Functional Trainers & Cable Machines
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Functional Trainers & Cable Machines FAQ
There are a few different variations to cable crossover machines, but they will generally include some sort of cable or pivoting pulley system that can be pulled in different directions to work different parts of the body. These can be either a dual cable crossover machine or a single station. These cables will be attached to weights, with a handle attachment at the user end. The weight amount can then be altered to increase the loading and intensity of an exercise. There are two main types of weight selection when it comes to cable machines. This includes weight plate loaded machines, where the user can load on separate weight plates of their choosing. The other type is a weight stack machine, where the weights themselves are encased within the frame of the machine itself. The weight can then be altered via an adjustable pin.
Cable crossover machine exercises are efficient at accessing a greater number of muscles that are often missed, making them imperative for a true full-body workout. You may have seen one at your local gym or fitness centre and been struck by its apparent intricacy and complex design, but know that it’s not as convoluted as it might appear at first.
Cable machines are often considered safer and easier to use than free weights (such as dumbbells or barbells), as there is never any risk of a weight falling on any part of your body (except for changing weights on a plate loaded machine). While users aren’t immune to injury, you can be rest assured that all the weight is secured by a sturdy frame that protects you if weights are suddenly dropped or something goes wrong.
Cable crossover machines are the ultimate functional trainer, building strength and working muscle groups in a way that simpler free weights just can’t match. There’s a lot that even beginners can get out of a cable machine, and can often be preferable for those starting out in their weight training journey.
It’s no secret that cable crossover machines are the go-to exercise station for working the pectoral muscles. They’re known for their ability to deliver targeted strength and muscle gain in the chest as they give the user the ability to manipulate different angles and change attachments according to the exercise.
Cable machines offer a more comprehensive workout for the chest, as the range of movement in cable exercises targets a wider variety of muscles, accessing many smaller muscles that aren’t often worked in free weight training.
Cable machines also allow for an easier progression of weight increments, meaning you can accelerate your strength training and muscle growth more efficiently, and make tracking your progress easier.
In cable exercises, you have greater freedom to manipulate different angles and body positions, targeting the chest in many different ways to work each and every muscle fibre. This freedom of movement also allows your arms to work independently of each other, meaning a stronger side can’t compensate for the other, ironing out strength and muscle imbalances.
Below are some good exercises to get you started:
There the cable crossover, which is a classic cable machine exercise, and targets your lower chest (pectoralis major).
Then there’s a cable press, which will not only work your chest, but will deliver strength gains to the rest of your upper body, working the core, obliques and lower back.
Lastly, there’s the cable fly, which is another classic of the cable machine. Performing flys with a cable machine as opposed to dumbbells has the advantage of having no resting point, so your chest is always under tension throughout the entire exercise. This makes it a much more efficient workout and will deliver results noticeably faster.
While free weights such as dumbbells or barbells can be used to good effect, cable machines offer the best possible chance to accelerate your chest gains. If you’re looking to improve results in your chest in an efficient, safe and targeted way, cable exercises are honestly one of your options.
When it comes to weight training, you’re main two options are between a cable machine, or free weights. Free weights include any weights that aren’t attached to a machine and are therefore ‘free’ to move in any direction independent of a cable, cord, rope, or band. This includes a broad range of devices such as dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells or weighted balls. Cable machines are gym stations, usually with a large steel frame and a built-in weight stack. The weights are then usually controlled by a pulley system with cables and handles on one end. There are also plate-loaded cable machines that allow the user to load on conventional weight plates of their choosing.
While both of these have the capability to deliver an excellent workout, there are a few key differences between the two that you should consider before choosing the right option for you.
The advantages of a cable machine include increased safety and security, as the weights are secured by a large, sturdy frame, there is a little risk of a weight dropping or falling on the floor or on a part of the user’s body. Cable machines are also considered easier to use, especially for beginners, as the cable will guide you through the range of motion and improve your technique.
Free weights, on the other hand, have the advantage of a larger selection of weights to choose from, more variation, as well as being able to work on speed and power training. Free weights are also a good option for those trying to save space in their workout area, as they are generally a lot easier to store and move around. Free weights are also more affordable than a cable machine, and more options are available for different budgets. Cable machines have a high entry point in terms of price, especially for a good quality one.
If you’re still unsure which will work best for you, speak to our friendly team and we’ll help you along your fitness journey.
Plate loaded cable crossover machines are functional gym stations that allow the user to load on conventional weight plates that are then operated by cables with handle attachments. These are different to other gym stations like a weight stack machine, where the weights themselves are encased within the frame of the machine itself and can then be altered via an adjustable pin.
Plate loaded cable crossover machines can be used for a full body functional workout across multiple planes of motion, meaning they are bound to accelerate your strength training in a way no other piece of equipment quite can. Improving the strength and functionality of any muscle group is best achieved when using multiple angles and a mixture of exercises, which is exactly why cable crossover machines are some of the most efficient and beneficial tools for accelerating your personal fitness.
Plate loaded machines have the advantage of a high weight capacity, allowing for greater access to a wider choice of weights. CORTEX’s plate loaded machines will go to a maximum of 200kg, meaning users have the freedom to accelerate their training to those higher levels.
Plate loaded machines don’t require much maintenance, as they are relatively simple in their design compared to other gym stations. As they have fewer moving parts, they can be a lot easier to clean and repair.
They’re a comparatively cheap gym station, and allow you to make greater use of the weight plates you already own. However, if you don’t already have your own weight plates, this will create a greater up-front cost as you’ll have to buy weights along with the machine. You also have the option of purchasing a gym station package as part of your machine, where weight plates, bars or benches will be included in one convenient purchase.
While the all-in-one experience that weight-stack machines can offer is tempting, consider whether a plate loaded machine is more suited to your workout or fitness space. If you’re unsure, speak to our friendly staff and we’ll help you along your fitness journey.
Functional Trainers & Cable Machines
Cable crossover machines are the ultimate functional trainer, building strength and working muscle groups in a way that simpler free weights just can’t match. Cable crossover machine exercises are efficient at accessing a greater number of muscles that are often missed, making them imperative for a true full-body workout. You may have seen one at your local gym or fitness centre and been struck by its apparent intricacy and complex design, but know that it’s not as convoluted as it might appear at first. There’s a lot that even beginners can get out of a cable machine, and can often be preferable for those starting out in their weight training journey. Having a home cable crossover machine has several advantages over free weights like barbells or dumbbells, such as being slightly safer, working a range of muscles and the ability to train in multiple planes of motion.
Cable machines improve safety by keeping the weights secured and protected. There is a reduced risk of the weight dropping either on the floor or on a part of your body, or moving in an unpredictable direction. This means that cable machines may actually be a good option for those who are just beginners at weight training, as it helps to alleviate fears around lifting weights and minimise the risk of injury. CORTEX’s adjustable cable crossover machines include many options for personalisation that allow you to get the most out of your workout, specific to your goals and preferences. Most CORTEX cable machines will feature height adjustable pivoting pulleys, which will give you greater control and personalisation for each exercise you’re doing, particular to your height and desired angle. Single station machines have three points of attachment, providing versatile options in a compact design. You may want to choose a Smith machine with cable crossover to get the added benefits of barbell weight training. CORTEX also has the option of choosing a dual cable crossover machine or a single station. A range of different handles and bars can be swapped out for specific purposes depending on what muscles are being targeted and what’s more comfortable for an exercise. The standard handle that CORTEX machines will come with is the single grip handle or stirrup handle, which is great for a cable cross or cable fly exercise. There are also bar handles, such as lat pulldown bars, revolving straight bars or a cable curl bar. A cable crossover machine with lat pulldown will allow you to better perform upper arm workouts such as tricep pushdowns and bicep curls. This type of exercise can also be enhanced by a tricep handle, which can also come as a rope handle to add variety to your upper arm workout. CORTEX also has a selection of high-quality gym mats and flooring to complete your workout space.
Users have the option of choosing a cable machine that is either weight plate loaded or has a weight stack. A plate loaded cable crossover machine allows you to load on your own conventional weight plates, while weight stack machines have weight stacks that are tied to the machine itself and can’t be changed out. Weight plate machines generally have a higher load capacity, and so can reach a higher weight. Weight stack machines, on the other hand, have a maximum load that is generally lower than a weight plate loaded machine. Weight stack machines tend to be more user friendly, as they allow you to quickly change between different weights without having to leave the machine, and don’t require you have separate storage and space for your weight plates. This makes them a great option for beginners, especially if they’re just starting out in weight training. However, for more experienced trainers, a weight plate loaded machine will give you access to a larger weight range, and will be beneficial for accelerating your strength training to those advanced levels. Some machines have both a weight stack and weight plate components, providing a greater choice of options and the ability to finely tune your weight load. Weight plate loaded machines are also a comparatively cheap cable crossover machine, and more economical as the plates you use can also be used for other purposes, making them a better investment for your home gym.
A factor that can influence the durability of your machine is its tensile strength. Tensile strength will differ between machines, and refers to the strength of the cables. A higher tensile strength will mean the cables can take a higher degree of stress and weight, and are less likely to break. CORTEX cable machines feature a high tensile strength of 2000lb.
The comprehensive workout provided by cable machines will allow the user to access almost every muscle group in the body, making it the ultimate device for advanced functional strength training. Cable machines are particularly good at training the core and stabilisation, as the abdominals are almost always being worked in most cable machine exercises. This is mainly due to the fact that most cable exercises require the user to stand, providing a stability challenge as their entire body is working to keep them upright. This will work to improve athletic performance, as the body is forced to work together a single unit. In most cable machine exercises, there is no resting point, meaning that the muscles are kept working throughout the movement. This maximises the benefits of each exercise, and ensures a consistent level of work throughout each movement. Some great examples of exercises are a Cable Crossover, which is the classic cable machine exercise, and will deliver amazing results for the upper body, working the arms and shoulders while also strengthening core stabilisers. Anti-rotation exercises such as a Pallof press will target hard to reach areas like the obliques, and leg exercises like cable squat rows will strengthen the glutes and quads.
There’s probably no other single piece of gym equipment that can offer such comprehensive access to a range of muscle groups as a cable crossover machine. This makes them an excellent addition to any home gym, especially for those wanting to accelerate their personal fitness to those advanced levels. While they may be intimidating at first, you’re likely missing out on a full range of benefits if you’re not using a cable machine. If possible, remember to consult an expert if using for the first time, and adjust your machine to suit your personal needs.