A cable machine is a great tool for creating continuous resistance during a set which helps tear muscle fiber during every stage of the lift so you can achieve maximum results. Here are some good cable exercises you can utilize to get the whole body engaged during each set.
Straight Arm Pull Down – This is a great exercise to isolate the lats and also promotes core stability. This workout is performed standing so it is good for your whole body and not exceptionally demanding.
Attach a straight bar long enough for your hands to be at shoulder width apart in front of you grasping the bar. The cable pulley should be above your head. Extend your arms straight out from your shoulders grasping the bar and keep a bend in your knees. Hold your body firm and pull it down from your shoulders, keeping your arms straight, all the way down to your thighs.
Single Arm Squat Row – This is a compound back exercise that allows you to incorporate the whole body: legs, core, arms and back into one fluid movement.
Attach a handle grip at about chest height. Stand over an arm’s length back with the cable drawn to right beneath your chest, feet shoulder width apart. Lower yourself into a squat and as you do so, extend your arm to full length. You should be squatting, legs parallel, with one arm extended. Stand back up and as you do, draw your handle grip to right beneath your chest.
Cable Chest Flies – This exercise requires two handle grips that can be drawn together and primarily targets your chest, while also incorporating some arms, deltoids, and core work for stabilization.
With a handle grip in each hand, walk out until your arms are stretched out extended away from your sides. Most people stagger their feet for stability. Keep your back straight and your chin up. With a slight bend in your arms pull the cables to the front of your chest as if you are hugging a big barrel. Contract the chest muscles and in a slow control motion allow the cables to return to the starting position. You can adjust the heights of your cables to target different areas of your chest.
Reverse Woodchops- This cable exercise is meant to primarily target your core but also gets in some leg work, as well as shoulders, by incorporating core rotation, squats, and rigidity in the arms into a single exercise.
Use a single handle grip for this ab/oblique exercise. Start in a squat position facing perpendicular to the handle. Grip the handle with both hands at about the height of your knee. While holding the cable with both hands, arms straight, stand up and pull the handle across your body diagonally upwards toward your opposite shoulder. When you finish your arms should be extended up over your shoulders, the cable pulled across your body and you should be standing. In a controlled motion, keeping your arms straight, let the cable retract back down across your body and return to the squat position. You can reverse this motion and start the cable above your shoulders to perform the regular woodchop as well.