This workout incorporates the use of a Free Motion Cable Cross pulley machine and a stability ball….some exercises include them both! Most gyms have this cable system, and they are great. It’s very versatile, and allows you to focus on negative training as well – which is the resistance of the pulley. For instance, when you perform an exercise that causes the weight to rise, there is resistance to not let the weight just fall back down. This is where negative training comes in. Focus on slow controlled movements when doing a negative movement and lowering the weight down. (I have another blog on the benefits of negative training).
Complete 3 sets of these exercises, taking minimal rest between moves. I’ve put the exercises in this order to make the ease of transition the easiest, and that way you are spending less time adjusting the pulleys. Choose a weight that challenges you, but start out light and work your way up – especially with the exercises involving the stability ball. These take balance and core strength, so don’t focus on high weight with these.
Low Cable Cross Body Row (12 reps/arm) – Set a cable machine to the lowest position and stand with feet shoulder-width apart with your left foot in front of the left cable. You will grab the handle with your right arm so that it’s going across your body, palm facing down. Bend knees and hold in a firm stance. Pull the cable back, bringing your elbow back past your side and rotating your arm so that your palm faces up. Rotate and return to start. Complete all reps, then switch sides, placing your right foot in front of the right cable, and rowing with your left arm.
Stability Ball Bicep Curls (12 reps) – With the cable in the lowest position, sit on a stability ball with your back to the machine. Hold a handle in each hand so that your arms are straight down on the sides of the ball. Keeping a tight core and your back straight, curl the handles to your shoulders. Slowly release back to start – really focus on the negative motion and resisting the pull of the weight. Try your best to keep the stability ball still.
Two Arm Cable Crunch with Stability Ball (15 reps) – Place cables to low position, with a stability ball between, like the previous exercise. Lay with your back on the ball, so that you’re facing away from the machine holding a handle in each hand by your shoulders. As you crunch up you will pull the weight up. Keep your arms still and use your abs to lift the weight. Lower slowly and repeat.
90 Degree Cable Chest Press (15 reps) – Attach cables to a high pulley. Facing away from the machine, place your feet shoulder-width apart, and bend forward until your back is parallel to the floor. Grasp the cables in each hand, bending your elbows 90 degrees. Keeping your gaze forward, press the cables downward with your palms facing behind you until your thumbs are about six inches apart and your arms are straight. Slowly return to the start position, keeping your torso parallel to the floor and don’t let your elbows drift past your shoulders. This will work your chest and core.
Sitting Cable Lat Pull Down (12 reps) – Set the cables to the highest setting and sit on a stability ball facing the machine. Grab a handle in each hand (arms should make a V) so that your palms are facing in. Sitting up straight, and engaging your core, pull the cables down bringing your elbows to your sides. Slowly release back to start.
Cable Russian Twist (12 reps/side) – Set the pulley to mid height. Lie on a stability ball perpendicular to the cable and grab the handle with one hand. You should be approximately arms length away from the pulley, with the tension of the weight on the cable. Grab the handle with both hands and fully extend your arms above your chest. You hands should be directly in-line with the pulley. If not, adjust the pulley up or down until they are. Keep your hips elevated and abs engaged. Rotate your torso away from the pulley for a full-quarter rotation, keeping arms straight. Pause for a moment and in a slow and controlled manner reset to the starting position. You should still have side tension on the cable in the resting position. Complete reps, then switch to the other pulley and rotate in the other direction.