Cable Only Lower Body Workout

Here it is, part two of my "cable only" blog posts. If you haven't already, give the first post a read before this one, so you can gain a bit of an understanding as to why I've created these workouts.


This workout is made up of 5 exercises, all of which can be performed on a cable machine. The only other pieces of equipment needed are a bench and an ankle cuff. You can also utilise a set of D handles, but these aren't a requirement in order to use this workout. Let's get into it!


• Cable Abduction

Unlimited warm-up sets / 1x 8-10 / 1x 12-15

This is a great exercise for targeting the glutes. The reason I've gone in with this exercise first is because I'm a real stickler for getting the glutes warm and activated before going into other lower day exercises. Complete as many warm up sets as you need, before going moving on to your first two working sets.


• Seated Cable Leg Extension

1x warm-up set / 2x 15 with a 4 second negative

Not the easiest exercise to perform on a cable machine, I'm not going to lie. However, that's why I've opted for a higher rep approach, with the added tempo challenge. Keep yourself nice and upright for this, and make sure you get a full extension through the knee. If you need to increase the bench height (because you're not a short ass like me), use a bumper plate to perch yourself on top of.


The "4 second negative" simply means you need to make the return back to your starting point (the eccentric / negative) last for 4 seconds. So keep it slow!


• Prone Cable Hamstring Curl

1x warm-up set / 1x 60 second isometric hold / 1x 6-8 / 1x 10-12

I love this exercise. It was one I had to use a lot during lockdown, but I've continued to use it in the studio now. I like to start this off with an isometric hold. This means holding the weight in one set place for a certain amount of time. With this, we're going to hold the knee in a flexed position (at about 90 degrees), for 60 seconds. Spend this time focusing on the mind to muscle connection in your hamstring. Once you've done that on either leg, you can increase the weight and begin your two "normal" sets.


• Cable RDL

1x warm-up set / 2x 15-20

Not going to lie, I'm not 100% sure if we can class this as a romanian deadlift. However, one thing that is for certain is it's a nice variation of a weighted hip hinge. Focus on only bending at the hips. This way you'll feel the hamstrings working, and not the lower back or quads. Again, I've opted for higher reps on this as heavier weight is likely going to take away from the sensation you want to feel in the hamstrings.


• Cable Calf Raises

4x 15

Last one, Cable Calf Raises. I've honestly never done this before. However, if you're not ready to go near a calf raise machine or smith machine just yet, these are a great alternative. For the purposes of the photo I turned around. However this exercise is made a lot easier if you run your back up and down the back plate of the cable machine. This way you're not having to focus on balancing quite as much. The D handles aren't a necessity for this, you can just hold on to the actual cables themselves.


So, there it is! A full lower day using a cable machine and nothing more. Give this post a like if you found it useful, and let me know how you get on with giving this session a go.


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© 2020 by Sam Barnes