Wouldn't it be amazing if there was one multi-functional machine that you can workout your entire body on?

One machine that enables you to do full range motions, work your muscles from all kinds of angles, switch between exercises with ease and offers you a whole new planes of motion to try...

Well there is, It's called a Cable Machine.

And a good one can not only help you do all that, but it can also teach you proper form, help you isolate muscle groups and a lot more.

So in this post I'll help you find the best cable machine for your home gym.

But first, we'll do a quick rundown on this unique fitness machine. 

Let's start.

What is a cable machine?

A cable machine is simply a fitness equipment utilizing the use of pulleys and cables in order to lift weight plates which serve as the resistance.

The pulley allows for more weight to be lifted which makes this machine a great for beginners.

But the ability to lift heavy weights, mix between exercises with ease and fast, and the ability to move in almost any direction make it a great choice for experienced gym goers as well.

In fact, a cable machine is so versatile, you'll be able to do pretty much every type of exercise on a cable machine.

Let's dive a bit deeper

The first thing that might catch your eye is their massive steel frame and large size.

Which might not make them the best addition to your home gym.

Unless of course you’ve got an extra space for one.
(Don't worry though, I have included one that is extremely compact)

Cable machines often feature a weight stack that is connected to a routed system of cables by cams and pulley stations.

With one exception.

Some machines do not have a weight stack, instead you'll find a small version of a weight bar.

This helps reduce the machines price, weight and even size.

But all the rest is the same.

As for the pulleys, well, in most machine you'll find two independent pulley stations.

Some are adjustable, and some are not. As a general rule, adjustable = better.

And Some machines will have enough space for you to stand in the middle and do crossover exercises.

A cable crossover machine can really help you get a full and diverse workout.

This will also allow you to add a weight bench in the middle if you'll like.

In machines that use weight plates you'll find the weight stack in the back, or at the side.

In most machines, the weight stack is placed inside a large metal frame that holds the entire stack together.

The overall weight of the weight stack varies depending on the model.

Fortunately, there are a lot of models for you to choose from, depending on your budget, needs and space available.

Side note about weight stacks

In high end machines you'll usually see dual weight stacks, which is great.

Why? Because having two independent weight stacks guarantees you won't be splitting the resistance weight between your hands/legs when you're working on both at the same time.

So for example, if you set the weight to 50 lbs on each stack, you're actually lifting 50 lbs with each hand.

In contrast to setting the resistance weight to 50 lbs on a machine that has one weight stack, which means your lifting 50 lbs with both hands when you're working both of them together.

How does a cable machine work?

Cable machines work in the same way like most home gyms.

Only with a couple of slight yet beneficial differences.

First, they provide a constant resistance to your muscles.

There is no “resting point” when using a cable machine.

Sure, you can rest before you bring the cable slowly back to its pulley brace, but the cable is force teaching your muscles control.

That's because the tension is constantly applied on your muscles, thus it "teaches" you how to work your muscles throughout the lift.

And the ability to perform any type of controlled exercise, from pretty much any angle or plane of motion is a good method to isolate your muscles.

Which brings me to the next point.

It's a lot easier to do isolated exercise on a cable machine.

Which basically means you can work on one muscle group or one part in your body that is slightly behind the rest of your body, strength wise.

Simply because it's so easy for you to work each arm/leg independently on a cable machine.

Furthermore, the fact that a great cable machine can provide a full body workout is something worth noting.

Some would say a cable machine is the only gym equipment you'll need in your home.

But I'll leave that decision to you.

Why cable machines are good for you

The most important thing you should care about, is the extra versatility cable machine can offer to your workouts.

But also, that in some ways, cables are better than dumbbells because they allow you to work your muscles from different angles.

That’s thanks to adjustable pulley stations that allow you to change your starting position with every exercise.

Helping you “attack” your muscles from different angles.

Keep in mind though, that the versatility of such machine relies, partly, on the attachments you have for the machine.

You can hook a weight bar for biceps curls, or a one hand handle to work one arm at a time.

And you can use the lower pulley stations with the same bar/handle/ rope attachment to work on your triceps.

Likewise, you can use the same rope to also work on your shoulders and back.

You can use a leg attachment to work on your calves, hamstrings, thighs, and more. 

You get the idea, the options are countless.

Another way cable machines have an edge over free weights is the fact that they provide constant resistance to your muscles.

Your muscles are under resistance when you pull down/backward and when you release up/forward.

Furthermore, they’re also great if you can’t just yet do any pull-ups.

For example, lat pull-downs allows you to work your back to a point where you’re able to do pull-ups on your own.

In short, you can get the max out of a good cable machine.

Cable Machine - Pros And Cons

First of all, let's start with the good stuff. 

Pros

  • It will be great for you not matter what your fitness level is, or if you lack experience.
  • You can learn the proper form of an exercise with it.
  • Its easier for you to isolate and work on one muscle, thus increasing the impact and getting an intense workout.
  • They can help you diversify your workouts, which by definition is a great thing.
  • By working on a cable machine you can build up your strength to serve you on different machines and exercises.
  • A cable machine provides a constant steady resistance to your muscles. 
  • It's safer to use a cable machine than free weights.

There's no doubt a cable machine can provide ton of benefits to you.

That is, if you'll actually use it and not turn it into a coat rack.

The benefits this machine can provide is why so many fitness buffs love this machine and make it their go to machine in the gym.

And frankly, there's aren't many reason to why you should not use one in your own home.

But, I guess you already know that nothing is perfect in life.

Which brings me to the not so good stuff.

Cons

  • Because cable machines offer isolated exercises, there's a slight chance you'll neglect other muscles groups.
  • There are vital muscles (stabilizing muscles) that you use in your daily life that are being left out when you workout on a cable machine.
  • The movement is always the same and guided.
  • High-end cable machines are really expensive.


First of all, except for the fact the movement being the same, and that high end machines are expensive, you can overcome the other two cons on the list if you build a good workout plan.

So as long as you build a plan that covers all your body's muscle groups, and you'll use free weights in addition to the cable machine, you're good to go.

Best Cable Machine for your home gym

Looking for the best cable machine for your home gym can be quite an exhausting task.

This is why I went ahead and picked the absolute best ones that will fit your home gym in 2019.

Besides picking them based on obvious factors like price and size, I took into consideration the following:

  • Functionality
  • Ease of use
  • Included weight
  • Weight ratio
  • Number of pulley stations 
  • How many height positions do the pulleys have

I aimed for these requirements simply because these are the main points a solid cable machine should address.

But as someone who used his share of cable machines you can rest assure I checked all the above, and then some.

However, like with any other fitness equipment out there , its all up to you, your budget, and your goal.

best on the budget

Valor Fitness BD-62 Wall Mount Cable Station

If you're short on funds, or space, then the Valor BD-62 is an item you should consider.

Its small and compact design will fit most rooms.

But don't let it size fool you.

This is a great cable machine that can provide a solid workout session.

There are two pulley stations you can use with 2 single hand straps.

BTW, there are 5 adjustable spots for the hand straps.

Furthermore, there are 17 adjustable positions for the pulley station for you to choose from.

Adjusting the pulleys is also easy, since you don't have to pull the pin out every time you want to adjust them.

You just gotta slightly pull the hedge pin while you slide the pulleys up or down the rail.

Another cool feature is the pivoting pulley brace, that allows you to change the direction of your motion.

A nice feature to find on such a low cost cable machine.

Unfortunately, as far as the weight stack goes, well, you won't find one in this machine.

Instead, there's a weight bar you'll need to load weight plates on.

That's one of the things that make this machine affordable, and a space saver.

Anyway, there's a dual bar track on which the weight bar glides on. 

This is to assure the weight bar is stable and gliding smoothly on the tracks.

And finally, since we want to make sure it's stable, make sure you anchor your unit to the wall.


The Good Stuff:
  • highly affordable
  • space saver - will fit most spaces
  • two adjustable pulley stations with 17 positions
  • offers isolated muscle training
  • easy to use
  • pivoting pulley braces
The Bad Stuff:
  • you need to spend extra on weight plates
  • it might wobble even if anchored to the wall
  • not Suitable for crossover training. (unless you buy two)
  • on the highest Position of the pulleys height is too low for lat pull downs

top of the line choice

XMark - XM-7626 - Functional Trainer Cable Machine

If you're looking for the top of the line cable machine, then I want to introduce you to the XMark - XM-7626.

It definitely fits well in the high end category of cable machines.

This massive piece of equipment can fill almost your entire home gym needs.

First of all, its got dual 200 lbs weight stacks, which comes to a total of 400 lbs.

But the weight ratio is 2:1, which means that your always lifting only half of the weight.

Nevertheless, lifting 100 lbs in one arm is not something everyone can do.

Anyway, the thing I love the most about this machine is its functionality. 

Its got 19 pulley positions with 3.5" increments between each.

This assures you can exercise your muscles from pretty much every possible angle and direction.

And you won't have any trouble diversifying your workouts, because XMark has included a lot of attachments.

Furthermore, adjusting this machine to fit your workout and exercise is also fast and easy.

You just pull the safety pin a bit and slide it up or down the pulleys rail and you're good to go.

Bottom line is that this is a top quality cable machine, high end build, that can fulfill all your strength training goals.

The problem? 

It's expensive as heck, heavy, and takes quite some time to assemble.


The Good Stuff:
  • It's almost like owing a fully Equipped home gym
  • easy to use and to adjust the pulleys
  • full set of Attachments Included
  • 400 lbs total weight stack
  • amazingly built - feels like a commercial gym equipment
The Bad Stuff:
  • expensive
  • takes quite some time to assemble
  • massive and has a large footprint
  • you're only able to lift total of 200 lbs when using two pulleys at the same time

best runner up

PowerLine PCCO90X Cable Crossover

One of my favorites cable machines on this list is the PCC090X from PowerLine.

First of all, it's a great choice if you're looking for a cable machine that will allow you to do cable crossover exercises.

There's just the right amount of space for you to perform any type of cable exercise you can think of.

However, that also means that this nice piece of equipment takes up quite some room.

Since this cable machine is over 9 ft in length!

It also means you can add a weight bench in the middle and diversify your workouts even more.

You won't find any weight stack here.

This machine use a plate load to create the resistance. 

This helps keep the machine weight and price low.

Don't worry though, even if you'll have to buy weight plates, the total is still less than most cable machines on the market.

The sliding rail for the weight plates is smooth, but there's some maintenance needed on your side. 

A simple oil lubricate will do the job.

And as for the pulleys, well, you only get four fixed pulley stations.

Two upper and two lower.

All four located in the four corners of the machine.

And though having only 4 fixed pulley stations may sound a little, all the four swivel at-least 180 degrees which is great!

So you can work your muscles from different angles.

Overall this is an affordable cable machine, that can provide a great cable based workouts.


The Good Stuff:
  • affordable
  • great price to value ratio
  • the ability to perform cable crossover exercises
  • the option to add a weight bench in the middle
  • not that hard to assemble
The Bad Stuff:
  • it's large size might make it unsuitable for you. (space wise)
  • you'll have to buy weight plates
  • no adjustable pulley stations

Body Solid Functional cable machine

So this one is definitely not the most affordable cable machine on our list.

Nevertheless, it is one the best, it might even be too much for some users.

This solid looking monster packs dual 310 lbs weight stacks that are connected to two pulley stations.

As far as the weight stack goes, it's an upgrade, since the old variation of this model only has dual 160 lbs stacks. 

Anyway, you can adjust the two pulley stations vertically in 20 different height positions. 

Furthermore, the cables, which are 4.8 mm in diameter, are connected to handles that can swivel in 180°.

This assures you can change the direction of the movement without any difficulty.

Another great thing about this machine is that there's enough space in the middle for you to add a weight bench.

Although it could be quite narrow for doing chest fly.

The resistance weight ratio is 2:1, which means that on the heaviest setting of the weight stack you'll actually be lifting 155 lbs.

Which is more than decent if you'll ask me.

And last but not least, there's a pull up bar right in the middle.

As for the downsides, well, this is not a cheap cable machine.

And it's size might not suit your place.

Though when compared to other similar models it's actually smaller.

So if you've got the space and the budget, this machine can be a smart choice. 


The Good Stuff:
  • solid and amazingly Built
  • dual 310 lbs weight stack
  • Two Adjustable Pulley Stations With 20 Positions
  • the option to add a weight bench in the middle
  • has a pull up bar
The Bad Stuff:
  • expensive
  • it's large size might make it unsuitable for you. (space wise)
  • takes quite some time to assemble
  • no extra attachments 

Valor Fitness - BD-61 - Cable Crossover Station

Being one of the more affordable options on the market, the Valor BD-61, can be a good choice for you if you're on the budget.

It's not the best cable machine out there, but it certainly does the job.

First of all, It doesn't have a weight stack, but it does have two bar weights that you'll have to load your weight plates on. 

The weight bars glide on a track, but you have to put weights on both sides in order for them to glide smoothly.

This doesn't effect you if you want to work on one arm at a time though.

It's got two individual pulley stations that you can adjust in 17 different height positions.

Furthermore, they swivel, so you can be sure you can work your muscles from pretty much any angle.

And there's also a lower rowing station that will help you diversify your workouts even further.

Even more, it's got a pull up bar so that you can work on your back and arms.

No space in the middle to add a weight bench, and this might turn you off.

But this cable machine can provide a good full body workout.

ON the downside, the BD-61 does not use high end materials.

And you can feel it when you touch the pulley braces and the handlebars.

And like other cable machines out there, it can take you a while to assemble.

Especially if you're not handy.


The Good Stuff:
  • affordable
  • two pulleys stations with 17 adjustable positions
  • has a low rowing station
  • has a pull up bar
  • comes with several attachments
The Bad Stuff:
  • you have to spend extra on weight plates
  • some areas of the machine feel cheap
  • takes quite some time to assemble
  • weight needs to be even on both sides of the weight bar

Body-Solid - BFFT10 Functional Trainer

Another somewhat affordable cable machine on the market is the BFFT10 from Body-Solid.

Its got 19 height positions for its two pulley stations.

Both of them can swivel in 180 degrees assuring you can attack your muscles from a variety of angles.

And In addition there's a pull up bar for you to do pull ups and further work on your back and arms.

My major dislike though about this machine is that it only packs a 190 lbs weight stack.

And its 2:1 weight ratio means that you actually getting half of the resistance.

So for example, when you're setting the resistance on its heaviest weight which is 190 lbs, the resistance weight is 95 lbs.

And keep in mind that when you use both hands the weight is even less, cause there's only one weight stack.

Oh, and because the weight resistance is too low, this model would not fit any one who can handle big weights.

So would you benefit from this machine?

Well, yes, if you just want to blend a few cable exercises here and there, and not make it your center of workout.

On the good side, this is a sturdy and well built cable machine that does what it supposed to do.

And maybe even more important, you can add a weight bench to take your workout up a notch.


The Good Stuff:
  • somewhat affordable
  • two pulleys stations with 19 adjustable positions
  • the cables swivel at 180 degrees
  • has a pull up bar
  • you can place a weight bench in the middle
The Bad Stuff:
  • only one weight stack
  • has a total of 190 lbs of weight plates
  • the resistance weight is quite low considering the 2:1 ratio
  • takes sometime to assemble
  • no extra attachments

BodyCraft - HFT - Functional cable machine

Another beast on the list, is the HFT from BodyCraft.

Not sure if it can win the title "the best cable machine", but it sure is a strong contender.

First of all, you can see right on the start that this is one solid looking beast.

It seems that every little detail has been thought of twice, from the smallest bolt, to the cables.

It has two variations.

The only difference between the two is the weight stack provided.

The first is a dual 150 lbs weight stacks, and the second is a dual 200 lbs stacks. 

There are 31(!) height positions you can position the two pulleys in.

If that's not enough, the cables, which is nylon coated, ("just in case") swivel at 180°.

So you can be sure you can attack your muscles from almost every possible angle.

The weight ratio here is also 2:1, which means that you always get half of the resistance.

But on the other hand, the plates increments is 5 lbs, which is really great.

This baby is not only rock solid, but it seems that the people behind it, knew what they were doing.

Every thing is in place, no squeaking or creaking, it's all very smooth.

You can exercise your entire body with this one cable machine, and you can even add a weight bench in the middle.

Keep in mind that this is one pricey equipment, and its probably the most difficult one to assemble on this list.


The Good Stuff:
  • First Class Build And Materials
  • dual 200 lbs weight stacks
  • two pulleys stations with 31 adjustable positions
  • the cables swivel at 180 degrees
  • has a pull up bar
  • you can place a weight bench in the middle
The Bad Stuff:
  • the resistance weight is low on the 150 lbs model
  • huge and heavy
  • pricey, pricey, pricey
  • hard to assemble and you can't do it alone

Inspire Fitness -FT1 - Functional Trainer

The FT1 stores inside more than the eye can see.

It certainly is one of the more beautiful machines on this list.

But lets start with the essentials.

First of all, its got dual 160 lbs weight stacks with a weight ratio of 2:1.

In essence, a dual weight stack forces you to stabilize yourself when your working both arms at the same time.

But if that's not enough for you, you can upgrade your unit with an extra 50 lbs.

As for the pulleys, well, there are two independent stations, with 30 height positions.

Which is more than enough.

And the handle to adjust the pulleys make the whole thing a lot easier.

I gotta say that this is the essayist pulley adjusting system I have ever seen.

In general it seems that this cable machine is well designed.

It even has a built in rotating shelf that holds all the accessories this machine comes with. 

And it comes with a bundle.

It's footprint is a bit smaller than other machines, and its V shape form make it easy to place in the corner of the room.

So it doesn't take the major focus in the room if that's your goal.

The major problem I have with the FT1 is it's price, which is slightly higher than similar machines in the same level.

I don't think having a rotating accessories holder, and a smaller footprint justify the jump in the price.

Nevertheless, it's a great piece of equipment. 


The Good Stuff:
  • First Class Build And Materials
  • two pulleys stations with 3.0 adjustable positions
  • the Easiest pulley adjusting system
  • has a pull up bar
  • you can add a weight bench in the middle
  • comes with a bunch of attachments
  • has a built in rotating attachments holder
The Bad Stuff:
  • the total weight of the dual stacks is 160
  • with the 2:1 ratio it means you lift 80 lbs on each side
  • you need to pay extra to upgrade the weight to 210 lbs
  • huge and heavy
  • pricey, pricey, pricey
  • somewhat hard to assemble

Wrapping It up on the best cable machine choice

As I wrap up this post I want you to think about your goals and needs.

Don't get tempted into buying one just because you think you'll might use it. 

A cable machine needs to be worked, PERIOD.

So think deeply about your goals, your needs, and promise yourself that if you'll get one, you'll actually use it.

Since as you see for yourself, buying a cable machine is quite an investment.

They don't come cheap, well at least not the really good ones.

I hope this article helped a little in your quest after the best cable machine for yourself.

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Summary
8 Best Cable Machines You Should Add To Your Home Gym In 2019
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8 Best Cable Machines You Should Add To Your Home Gym In 2019
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A cable machine can be a great addition to any home gym. So check out this list of the 8 best cable machines you can add to your own in 2019.
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FitnessFixedGear.com
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