When we think of a typical gym workout, we often visualize cardio machines, free weights, bodyweight training, fixed resistance training, suspension training, and various forms of bodyweight training. Yet, when it comes to adaptability and versatility, the humble cable training machine is often overlooked.
At EVO, we believe that cable training machines offer a superior training experience compared to fixed resistance machines – one that offers many training benefits, and also reconnects your body with the immediate environment. This why we decided to make cable machines such as Kinesis and Free Motion, an integral part of our club design and training philosophy.
Cable machines come in many different varieties – single/dual pulleys; height-adjustable grips; different handles and attachments; and seated vs. standing models. But they all have one thing in common – they allow you to mimic movements you perform in everyday life, for example, bending, lifting, pushing, pulling and twisting. When you train these movements in a skillful, purposeful and playful way, not only will you get fitter, you will also improve your movement efficiency and reduce your risk of injury when you’re outside the gym.
5 Benefits of cable training
Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits of training with cables, especially in the context of rehabilitation, functional strength and sports performance.
- Cables allow for movement in multiple planes of motion. This means you can replicate natural movements including squatting, stepping, bending, pushing, pulling and twisting. Performing these movements on a regular basis, and under load will build natural strength, mobility and control.
- Unlike fixed resistance machines, cable machines adapt to your particular range of motion. If you have limited range of motion (due to stiffness or injury), then you can continue to work within your functional range.This versatility allows you to train alongside imbalances and injuries.
- The naturally unstable nature of cable machines places high demands on the muscles that stabilize your joints, including those around your core. This is known as reflexive stabilization and helps to make joints stronger and more reactive to the demands of everyday life.
- The reactive nature of cable machines will also require lower loads compared to fixed resistance machines. This means you can still train as part of injury rehabilitation without sacrificing volume.
- Cable machines that allow you train in standing positions will force you to recruit almost every muscle in the body, turning most movements into whole-body exercises. Whole body exercises will make you work harder and also bring about a strong cardiovascular response.
If you are new to resistance training, then cable machines will not only meet your strength and fitness goals, they will also bridge the gap to progressive functional training. By starting on a cable machine program, you will quickly gain the strength, control and confidence to try other training methods, such as suspension training, plyometrics and bodyweight training. As an experienced exerciser, try mixing up your functional workouts with the addition of cable exercises. Just remember there are no rules – in addition to performing skillful sports-specific movements, try also adding an element of play to your cable exercises and explore new movements.