5 Reasons Cable Machines Are Better Than Free Weights

If you are familiar with some simple laws of leverage and how range of motion effects bio-mechanics then you will know the concept behind this article. If you do a classic Barbell bicep curl with free weight, you will notice that when the range of motion hits that midway point (forearm x Upper arm angle at 90 degrees) it is by far the hardest part of the movement. This is due to the leverage angle - the resistance perpendicular to the ground (gravity), and the distance it is away from the pivot point (elbow joint) - being at its most extreme. Basically, the most amount of resistance your bicep can possibly feel from that weight is being felt at 90 degrees (horizontal to floor). It is a combo of the laws of leverage and our biomechanics. Read below 5 ways how Cable Machines differ from free weights and why they could be better:

1. Constant Resistance

Imagine someone pulling against your muscle with consistant force no matter what the angle, this is the mechanism of a cable pulley machine. This provides equal amounts of tension on your muscles during the entire range, as opposed to free weight resistance changing constantly throughout the exercise. Increasing muscular tension is a key factor in continued muscle growth.

2. Increased Range

Weight is no longer pushing down on your muscles in one direction, but pulling in whatever direction the cable is in. This allows the window of tension for an exercise to increase, supplying more tension to the muscle over a larger range, stimulating more of the target muscle. This potentially creates more micro-tears along a longer length of the muscle, providing more potential for growth.