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Also known as "cable machines", they prove time after time to be one of the most popular categories of strength training equipment in the gym. With two adjustable pulleys (cables), they allow you to perform a wide range of upper body exercises such as lat pulldowns, triceps extensions and curls along with lower body movements such as squats. With a very smooth action, the tension on the muscle is consistent all the way through the exercise, making them a very effective way to work out.
In the endless debate about machine v free weights there is one piece of machine equipment that comes out looking very good to the seasoned gym user - the dual adjustable pulley. This is because whilst it is a machine, it has a lot of the benefits of free weights. Essentially it is a resistance machine that consists of two independent weight stacks controlled by pin loading. And here’s the real advantage-you can adjust the weight for each side of the machine and create a level of instability and free movement that most machines don’t allow. So you get the safety of a machine combined with the benefits of free weights.
Additional benefits are the sheer number of exercises you can perform, some manufacturers list 225 exercises, and so if you don’t have the budget for a number of different resistance machines this one more than compensates .And it doesn’t require huge floor space! So a great choice for a home gym where space is at premium.
Exercises that can be performed with the dual adjustable pulley include a large number for the upper body. The chest press is one of the most popular but you can make this harder by alternating your arms one at a time rather than at the same time. This way your core will have to work harder. This is also true of the standing row but it’s not just about the upper body. You can perform squats with this equipment as well as squats to press. Total body exercises can also be performed for example you can lunge backwards with one leg as you row both pulleys, you could also squat with a bicep curl. And the abs can get a great work out with the weighted crunch and abdominal curl.
When buying a dual adjustable pulley do look for solid construction, multiple position pulleys and built in chin up bars. Those models with rubber feet can help protect home floors. Some also offer small increment weights which allow for finite resistance adjustment. Also check out the attachments included in your purchase, some include short and long strap handles, long and short bars and an ankle strap.
Some models will also provide an instructional poster and CD/DVD to help you along the way.