Cable machines are great tools for resistance training. You can challenge your muscles effectively—and often more safely compared to free weights, since the cable and pulley systems allow controlled range of motion while isolating specific muscle groups.

But what about all those cable attachments hanging nearby? The ankle straps, the straight bars, that…rope thing?
If you find yourself avoiding these easy-to-attach add-ons, you may be missing out on a new favorite move or two. Check out some of the best ways to use the most popular cable machine attachments:

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4 Cable Machine Attachments

1) Ankle Straps

Use this attachment to build strength, shape, and stability in your glutes, hips, and lower legs by performing movements such as hip extension and hip abduction.

2) Tricep Rope Cable

Isolate every head and fiber of the muscles on the back of your arms by pulling down with this flexible attachment.

3) Straight Bar

Using this attachment, you can maximize your grip strength as well as improving the strength of your shoulders, biceps, backs, and tris.

4) Double D-Handle

Use this attachment for the perfect seated rows and feel your mid back get stronger with every rep.

Of course, cable machine workouts shouldn’t be your only way to build muscle strength. Relying too much on the inherent support of a cable system can hinder the ability of small stabilizing muscles to adequately do their job. Additionally, it should go without saying that if you’re not entirely sure on how to use any piece of equipment at the gym, ask someone for help. There’s no point in working out if you’re not taking necessary measures to avoid an injury!

Challenge yourself this week: try a new cable machine exercise and let us know how it goes!

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