I often find that cable machines are dominated by big guys in the gym, and it can be hard to muscle your way in. But on my recent holiday, the state-of-the-art cable-machines-inclusive gym was near to empty every time I visited. Kind of like an open playground designed just for me! So I took the opportunity to reacquaint myself with the array of functional moves you can do using cables, and the result was that satisfying next-day soreness in muscles I haven’t touched in some time.
So naturally I’m thrilled when I find my gym has installed six Technogym Kinesis machines. They work much in the same way as a traditional cable machine, without the fuss of changing around the settings to accomodate different angles of movement. It’s all ready to go with handles in all the right places. And like a cable, each Kinesis exercise delivers reciprical tension on the outgoing and returning movement, which means your muscles work harder and for longer because the pull of gravity isn’t helping you out like it is when you lift free weights such as dumbbells or barbells. You’ll notice the difference the next day, I promise.
You don’t strictly need a Kinesis machine to do the following mini-workout – most cable machines will do the trick. That’s why I’ve designed it as a circuit, so you can do all your exercises consecutively without sacrificing your spot on gym floor prime real estate.
Allow 15 minutes; Complete 3 circuits; Rest 1min between circuits
- Chest fly
Stand facing away from the Kinesis machine, so your arms are slightly behind your body when you hold the handles. Squeeze your arms and chest as you bring the handles together in front of you, keeping your core strong throughout hop over to here. Hold for a second then slowly return to the start.
15 reps; Set the weight so your pecs shake slightly on the squeeze
- Lat pull-down
Stand in the middle and hold the highest handles, pulling them down slightly so your arms are level with your shoulders. Focus on squeezing your shoulder blades as you pull the handles down to the sides of your hips. Hold for a second then slowly return to the start.
15 reps; Set the weight so it requires effort to hold the handles parallel to your shoulders
- Single-arm back fly
Stand with the main cable directly in the middle of your body, your arm extended as you hold the handle. Keep your core strong and try to avoid twisting your body as you move your arm out to your side at 90 degrees. Pause, then return slowly to the start. Perform all your reps, then switch sides.
15 reps; The weight should be high enough that you’re tempted to fling the handle back from the outstretched position (but don’t)
- Medicine ball or cable woodchopper
This cable classic doesn’t work so well on a Kinesis machine because the structure gets in the way, but it’s great on a traditional cable machine with the handle set at the highest point. Alternatively, grab a medicine ball or Ugi ball and assume a shoulder-width stance. Squat gently down and bring the ball towards the floor on your left side. Explosively extend your body and your arms to the right so the ball completes a diagonal line all along your left side. Perform all your reps, then switch sides.
15 reps; 5-7kg ball
Good luck! Leave a comment to say how you got on or to share your experience with cable training.