A cable machine can allow you to perform a great number of exercises but if you invest in a number of different accessories then the machine offers you even more. Here we examine which are the best accessories and what they can add to your workout.
A tricep rope is a thick rope looped through a piece of metal that attaches to a clip on a cable machine. You can purchase these in different lengths and thicknesses. One of its biggest advantages is that it allows you a greater range of motion, when you reach the bottom of a tricep putdown you can extend your arms further down. Whilst it’s called a tricep rope it can be used for more than just the triceps.
Other exercises include hammer curls for biceps and forearms, cable crunches for the abs, seated rows for the back and straight arm pulldowns for the lats.
EZ Curl Attachment
An EZ curl attachment is a zigzag shaped bar usually made from steel with knurled grip parts. The main advantages of this accessory is that it puts less pressure on the wrists and elbows so can be helpful for those with injuries and it offers more grip options, which in turn allows you to target different parts of the bicep.
It is primarily used for bicep curls but can also be used for tricep pushdowns, upright rows and lateral pulldowns. So it is a great attachment for those who want that extra bicep workout, but it is more limited than other accessories.
D Handle/Stirrup Handle
Called a D handle due to its D shape, this accessory focuses on exercises that can be performed with one hand. The main advantage of this accessory is that it allows you to focus on one side of your body, great if you are in rehab or have an injury or even if you need to rebalance one side of your body.
They are relatively small and inexpensive and if you want to work both sides of your body you can of course always buy two. They are great for seated rows-targeting the lats and traps, the cable curl for biceps and the cable crossover for the chest.
Double D Handle
The double D handle is two D handles fused together to create a V shape. They are usually made from metal with a knurled grip. The main advantage of the double D handle is that you can use it for close grip work and can use it even if you don’t have a cable machine.
The main exercise with this accessory is seated cable rows which exercise the lats, rhomboids, traps and biceps.
Straight Bar - Long
This is sometimes called the lateral pulldown bar and is, as the title suggests, a straight bar which angles down at either end. Usually made from steel with knurled grip sections, they usually measure about 48” long. The main advantage of the straight bar is that they are great for those of you who want to strengthen your backs.
The long staight bar offers a wide and narrow grip, the wider the grip the more you target the lats, the narrower the grip your target the traps and rhomboids. Exercises are the lateral pulldown, but also cable curls and biceps, performed with an underhand grip.
Straight Bar - Short
As the title suggests the short straight bar is a shorter version of the long bar, length is usually 20” and its doesn’t angle down at the ends. They are usually made from steel and with knurled grips. The short bar is really for the upper body, the muscles in the arms, back and shoulders.
Exercises that can be performed include cable curls for the biceps, tricep pushdowns, upright row for the traps and shoulders, seated rows for the back and shoulders.