Many people in the fitness industry believe free weight exercises are the way to go if you want to build your legs. While compound exercises using dumbbells and barbells can be great for building size, isolation exercises done with cables can be as effective as free weights in lower body training.
Cables can be especially helpful for people who are suffering from back pain or any other issue which keeps them from using free weights. Using cables can greatly reduce your chances of injuring yourself while working on your legs and not to mention how short your workouts will be.
By no means think this workout is going to be easy. At the end of this workout, if you feel this was a walk in the park, it’s you who made it this way. This workout will – if done correctly – smoke your legs and make you crawl out of the gym by your lips. Grow your glutes and legs with this cable workout:
1. Cable Squats: 4 Sets X 15 Reps
Be it a barbell, dumbbells or cable, nothing can beat the effectiveness of squats. Squats are great leg builders which not only work your legs but will tone your entire body. Start your leg workouts with cable squats.
- Start by standing in front of the machine with the D handles attached to the machine.
- Maintain a distance from the machine so there is constant tension on your legs even while you’re on the top of the movement.
2. Cable Glute Kick-Back: 4 Sets X 15 Reps
If you fancy having a well-shaped butt, nothing is as effective as cable butt kicks. This isolation exercise focuses on your glutes. Make no mistake, by the end of this exercise, your glutes will be flushed with lactic acid.
- Start by setting up an ankle strap on the machine.
- Stand at an arms distance from the pulley and hold the machine.
- Lean on the machine, bend your knee and kick back while focusing on your glutes.
3. Cable Hamstring Curls: 4 Sets X 15 Reps
Hamstring curls on cables aren’t for the faint-hearted. This exercise will give you a muscle popping pump which is equivalent to the one you get while doing biceps curls on the cables. You can maintain your balance in the exercise by asking your training partner for a spot.
- Stand at an arms length distance from the machine.
- Use ankle straps to strap the weights to your ankles.
- Mimic to motion you would while doing bicep curls. Keep your knee locked at one place while flexing your hams.
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4. Cable Lunges with Knee Lift: 4 Sets X 15 Reps
This exercise is indispensable if you’re looking to develop tear drop quads. Cables lunges are an incredibly effective exercise for getting muscle definition and a peeled look in your quads. Do it correctly and you’ll get an intense pump in your glutes as well.
- Start at a position where the plates aren’t touching the stack. This will result in a constant tension on your legs throughout the exercise.
- Use ankle strap to strap the weights to your ankle. Step back and do a lunge.
- On the way back lift your knee so your quads are parallel to the ground.
- Return to the starting position.
5. Cable Romanian Deadlifts: 4 Sets X 15 Reps
Cable Romanian deadlifts are a great exercise for developing your hams and glutes. If you found doing deadlifts on a barbell difficult, add this variation to your exercise arsenal. This exercise brings the goodness of isolation exercises and with it the pump to your legs.
- Start at a position where the weights aren’t touching the stack when you come down in the movement. Attach a crowbar to the machine and hold it with a wide grip.
- While on top of the movement, hold the position for 2 seconds and squeeze your glutes and hams.
- Maintain an arch in your back throughout the set.
6. Cable Calf Raises: 5 Sets X 20 Reps
Calves can be one of the most stubborn muscles to grow. Adding cables to your calf workouts can be the extra something your calves need to turn into bulls. Using cables provides a constant tension which is needed by your body if you’ve hit a plateau.
- The cable calf raise can be done using a dip belt or by holding a rope or straight bar.
- Attach an extension and dip belt to the low pulley and select the weight you want to use on the stack.
- Step onto an aerobic stepper or blocks with the balls of your feet on the edge and let your heels drop as far as possible without hitting the floor. This is the starting position.
- Slowly raise your heels as far as possible.
- Pause and squeeze the calves. Then slowly lower back to the starting position.