Resistance Band Variations for Cable Exercises
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Resistance Band Variations for Cable-Pulley Exercises

As a Personal Trainer, you learn to get inventive. Sometimes because clients can get bored easily and you need to spice things up. Sometimes because someone has an injury that you need to adapt for. Usually though, a PT’s skill at improvisation and invention comes from just not having the equipment necessary to perform a certain exercise.

That’s where cheap, portable equipment such as resistance bands come in really handy. If you know how to use them, you can replace- perhaps not all- but definitely a huge portion of common weight training exercises with a simple resistance band.

When I PT in a gym, I regularly use a cable pulley. They’re so versatile. The sheer number of exercises and exercise variations you can perform on cables is vast. They’re great for pushing the limits of advanced lifters – and they’re also brilliant for smaller exercises that help with things like technique and muscle imbalances. I was pretty stuck the first time I PT’d in a gym with no cable pulley. There were certain exercises that I really wanted to teach my clients and I just couldn’t think how to do so. It’s different to when you train clients outside. For outdoor training, I’ll plan an entirely different type of session around the equipment that I know that I have.

Anyway, I’ve had to cope a few times now without the cables. And I’ve learned more than a few brilliant Resistance Band variations for some of my go-to cable exercises.

These are some of my favourites.

 

Resistance Band Variations for Cable-Pulley Exercises

 

Face Pulls

Resistance Band Variations for Cable Exercises

Band Strength: Light-Medium

How: Tie the band to a sturdy pole just above head height. Take the bottom of the band with both hands and pull towards the bridge of the nose. Keep the back straight and bend the arms, keeping the elbows high.

Muscles: Deltoids, biceps, rhomboids, trapezius

Rear Delt Cross Overs

Band Strength: Light

How: Loop the band around a sturdy pole at chest height. Make sure each end crosses over. Take the ends of the band in each hand. Standing straight, open the arms (keeping the elbows straight) and pull the band back as far as you can, squeezing the shoulder blades together.

Muscles: Rear deltoids, rhomboids, trapezius

 

Tricep Extensions

Resistance Band Variations for Cable Exercises

Band Strength: Light

How: Tie the band to a high surface, letting it dangle down. Both hands should hold the bottom of the band. Start with the elbows bend and pull the band downwards, straightening the arms.

Muscle: Triceps

Seated Rows

Resistance Band Variations for Cable Exercises

Band Strength: Light-Medium

How: Loop the band around a sturdy pole, around chest height when standing. Sit on the floor and take one end of the band in each hand. Start with straight arms, reaching forwards then pull the band back, bending the arms and tucking the elbows in.

Muscles: Trapezius, Rhomboids, Biceps, Lats

Glute Kick Backs

Resistance Band Variations for Cable Exercises

Band Strength: Light-Medium

How: Tie one end of the band to a sturdy surface at floor level. Loop the other end of the band around the ankle. Standing on one supporting leg, raise the other leg in a diagonal-backward direction.

Muscles: Glutes and Hamstrings

Hamstring Curls

Resistance Band Variations for Cable Exercises

Band Strength: Light-Medium

How: Tie one end of the band to a sturdy surface at floor level. Kneeling one leg on a bench, loop the other end of the resistance band around the foot. Keeping the thigh as still as possible, squeeze the hamstring, bending the leg up towards the bum.

Muscle: Hamstrings

Woodchops

Resistance Band Variations for Cable Exercises

Band Strength: Light-Medium

How: The band should be looped around a sturdy pole and you should stand side on. Keeping the arms as straight as possible, use both hands to pull the band across the body.

Muscle: Obliques

 

For more resistance band exercises, check out my Summer Workouts post. Have you ever had to get inventive in the gym, or is there an exercise that you really want to know how to do without the equipment? Let me know in the comments- I do love a challenge!

Resistance Band Variations for Cable Exercises

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Comments (1)

  • The resistance bands are perfect to use when not in a gym! The leg exercises don’t really work for me, but the rest are really good. I love some woodchops 😀

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