The Best Arm Exercises on a Cable Machine for Every Muscle Group

The Best Arm Exercises on a Cable Machine

When it comes to arm workouts, the cable machine is often underrated. Many people think that the only way to work their arms is with free weights or machines. However, the cable machine can be a great tool for working your arms! In this article, we will discuss the best arm exercises on a cable machine. We will prioritize muscle-building aspects of the exercises, which muscle groups they emphasize, and how to perform them.

Anatomy of the Arm Muscles

There are four main muscle groups in the arms: the biceps, triceps, deltoids (or delts), and forearms.

The biceps are located on the front of the upper arm, while the triceps are located on the back of the upper arm. The delts are located on the shoulder. The forearms are located on the lower part of the arm between the elbow and wrist.

The biceps are responsible for bending the elbow, while the triceps are responsible for straightening the elbow. The delts are responsible for raising the arm. The forearms are responsible for gripping and holding objects.

The cable machine is a great tool for working all three of these muscle groups. Let’s take a look at some of the best exercises for each muscle group!

The Benefits of Cable Exercises

Now that we’ve covered the anatomy of the arms, let’s discuss the benefits of cable exercises.

First and foremost, cable exercises are great for isolation. This means that you can target a specific muscle group without having to use other muscles to stabilize the weight. This is important because it allows you to really focus on working that muscle group.

Cable exercises are great for building strength. They provide constant tension on the muscles, which is ideal for strength-building. Additionally, they allow you to use a variety of different grips and positions, which can help target different muscle groups. There’s also a greater ROM available when performing cable exercises.

Last but not least, cable exercises are great for injury prevention. They allow you to control the weight and range of motion, which can help prevent injuries.

Now that we’ve covered the benefits of cable exercises, let’s take a look at some of the best exercises for each muscle group!

The Best Cable Biceps Exercises

Exercise #1: Cable Bicep Curl

Cable bicep curls are great for isolating the biceps.

To perform this exercise:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and grasp a cable handle with an underhand grip.

  • Curl the handle up towards your shoulder, keeping your elbow close to your side.

  • Slowly lower the handle back to the starting position and repeat for the desired reps.

Exercise #2: Cable Hammer Curl

Cable hammer curls are great for working both the biceps and the forearms.

To perform this exercise:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and grasp a cable handle in each hand with an overhand grip.

  • Keeping your elbows close to your sides, curl the handles up towards your shoulders.

  • Slowly lower the handles back to the starting position and repeat for the desired reps.

Exercise #3: Cable Drag Curl

Cable drag curls are great for working the entire arm, including the biceps, triceps, and delts.

To perform this exercise:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and grasp a cable handle in each hand with an underhand grip.

  • Keeping your elbows close to your sides, curl the handles up towards your shoulders.

  • As you curl the handles up, drag them out to the side so that your hands end up in front of your shoulders at the top of the curl.

  • Slowly lower the handles back to the starting position and repeat for the desired reps

Exercise #4: Incline Bench Cable Curl

Incline bench cable curls are great for working the biceps from a different angle.

To perform this exercise:

  • Set an incline bench to a 45-degree angle and lie back on it.

  • Grasp a cable handle in each hand with an underhand grip.

  • Curl the handles up towards your shoulders, keeping your elbows close to your sides.

  • Slowly lower the handles back to the starting position and repeat for the desired reps

Exercise #5: Cable Preacher Curl

Cable preacher curls are great for isolating the biceps.

To perform this exercise:

  • Set a cable machine to the lowest setting and attach a straight bar.

  • Rest your elbows on the pads and grasp the bar with an underhand grip.

  • Curl the bar up towards your shoulders.

  • Slowly lower the bar back to the starting position and repeat for the desired reps.

The Best Cable Tricep Exercises

Exercise #1: Cable Tricep Extensions

Cable tricep extensions are great for isolating the triceps.

To perform this exercise:

  • Set the cable machine to the lowest setting and attach a rope handle.

  • Grasp a cable handle with an overhand grip and extend your arm up so that the handle is above your head.

  • Keeping your elbow stationary, lower the handle behind your head.

  • Extend your arm back to the starting position and repeat for the desired reps.

Exercise #2: Cable Skull Crushers

Cable skull crushers are great for working the triceps and the forearms.

To perform this exercise:

  • Set a cable machine to the lowest setting and attach a straight bar.

  • Set a bench in front of the machine and lie back on it.

  • Grasp the bar with an overhand grip and extend your arms straight up so that the bar is above your head.

  • Keeping your elbows stationary, lower the bar down behind your head.

  • Extend your arms back to the starting position and repeat for the desired reps

Exercise #3: Cable Tricep Pushdowns

Cable tricep pushdowns are great for working both the triceps and delts.

To perform this exercise:

  • Set a cable machine to the highest setting and attach a rope handle.

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and grasp the rope handle with an overhand grip.

  • Push the rope handle down until your arms are fully extended.

  • Slowly return to the starting position and repeat for the desired reps.

Exercise #4: Cable Tricep Kickback

Cable tricep kickbacks are great for working the triceps.

To perform this exercise:

  • Set a cable machine to about waist height and attach a single handle.

  • Grasp the handle with your right hand and place your left hand on the machine to steady yourself.

  • Position your feet so that one is in front of the other and bend forward at the waist.

  • Keeping your elbow stationary, kick your arm back until your arm is fully extended.

  • Slowly return to the starting position and repeat for desired reps.

Exercise #5: Cross-Body Cable Tricep Extension

Cross-body cable tricep extensions are great for working the triceps and delts and incorporating the core muscles.

To perform this exercise:

  • Set a cable machine to about above shoulder height and attach a single handle.

  • Grasp the handle with your right hand and place your left hand on the machine to steady yourself.

  • Position your feet so that one is in front of the other and extend your right arm out to the side at shoulder level.

  • Keeping your elbow stationary, pull the handle across your body until it is in front of your left shoulder.

  • Slowly return to the starting position and repeat for the desired reps.

  • Switch sides after completing your reps.

The Best Cable Shoulder Exercises

Exercise #1: Cable Front Raise

Cable front raises are great for working the anterior deltoid.

To perform the exercise:

  • Start by standing tall with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.

  • Set the cable machine to the lowest setting and attach a single handle. Grasp the handle with your right hand and place your left hand on the machine to steady yourself.

  • Keeping your elbow slightly bent, raise your arm out in front of you until it is parallel to the floor.

  • Slowly lower your arm back to the starting position and repeat for the desired reps.

  • Switch sides after completing your reps.

Exercise #2: Cable Lateral Raise

Cable lateral raises are great for working the medial deltoid.

To perform the exercise:

  • Start by standing tall with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.

  • Set the cable machine to the lowest setting and attach a single handle.

  • Grasp the handle with your right hand and place your left hand on the machine to steady yourself.

  • Keeping your elbow slightly bent, raise your arm out to the side until it is parallel to the floor.

  • Slowly lower your arm back to the starting position and repeat for the desired reps.

  • Switch sides after completing your reps.

Exercise #3: Cable Shoulder Press

Cable shoulder presses are great for working the anterior and posterior deltoids as well as the triceps.

To perform the exercise:

  • Start by standing tall with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.

  • Set the cable machine to the lowest setting and attach a handle on each side.

  • Grasp the handles with your hands and press them up overhead until your arms are fully extended.

  • Slowly lower the handles back to the starting position and repeat for the desired reps.

Exercise #4: Cable Face Pulls

Cable face pulls are great for working the posterior deltoid as well as the rotator cuff muscles.

To perform the exercise:

  • Start by standing tall with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.

  • Set the cable machine to about chest height and attach a rope handle.

  • Grasp the rope handle with your hands and position yourself so that the rope is behind your head.

  • Keeping your arms parallel to the floor, pull the rope towards you until your hands are in front of your face.

  • Slowly return to the starting position and repeat for the desired reps.

The Best Cable Forearm Exercises

Exercise #1: Cable Wrist Curl

Cable wrist curls are great for working the flexor muscles of the forearm.

To perform the exercise:

  • Start by sitting on a bench with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.

  • Set the cable machine to the lowest setting and attach a single handle.

  • Grasp the handle with your right hand and place your right forearm on your thigh so that your palm is facing up.

  • Keeping your elbow stationary, curl the handle towards you until your hand is in a position where your palm is facing you.

  • Slowly return to the starting position and repeat for the desired reps.

  • Switch sides after completing your reps.

Exercise #2: Cable Wrist Extension

Cable wrist extensions are great for working the extensor muscles of the forearm.

To perform the exercise:

  • Start by sitting on a bench with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.

  • Set the cable machine to the lowest setting and attach a single handle.

  • Grasp the handle with both hands and rest your hands on your thigh so your palms are facing down.

  • Keeping your elbow stationary, extend the handle away from you until your hand is in a position where your wrists are close to 90 degrees when compared to the forearms.

  • Slowly return to the starting position and repeat for the desired reps.

  • Switch sides after completing your reps.

Exercise #3: Cable Reverse Grip Curl

Cable reverse grip curls are great for working the brachialis muscle.

To perform the exercise:

  • Start by standing tall with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.

  • Set the cable machine to the lowest setting and attach a curl bar.

  • Grasp the curl bar with your hands in a reverse grip (palms facing down) and position yourself so that the bar is in front of your thighs.

  • Keeping your elbows close to your sides, curl the bar towards you until your hands are in front of your shoulders.

  • Slowly return to the starting position and repeat for the desired reps.

Common Mistakes

One of the most common mistakes people make when performing arm exercises on a cable machine is using too much weight.

It’s important to remember that you’re not trying to lift heavy weights, you’re trying to perform the exercises with proper form and focus on the muscle group you’re targeting.

Another common mistake is not using a full range of motion. When performing exercises like bicep curls or tricep extensions, it’s important to lower the weight all the way down to the starting position in order to fully work the muscle group.

Finally, another mistake people make is not keeping their core engaged. When performing arm exercises on a cable machine, it’s important to keep your core engaged and your back straight in order to avoid injury.

Summary

These are some of the best arm exercises you can do on a cable machine. When performing any of these exercises, be sure to use a weight that allows you to complete the desired number of repetitions with good form. If you start to lose form, lower the weight. These exercises can be performed as part of a workout or as standalone exercises. Give them a try and see how they work for you!

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