In this competitive age where you can no longer have the luxury of having fixed workout time, it makes more sense to build a home gym set up than going to a gym.
When it comes to home gym the cable and pulley machines are the best choice. Unlike free weights, anyone can use cable and pulley machines safely without the need of expert supervision.
You can perform wide range of exercises on your body with cable and pulley machines. Your can work from many angles with a cable and pulley machine. You can perform eccentric and isometric exercises as well.
While being able to do wide range of motions every movement on cable and pulley machines is controlled movement. This results in lesser stress over tendons, ligaments and joints allowing you to put in more work at optimum frequency and makes you less prone to injuries.
Among the hundreds of options available it is difficult to choose the right one. If it is your first cable and pulley machine then it is almost impossible get it right without guidance form someone experienced.
This buying guide is aimed at helping you choose the best cable and pulley machine for your home gym. The features and limitations of the machines are observed by the experts in order to help you make an informed decision.
What Will I Learn?
Top 10 Cable Machines for Home Gym
Every machine listed here is great. Each has some features to offer and some limiting factors. You can choose any of these top 10 cable and pulley machines that suit your needs.
Some of these machines require wider space, some fit in a corner and some need a wall to mount on. Go through the complete description, features and limitations before making the final decision.
Body-Solid Powerline Cable Crossover Machine (PCCO90X)
This wide cable crossover machine from Powerline allows frictionless motion. The 180degree swivelling pulleys with many adjusting positions makes it possible to work all the muscle groups on a single machine.
The 7 feet tall and 9 and half feet wide mainframe allows you to do many high and lower pulley exercises. The structure is so solid and stable that you can attach pull up station to the machine.
The machine comes with two cable handles and one ankle strap. Makes it ready to use without the need to buy extra attachments. A rotating straight bar, lat rope and V press down bar can be added to the mix to do more exercises with the same machine.
- Smooth carriage system to allow even motion of weights
- Comes with nylon bushing technology for noiseless operation
- Pulleys have sealed ball bearing
- High resin, large diameter pulleys
- Both pulleys offer over 180 degrees of movement
- You can load the machine with standard plates
- Can attach pull up station to the frame
- Wide structure.
- It comes in parts, so assembly might be tricky
- Consumes a lot of space compared to other machines
Valor Fitness BD-61 Cable Crossover Station
With LAT Pull, Row Bar, and Multi-Grip Pull-Up Station
It is a complete workout machine with a high pulley, low pulley and the pull up/chin up station. Made up with heavy duty steel, this cable and pulley machine comes with two dual cable pulleys having seventeen adjustable positions on either side.
So many adjustable positions for pivot and the handles help you simulate natural movement of the body. The inclusion of multi grip pull station makes it a comprehensive all in one machine.
The slide track utilises double bar system for stability and smooth movement of the weights. Both Olympic and standard plates can be loaded on this machine.
The base of the upright bars is provided with rubber caps for better grip and floor protection.
This heavy duty, compact cable and pulley machine is the best option to incorporate smooth resistance training equipment in your home setting.
- Comes with lat bar, row bar and adjustable single strap handles
- Double bar track for straight and smooth movement of weights
- Heavy duty steel for durability
- Has better floor grip
- Can hold up to 400 pounds
- Comes with 17 position adjustable sleeves to provide different angles
- It has adjustable handles with 5 position settings
- Two people can use the machine at same time
- Hooks for storing the accessories
- When two people use the machine, they have to share the same stack of weights
- Plate loadings tedious than gym cable machine
XMark Functional Trainer Cable Machine, Dual 200 lb Weight Stacks
Optional Upgraded Accessory Package and Adjustable FID Weight Bench
(Optional Upgraded Accessory Package and Adjustable FID Weight Bench)
The XMark functional trainer cable and pulley machine is the most versatile equipment for your home gym. Suitable for all age groups and body type.
With two hundred pound dual weight stacks and nineteen sleeve adjustment setting the possibilities of the exercises are too many. Along with this, it has pull up/chin up bar too.
Easily interchangeable accessories make it less labour some to change between the exercises.
The optional accessories and bench package include a pair of long strap handle, short strap, triceps rope, shot and long bars, leg curl and extension straps, ankle strap and the exercise bench.
- Dual 200 pound weight stacks for unlimited possibilities
- 19 adjustment slots between one foot high to six and half foot height
- The optional accessory package makes it possible to work on all muscle groups
- Space saving design makes it fit into a small corner
- Industrial grade pulleys for smooth movement
- The adjustable bench pairs up the best with the machine
- Installation is time consuming
Valor Fitness CB-12 Lat Pulldown Machine
Low Row Machine, Cable Curl Bar, and Ab Machine Home Gym Equipment
Even if the name suggests otherwise, this machine is not limited to lat pulldown movement. It has lat pulldown movement, lower row machine, ab crunches harness, stand up curls etc.
It comes with adjustable sit pad and has a unique feature of seated ab crunch movement. It can hold around 250 pounds of weight. Barbell weight discs can be used with this machine.
This is very compact unit takes a little of floor space.
- Constructed with heavy duty steel
- Includes lat bar, lower T bar and harness for seated ab crunches
- Bar holder at the top to hold the lat bar
- Adjustable seat pad with four positions
- Continuous steel pegs to hold up to 250 pounds of weight
- Cannot perform crossover exercises
FreeMotion Dual Cable EXT Crossover
With Weight Stacks, Rotating Arms, Ankle Cuffs, and Swivel Pulleys
This state of the art equipment from FreeMotion comes with weight stacks, rotating arms, ankle cuffs, and swivel pulleys.
This durable and versatile equipment made up with heavy duty 7 and 11 gauge steel tubes can support up to 350 pounds of weight.
The unique feature of rotating arm makes nearly every movement pattern. The arm can move vertically with 12 inch increments and horizontally at 9inch increments.
Other than being aesthetic in looks it is also ergonomic in use. Comes with padded cuffs for comfortable placement. Enclosed weight stacks reduce accessibility to moving parts and hence makes it safe to use.
- Beautiful design makes it easy on the eyes
- Durable, heavy duty and versatile
- Unique feature of rotating arms
- Endless variety of exercises can be performed
- Enclosed weight stacks make it safer than the counterparts
- Need a lot for the assembly of equipment
- Machine is too heavy
Body-Solid Powerline PFT100 Functional Trainer
The Powerline functional trainer cable and pulley machine comes with two 160 pound weight stacks that can be upgraded up to 210 pounds. This machine can be comfortably used by users of all fitness levels and expertise.
The pulleys are vertically adjustable to twenty different starting positions. The pulleys are mounted on the swivel that can move in 180 degree range providing versatility in the motion angles.
This machine also includes straight, knurled, continuous pull up and chin up bar.
- 20 different starting positions
- Adjustable nylon handles
- No cable change design to switch quickly between exercises
- Continuous chin up bar to allow close grip pull up and chin ups
- Less room between the cables compared to wider counterparts
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Valor Fitness BD-62 Wall Mount Cable Station
With Adjustable Dual Pulley System Plus Bundle Option with Additional Cable Attachments for Functional Home Gym
There is bundle option for additional attachments for performing number of exercises. This cable station comes with adjustable dual pulley system.
This may be the only machine on which you can perform alternate and both hand bicep curls, triceps curls and extensions etc. the adjustable dual pulley in the close proximity makes it possible.
Considering the number of exercises that you can perform on this machine the amount of space taken s negligible. This is most compact cable and pulley machine that takes only about four square feet of floor space.
- Very compact design, perfect for small spaces
- Double pulley system with sixteen adjustment positions
- Double bar track for smooth movement of weights
- The unit can be attached to wall for better stability
- Can hold standard and Olympic weight discs
- Can work on triceps, bicep and shoulders more effectively
- Not stable without attaching to the wall
- Can’t perform crossover exercises
Body-Solid BFFT10R Best Fitness Functional Trainer
One of the most affordable cable and pulley machine is BFFT10R from Body-Solid.
This machine has 19 vertical position pulley adjustments. Both pulleys are mounted on the swivel with 180 degree rotating movement.
The integrated straight pull up bar makes it a complete home workout tool.
- No cable change design for switching quickly between exercises
- 190 pound weight stack
- Straight continuous chin up bar
- Utilises small floor space
- 19 vertical pulley adjustments
- Easy to assemble
- Maximum load is 190 pounds.
Vanswe Wall Mount Cable Station
18 Positions Adjustable Dual Pulleys Cable Crossover Machine
A multipurpose space saving cable and pulley machine is what you are looking for then Vanswe wall mount cable station is the best suited for your need.
With sturdy commercial grade structure and 18 vertical adjustment positions you can perform variety of exercises on this machine including, bicep curls, shoulder press, reverse flyes, squats etc.
This machine with 1:1 weight ratio stands approximately 7 feet tall. It is to be mounted on the wall for stability.
- Takes as little as four square feet of floor space
- Perfect multipurpose strength training equipment for small homes
- Top and bottom wall mount for greater stability
- Two five position strap handles are included
- Double bar track for weight movement
- 18 adjustment positions for dual swivel pulleys
- 250 pound weight capacity
ARCHON Wall Mount Commercial Ball Bearing Cable Station
17 Position Adjustable Dual Pulleys
Both top and bottom cable stations are mount on the wall to provide perfect stability. The dual pulleys have four linear bearing for smoother gliding movement.
With commercial construction and secured mounting on the wall the ARCHON cable station is stable use at all the pulley positions in spite of consuming lower floor space.
- Dual swivel pulleys
- 17 vertical adjustment positions
- Can accommodate standard and Olympic plates
- Weight capacity 250 pounds
- Commercial quality handles
- Needs thick strong wall to install on
There are many options available in the market but these ten tops the list. The criteria taken into account while choosing these machines as top of stack is ease of use, value for money, features, durability, effectiveness, range of motion etc.
You can choose any of the above machine based on your space availability and workout goals. A cable and pulley machine is a must have in your home gym. So, choose any of above and you won’t regret your decision.
Are cable machines good?
Yes. Cable machines provide controlled motion in your workout. With these, you are not lifting the free weights directly hence these are safer option for beginners. You can perform isolated exercises on cable machines for faster strength gain.
Can you build muscle with cable machines?
Yes you can, cable and pulley machines are marketed as strength training equipment you can build muscles with these. Cable machines provide full range of motion while placing less stress on the joints, this helps tremendously in muscle growth