Gym Equipment Reviews
The 10 Best Cable Machines
What are the best cable machines?
Investing in a cable machine is a great idea if you want to work your arms, chest, shoulders, back, and legs with a fun form of strength training.
Cable machines have a tall rectangular steel frame with a weight stack connected to a cable and pulley system.
Using handles, you pull the cables toward you and back in to boost muscle training and development.
A new cable crossover machine gives you an exciting array of workouts to do at home, but which brand is the best?
We’ve done all the research for you, so you can choose the cable machine that suits your fitness goals.
Let’s take a look at the best cable machine models from trusted brands.
The Best Cable Machines Compared
Our equipment lists are created by researching the best-reviewed products from the most reputable companies and web sources.
Here’s our list of the 10 best cable machines:
In A Rush? Here’s Our Top Pick:
10. Merax – Cable Machine
Merax makes the best wall-mounted cable machine with an adjustable dual pulley system.
This pulldown fitness station has a double pulley mechanism that adjusts to 16 positions for optimal muscle burn.
The double bar track and carriage system glides safely and smoothly to keep you comfortable during strength training.
Plus, the vertical-focused design is super compact and stable, so you can tuck it into a corner and preserve maximum space.
The heavy-duty frame is reinforced with an I-shaped base for long-lasting stability.
It also accommodates standard plates for a wide range of exercises, including lat pulldown, bicep curls, triceps extensions, shoulder presses, squats, ab crunches, and rows.
It has a maximum weight load of 250 lb. and a one-year warranty, with assembled dimensions of 24.5 x 25.5 x 80 inches (L x W X H).
- Double pulley precision with 16 positions.
- Double bar track keeps carriage gliding smoothly.
- Compact vertical design saves space.
- I-shaped base keeps heavy-duty frame stable.
- 250 lb. maximum weight load with standard plates.
- Ideal for lat pulldown, shoulder presses, and ab workouts.
- Cannot be used freestanding, must be wall-mounted.
9. Valor Fitness – BD-62 Cable Machine
The Valor Fitness BD-62 Cable Machine is ideal for a functional home gym, as it’s wall-mounted to save space.
The adjustable dual pulley system supports effective strength training with 16 adjustable positions for unilateral and bilateral exercises.
The double bar track offers stability and ensures the plate-loaded carriage system glides smoothly for optimal resistance.
This cable station comes with a pair of single strap handles that can be adjusted to five positions for standard or Olympic plates.
It can be used with an Olympic adapter sleeve for better performance.
This cable machine has a 1:1 ratio with a max weight load of 200 lb. and assembled dimensions of 25 x 26 x 80 inches (L x W x H).
Plus, the manufacturer offers a 3-year frame warranty and a 1-year cable warranty.
- Dual pulley and double bar track cable machine.
- 17 mobile pulley adjustments for optimal strength training.
- Easily attaches to the wall for added stability.
- Plate-loaded carriage system provides ideal resistance.
- Suits standard and Olympic plates.
- Single strap handles can be adjusted to five positions.
- Must be wall-mounted.
- Doesn’t include Olympic plate adapters or short-row bars.
- No ankle cuffs.
8. Valor Fitness – BD-61 Cable Machine
Valor Fitness BD-61 is an innovative cable crossover machine with stations for lat pull, row bar, and multi-grip pull-ups.
The heavy-duty cable machine is made from durable steel and a rubber base to protect the floor.
It also comes with hardware to mount the machine to the ground if you want even more stability. The double bar track offers smooth movement for both standard 1-inch plates and 2-inch Olympic plates.
The BD-61 features a high and low pulley, plate storage pegs, and a 1:1 cable ratio.
It comes with a lat pulldown bar, curl/row bar, pull-up station, and two single strap handles for full-body crossover workouts.
Popular workouts include cable curls, upright rows, low rows, and chin-ups.
This fully functional trainer has 16 adjustable positions and measures 56 x 52 x 80 inches (L x W x H).
- Cable crossover machine with a max load of 250 lb.
- 16 adjustable positions in the cable pulley system.
- High and low pulley plus lat and row bar.
- Supports standard and Olympic weight plates.
- Two comfortable single strap handles are easy to adjust.
- Protected by 3-year manufacturer’s warranty on frame.
- Should be mounted to the ground for optimal stability.
- Takes up more space than some other cable machines.
7. Body-Solid – BFFT10R Cable Machine
The Body-Solid BFFT10R model has a 190 lb. single-weight stack designed to improve performance in sports and daily life.
This cable machine is a trusted functional fitness trainer with adjustable pulleys that swivel 180 degrees for numerous starting positions.
The unique no-cable design is protected by Body-Solid’s three-year warranty for the frame and a one-year warranty on all parts.
This machine comes with two adjustable nylon cable handles for a safe, firm grip as you switch between exercises seamlessly.
There’s also an integrated straight chin-up bar for additional strength training.
Body-Solid says this design has a smaller footprint while delivering all the benefits of a functional trainer, both for athletes and anyone who wants to boost muscle mass.
It measures 55 x 61 x 84 inches (L x W x H) and weighs 309 lb.
- Functional trainer with 190 lb. single weight stack.
- Designed for athletic training with a wide range of starting positions.
- 19 adjustable pulley positions.
- 180-degree swivel movement.
- Adjustable nylon cable handles.
- Integrated straight chinning bar.
- 2:1 ratio on single-stack makes max load lower than other machines.
- No extra attachments.
6. Bowflex – Blaze Home Cable Machine
The Bowflex Blaze is one of the top cable machines offering over 60 exercises for full-body workouts.
It comes with 210 lb. of Power Rod resistance, although you can upgrade to 310 or 410 lb.
There are seven free trainer-built workout plans included with every Bowflex machine, and informational placards on the frame remind you of 10 effective exercises in 20 minutes.
This cable machine has a sliding seat rail for aerobic rowing and leg presses, plus a wide range of cable pulley positions to customize workouts.
It comes with a lat bar, squat bar, and triple function hand-grip ankle cuffs. The lat tower is especially useful for building back and shoulder muscle quickly and safely.
The assembled weight of 195 lb. makes it easy to move, measuring 82.5 x 38 x 84.5 inches (L x W x H).
- 210 lb. of Power Rod resistance, no weight stacks required.
- Option for 60+ exercises working the entire body.
- Comes with seven trainer workouts and reminder placards.
- Gliding seat for leg press and aerobic rowing.
- Lightweight cable machine at 195 lb.
- Folding frame design.
- Not comfortable for leg curls.
5. Body-Solid – GDCC200 Cable Machine
The Body-Solid GDCC200 Cable Machine offers a premium comfort grip with high-density foam rubber handgrips and handles.
Not only does this functional training center deliver excellent stability and support during workouts, but it also has fiberglass reinforced nylon pulleys with locking universal attachment connections.
It’s fully adjustable with 20 independent height adjustments and 180º cable positioning.
This cable machine supports true isolateral movements and comes with two 160 lb. weight stacks, two adjustable nylon handles, and a dual-position pull-up bar.
The precision-fitted frame is made from commercial-grade 11-gauge oval tubing, with an extra layer of protection in an electrostatic powder coating finish.
The assembled dimensions are 43 x 73 x 84 inches (L x W x H).
- Functional training center with high-density foam comfort handgrips.
- Two 160 lb. weight stacks support isolateral movement.
- Smooth pulley and cable system with 20 height adjustments.
- 180º cable movements and dual position pull-up bar.
- Precise steel frame with electrostatic powder coating.
- Fiberglass reinforced nylon pulleys.
- Does not include pulldown bar.
4. Body-Solid – Powerline PFT100 Cable Machine
The Body-Solid Powerline PFT100 Cable Machine is well-suited to beginners with ample support and a safe design, but even the most experienced lifters can benefit from high and low cable crossovers and bicep curls with this equipment.
This versatile machine is also commonly used for triceps extension, triceps pressdown, glute kickback, rows, trunk twists, delt raises, and more.
There are two 160 lb. weight stacks, which can be upgraded to two 210 lb. stacks if you prefer.
The vertically adjustable pulleys swivel smoothly with a 180-degree motion for exciting exercise versatility, with two nylon cable handles included with the equipment.
This cable trainer is easier to move with a lighter weight than other options at 476 lb. and assembled dimensions of 42 x 63 x 83 inches (L x W x H).
- 2,000 lb. tensile strength cables.
- Two 160 lb. weight stacks for all fitness levels.
- 180-degree range of motion with vertically adjustable pulleys.
- Comes with a pair of adjustable nylon cable handles.
- Quiet operation and little maintenance required.
- Sturdy all-steel frame with durable construction.
- Doesn’t include ankle cuffs or a short bar.
3. FreeMotion – EXT Dual Cable Crossover Machine
The FreeMotion EXT Dual Cable Crossover Machine is the ideal combination of weight stacks and rotating arms, with swivel pulleys and ankle cuffs for safe, effective workouts every day.
Made with gauge steel tubing, this high-strength crossover machine supports a variety of strength exercises, as the swivel pulley design is less restrictive than other home workout equipment.
Independent weight stacks allow two people to work out at once, while the FreeMotion system supports a diverse range of activities for custom strength training.
It’s made of super-sturdy 7 and 11 gauge steel tubing for trusted durability handling up to 350 lbs.
Electrostatic powder coating adds extra resilience to this dual cross cable machine, which measures 60 x 113 x 84 inches (L X W x H).
- Cable crossover machine combines weight stack, rotating arm, and swivel pulley.
- Each counterbalanced arm rotates vertically and horizontally for flexible movement.
- Gauge steel tubing and electrostatic powder coating.
- Offers endless standing strength exercises.
- Velcro-padded ankle cuff provides greater comfort and flexibility.
- Enclosed weight stacks are safer around children.
- Difficult to move with a total weight of 997 lb.
2. Inspire Fitness – FTX Functional Trainer
The Inspire Fitness FTX Functional Trainer has two weight stacks so you can isolate each pulley.
This inventive engineering supports independent movements and gives you complete freedom for unrestricted exercises.
Choose from 30 swivel pulley positions as you move in any direction, working all muscles to increase muscle mass and burn body fat quickly.
This cable machine comes with a pair of deluxe D handles, a chin dip belt, triceps rope, and a curl bar.
Available options include the bench and ab bar for a resistance ratio of 1:2.
Backed by the brand’s limited lifetime warranty, the FTX Functional Trainer offers well-rounded workouts with adjustable pulleys, a pull-up station, and connections to the Inspire Fitness App.
The assembled dimensions are 40 x 54 x 85 inches (L x W x H).
- Dual weight stacks for isolated pulley movements.
- 30 swivel pulley positions in all directions effectively target muscles.
- Easy-to-adjust pulleys and a pull-up station.
- Includes D handles, chin dip belt, curl bar, and triceps rope.
- Connects to Inspire Fitness App for guidance and support.
- Limited lifetime warranty on frame and parts.
- No option to add more weight plates.
- No selectorized Smith bar.
1. XMark – Functional Trainer Cable Machine
XMark takes the title of the best cable machine overall, with dual 200 lb. weight stacks for an awesome functional trainer.
There are 19 adjustments for incredible versatility, plus an accessory package that includes a pair of hand straps, triceps rope, a short bar, and a 42″ long bar.
This home cable machine has a standard 2:1 stack to resistance ratio for isolateral-based movement and effective muscle targeting.
In addition to cable crossovers and bicep curls, you can do pull-ups and chin-ups on XMark’s split grip pull-up bar.
The heavy-duty 11-gauge steel frame has a solid construction, while the rig and pulley system is extra smooth, just like you’d find in a commercial gym.
This cable machine boasts a space-saving design with assembled dimensions of 43.5 x 65 x 83 inches ( L x W x H).
- Dual 200 lb. weight stacks.
- 19 settings on quick-adjust pulleys.
- Heavy-duty steel frame construction.
- Comes with a pair of 8″ hand straps and 7″ long strap handles.
- Also includes triceps rope, short bar, and long bar.
- Features leg extension and leg curl option with ankle strap.
- Some users say assembly is difficult and time-consuming.
FAQs About Cable Machines
Now that you’ve seen the best cable machine brands, let’s take a look at the most frequently asked questions about cable machines.
Q: What Are Cable Machines Good For?
Cable machines offer excellent upper and lower body workouts to enhance strength training and overall fitness.
The cable guides your arm and leg movements while training proper muscle movement and control during the lift.
When you control and isolate your muscles, you can make bigger lifts and bigger gains.
Cable machines are important for strength training, which adults should do at least twice a week, if not more.
Q: What Are the Benefits of a Cable Machine?
Cable machines offer consistent tension while lifting and lowering weights.
Muscle growth and increased strength depend on how much tension your muscles are under during exercise, so cable machines work muscles harder for better gains.
Cable machines support muscle strengthening, which is recommended for all adults.
Experts say adults should work on all major muscle groups, including arms, shoulders, chest, abs, back, legs, and hips, and cable machines help you do that.
Q: Can You Build Muscle with Cable Machines?
To build muscle mass, you need a healthy mix of targeted resistance training and a nutritious diet.
Cable machines offer ample resistance to help isolate muscles and train movement for noticeable gains.
These machines help with muscle development by controlling your movement and ensuring your muscles are maximized in every repetition.
A set routine will give you the best results as you build muscle with cable machines.
Q: Are Cables Better Than Weights?
Regular weightlifting prompts the body to produce new proteins for muscle growth and development.
While many workout routines include free weights, many people find that cable machines offer extra control and support that actually boosts muscle growth in the long run.
With a cable machine, you can isolate your arm and leg muscles for optimal burn.
Form is so important during all exercises, and you’ll likely find cable machines help you maintain better form compared to free weights.
Q: Are Cable Machines Worth It?
People lose lean muscle mass as they get older, which is why strength training is so valuable.
Cable machines are a worthwhile investment for anyone who wants to commit to strength training and muscle development.
If you’re ready to boost your muscles through targeted, controlled movements, then a cable machine is a great option, especially with the wide range of upper and lower exercises you can do with one piece of equipment.
Q: Which Cable Machine to Choose?
Choosing a cable machine depends on how much space you have, as there are wall-mounted and freestanding options available.
You may want a cable crossover machine for extensive upper and lower body training, and you can look for machines that include attachments of your favorite workouts.
From lat rows to bicep curls, you can find a home cable machine to boost your strength training and meet your fitness goals.
Cable machines are popular for weight training with a weight stack connected to cables to work the arms, shoulders, chest, back, and legs.
This trusted cable and pulley system has been used for decades, not just in commercial gyms but also at home.
Investing in a home cable machine can give your fitness routine a big boost, offering effective full-body workouts whenever it suits you.
Here’s a quick recap of the 10 best cable machines:
- XMark – Functional Trainer Cable Machine
- Inspire Fitness – FTX Functional Trainer
- FreeMotion – EXT Dual Cable Crossover Machine
- Body-Solid – Powerline PFT100 Cable Machine
- Body-Solid – GDCC200 Cable Machine
- Bowflex – Blaze Home Cable Machine
- Body-Solid – BFFT10R Cable Machine
- Valor Fitness – BD-61 Cable Machine
- Valor Fitness – BD-62 Cable Machine
- Merax – Cable Machine
What’s your favorite cable machine? Leave a comment below.
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