Starting Position and Repeat
Keeping both your legs and arms straight, raise them back up to the vertical. This is one rep. A complete set will be 10 reps. For a full workout of the core, you will want to perform 10 sets of 10 reps, with a short break of about 45 seconds between sets.
Adding Intensity and Burn to the Workout
Once you’ve been doing this exercise for awhile, you may want to make it harder. Increase the weight on the cables. Add five reps and five sets. You can now add an aerobic component to the workout by speeding up your reps and decreasing the break time between sets. As a final way of adding to the burn, attach exercise bands to your feet and attach them somewhere below your feet, such as to your platform. This will give resistance to the leg lift portion and give tension during the lowering portion.
As with any exercise routine, you need to perform a good warm up and cool down before and after. A full set of stretching exercises before and after will ensure maximum elasticity and flexibility, which will decrease your chances of muscle and joint injury.