9 Best Cable Machine Exercises for Bigger, Stronger Arms

Best Cable Machine Exercises for Arms: You don’t have to just use dumbbells or barbells to build bigger, stronger arms. You can also make a lot of progress by including the cable machine in your training program.

Not sure how to use cables in your gym? Listed below are nine great cable machine exercises for arms that you can do today to start sculpting your arms and seeing results.

9 Best Cable Machine Exercises for Arms

1. Cable Rope Curls

If you’re looking for simple cable machine bicep exercises to add to your routine, cable rope curls are a great basic exercise to get you started.

Cable rope curls are similar to dumbbell hammer curls, but they put more tension on the muscles throughout the entire workout. This causes your muscles to tire faster, which helps you see more gains.

To do this exercise, start by attaching a rope attachment set to the lowest point to the cable machine. Hold one end of the rope in both hands with your palms facing each other and elbows close to the body, then follow these tips:

  • Inhale and support your core
  • As you exhale, bend your elbows and curl the rope toward your torso.
  • Make sure to keep your wrists straight while twisting the rope attachment.
  • Squeeze your biceps when your elbows are fully bent
  • Inhale and slowly lower the rope attachment to the starting position.

2. Cable Tricep Extensions

Cable triceps extensions are another great exercise for your cable arm workout. You can still use a rope attachment to do this exercise, but you must adjust the cable machine so that the rope is at its highest point.

Grasp one end of the attachment with both hands, then turn it to face away from the machine. Stand in a split stance and hold the rope above your head with your elbows bent (you should feel a stretch in your triceps).

From here, follow these tips:

  • Inhale and support your core
  • As you exhale, straighten your elbows to pull the ends of the rope attachment forward.
  • Make sure you keep your wrists straight
  • Squeeze your triceps with elbows fully extended
  • Inhale and slowly bend your elbows to return to the starting position.

3. Single-Arm Cable Curls

When doing arm training with a cable machine, there are lots of single-arm exercises you can add to correct potential imbalances.

To prepare for this exercise, start by attaching a handle to the cable machine and adjusting it to be at the lowest point. Holding the handle with your right hand, stand facing the machine with the palm facing up (supination). Put your other hand on your hip or let it hang by your side and follow these steps:

  • Inhale and support your core
  • Exhale and bend your elbow, curl the arm towards your chest
  • Keep your wrist straight while bending your elbow
  • Squeeze biceps when the elbow is fully bent
  • Inhale and slowly straighten your elbow to lower the weight back.
  • Repeat this exercise for both sides

4. Single-Arm Cable Tricep Kickbacks

Another good one-arm cable exercise is the triceps kickback. Most people perform this exercise using only the cable, without any handles or bars attached.

Adjust the cable so it is at the highest point of the machine, then grasp the cable with your right hand by bending your elbow and close to your torso. Take a step back to create tension, then bend your knees and hinge slightly at your hips as you place your left hand on your hip or left thigh. From here do the following:

  • Inhale and support your core
  • Exhale and straighten your elbow, sending the hand holding the cable down and back
  • Keep wrist straight and tighten triceps
  • Inhale and bend your elbow to return to the starting position
  • Repeat this exercise on the left side

5. Straight Bar Tricep Pushdowns

This is one of the best two-arm cable triceps exercises you can do during your upper body workout.

Begin by attaching a flat bar attachment to the cable machine set at its highest point. Grasp the bar with both hands with your palms facing down, elbows bent, and close to your torso. After that follow these steps:

  • Inhale and support your core
  • Exhale and straighten your elbows as you push the bar toward your hips.
  • Keep your wrists straight as you push the bar down
  • Squeeze your triceps as you fully extend your elbows.
  • Inhale and bend your elbows as you return to the starting position.

6. Overhead Cable Curls

This exercise is another great option to help you target the biceps and grow your arms.

To do this exercise, you need to stand in the middle of the cable machine with one cable in each hand. Start by attaching a handle to each cable, then adjust the cables so they’re aligned with your shoulders.

Hold a handle in both hands with arms straight and palms facing up, then follow these tips:

  • Inhale and support your core
  • Exhale and bend your elbows, pull the arms towards your shoulders
  • Keep wrists straight and clench biceps when elbows are bent
  • Inhale and straighten the elbows while returning to the starting position.

7. Supine Cable Curls

If you’re looking for a way to get more creative with your biceps curls, why not try backstroke curls? This exercise may seem simple since you’re lying on your back on the bench, but there’s still a lot going on while you do it.

To do this exercise, set up the cable machine on the rowing bench. You can also move the cable to its lowest point on the machine and if the stand is taken, you can lie on the floor.

Attach a flat bar or rope attachment to the cable, then grasp the attachment with both hands with your palms facing the ceiling. From here do the following:

  • Inhale and support your core
  • Sit back on the bench with your feet flat on the floor
  • Hold attachment with arms straight, then inhale and brace your core
  • As you exhale, bend your elbows and curl the attachment towards your shoulders.
  • Keep your wrists straight and clench your biceps with elbows fully bent.
  • Inhale and straighten the elbows to return to the starting position

8. Supine Tricep Extensions

You can also do supine triceps extensions as you lie down to do your bicep curls. This exercise is similar to a barbell or dumbbell skull crush, but with cables instead.

Adjust as you did for the cable bicep curls, but with your arms straight, pull the bar or rope attachment over your head (think lat pullover). Put your feet flat on the floor, then follow these steps:

  • Breathe and support the core
  • Bend the elbows to pull the stick or rope attachment behind the head
  • Exhale and straighten elbows, keeping wrists straight
  • Squeeze triceps with the elbow fully extended
  • Bend the elbows and inhale as you return to the starting position.

9. Single-Arm Cable Preacher Curls

Finally, if you’re looking for a more effective cabled arm workout, try the one-arm cable preacher curl. To do this exercise, you need to cross over an adjustable bench (set up in a sitting position) that you can stand on.

Start by attaching the handle to the cable, then hold it in your right hand with your palm facing up. Lie on the back of the bench with the top in line with your armpits. From here, follow these tips:

  • Inhale and support your core
  • Exhale and bend your elbow, pull the arm towards your shoulder
  • Squeeze your biceps when your elbow is fully bent, making sure to keep your wrist straight throughout the movement.
  • Inhale and straighten your elbow, slowly lowering the arm
9 Best Cable Machine Exercises for Bigger, Stronger Arms

Level Up Upper Body Day with These Cable Machine Exercises for Arms

As you can see, there are many cable machine exercises for arms that you should start adding to your upper body workouts.

It doesn’t matter if your goal is to increase your strength or gain size. Either way, these exercises are all great options.

Try one (or more) of these today to see for yourself the results they can deliver!

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