Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Workout Wednesday: The Cable Machine

December 28, 2011. The last Workout Wednesday I posted. Geeze, it's been a long time. Tell me you've still been working out! Lord knows I haven't been. I seriously haven't done a single thing since Friday, December 30, 2011. Unless you count childbirth, then you can bump that date up to January 3, 2012. Regardless, it's been a long time, and for this girl, that feels very weird. And even though I'm feeling loads better just two weeks later, I'm still not quite ready to hit the gym. Perhaps for some light walking, but that means I'd have to take the peanut with me and she's not quite ready for all that is the gym. So here I sit, perfectly fine relaxing. If I'm being completely honest, I think my body is loving it. After nine months of pregnancy, even a good pregnancy, I don't entirely blame it.

But that's me, not you.

YOU still have to work out! And I'm going to work out vicariously through you with this cable machine circuit of exercises. A circle I've built specifically to target your entire body. (I love the cable machine! For real.) But before you begin this or any other exercise routine, you'll want to make sure that all is right in your world.

Consult your doctor if you need to.

Equipment? Obviously you'll need a cable machine, single or double. Some of the exercises are built for a double cable machine, but if you don't have access to one you can simply do one side at a time. If you don't have access to any type of cable machine, you can get creative and mimic the following with some elastic bands and a closed door.

1) LEGS/BACK: Lunge with Single-Arm Row. Attach a single handle to the cable machine and set it just below your chest line. Grasp the handle with your right hand, step back until your right arm is fully extended, then get into a left-leg lunge position. As you pull the handle back, lining your hand up with your ribs, complete the lunge. Repeat as desired before changing sides. (If you find that the angle of the pull is awkward, you might need to slide the handle down a notch on the cable machine.)

2) CHEST: Fly with Crossover. Set each handle high on the cable machine, usually around shoulder height or just above. Grab one handle in each hand and pull down and toward the front of your chest, crossing your right hand over your left. Return to start, pulling again and crossing your left hand over your right. Repeat as desired. (Maintain a rounded arm throughout, don't let those hands pull into your chest...act as if you were hugging a big beach ball.)

3) HIPS: Adductions and Abductions. Adductions: You'll need an ankle cuff for this one, and you'll have to hook it to the bottom of your cable machine. Wrap it around your right ankle, stand with your right hip toward the cable machine. Lift your right foot off the ground just slightly, cross your right leg over the left without bending it. Repeat as desired. Abductions: Turn so that your cuffed foot is on the outside of the cable machine. With a straight leg, pull away from the machine. You'll feel this one on the outside of your leg, rather than the inside like the adductions. (Of course, you'll want to do these moves on both the right and left legs.)

4) BICEPS: Curls with Twist. You'll need a double rope handle for this one. Attach it to the top of the cable machine. Grab the ends, one in each hand, standing close to the machine itself with your elbows at your side. Without moving your elbows up or down, pull on the rope to bring the handles down to your thighs, palms facing in. As you get to the end of the pull, kick your wrists to turn your palms down toward the ground. Repeat as desired.

5) TRICEPS: Overhead Rope Extension. Using the same double rope, adjust the cable machine so that the anchor point is in line with your shoulders. Start in a lunge position for comfort's sake, facing away from the rope. Reach behind you and grab the ends of the rope, leaning forward into the lunge with a straight back, elbows at your years. Extend your arms using your triceps, lower hands and repeat.

6) SHOULDERS: Adductions and Abductions. Single handle, adjusted to hip height. Pull up, turn and pull to the side, turn and (with arm outstretched), pull down. Of course, you'll want to complete all repetitions before switching positions.

7) CORE: Woodchops. Just like a medicine ball squat, but with the cable machine instead! Set up a single handle, anchoring it at head height. Grab the handle with both hands, positioning yourself perpendicular to the machine. Twist from the torso, bringing the handle across the body and down toward your outside hip, squatting as you go. Take care NOT to lean toward the handle—keep the move in your torso, twist from the torso to move the weights. Repeat on the opposite side to keep that torso even.

There, lucky number seven exercises.
Sorry about that. (Do you believe in that? I don't.)

Question: What's your favorite move on the cable machine?

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