clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The cable machine is a great tool for working the biceps and triceps

Using the cable machine is like using resistance bands as opposed to free weights. With cables and bands, the resistance stays with you throughout the entire movement of the exercise.

The cable machine is a great piece of equipment that many large and small gyms have because you can do so many exercises with it.

Today we’re going to focus on how to tone the fronts and backs of the arms.

Using the cable machine is like using resistance bands as opposed to free weights. With cables and bands, the resistance stays with you throughout the entire movement of the exercise. For example, with a bicep curl you’ve got resistance as you do the actual curl and then tension when you release the curl.

Stephanie Mansour demonstrates the starting position of a bicep curl using a cable machine.
Stephanie Mansour demonstrates the starting position of a bicep curl using a cable machine.
Brian Ernst/Sun-Times

For the bicep curl on the cable machine, attach the straight bar to the cable.

Lower the cable to the lowest level on the machine. Set the weight at 15.

Bend down to grab the straight bar with your right hand on the right side of the bar and left hand holding the left side of the bar.

Health and fitness expert Stephanie Mansour demonstrates the ending position of a bicep curl using a cable machine at HiFi Fitness at 820 N Orleans.
Health and fitness expert Stephanie Mansour demonstrates the ending position of a bicep curl using a cable machine at HiFi Fitness at 820 N Orleans.
Brian Ernst/Sun-Times

Pull the cable up so that when you straight your arms there is tension on the cable and your arms rest in front of you at your thighs.

Softly bend your knees and open your feet as wide as your hips. Exhale as you curl the bar up towards your chest, and then inhale as you release it. This is the bicep curl.

Repeat this 10 times.

Stephanie Mansour demonstrates the starting position of a tricep extension using a cable machine.
Stephanie Mansour demonstrates the starting position of a tricep extension using a cable machine.
Brian Ernst/Sun-Times

For the tricep extension exercise, the most common way to perform this on the cable is to hook the braided extension onto one of the cables.

Hold onto the balls at the end of the braid with each of your hands.

Step your feet out as wide as your hips and relax you shoulders.

Your starting position is holding the balls at the bottom of your sternum so that your forearms are parallel to the ground and your upper arms stay glued to the sides of your ribcage.

Exhale as you pull the balls down and out to the outside of your hips, and then inhale as you slowly release back up to the starting position.

Repeat this 10 times.

Stephanie Mansour demonstrates the ending position of a tricep extension using a cable machine.
Stephanie Mansour demonstrates the ending position of a tricep extension using a cable machine.
Brian Ernst/Sun-Times

Stephanie Mansour wants you to ‘“step up” your fitness regimen. Mansour coaches private clients in weight loss, provides fitness/health/lifestyles advice on national TV shows, and offers her free 21 Day Challenge online. Check out her fitness tips every Thursday in the Well section of the Chicago Sun-Times. And visit her website at stepitupwithsteph.com.