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The One Machine Total Body Workout

Double the Sculpting in Less Time

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The FreeMotion Cable Cross allows you to perform hundreds of exercises in one spot. Plus, because there’s no seat to support you and the cables wobble, this machine makes your muscles work extra hard to stabilize your body—and that helps you tone up even faster. In one study, people who performed exercises on a cable machine increased their strength 58 percent more than those who did the same moves on fixed devices (like the leg press).

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Getting Started

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This workout, designed by Viveca Williams, a trainer at the Sports center at Chelsea Piers in New York City, strengthens your entire body in just six moves.

How it works:

Three times a week on nonconsecutive days, do 2 sets of 10 to 12 reps of each exercise in order. Choose a weight that’s heavy enough to make the final two reps of a set difficult to complete.

You’ll Need:

A Freemotion cable cross.

Single-Leg Squat Pull

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WORKS: LEGS, BUTT, AND CORE

Position the levers at chest height, shoulder-width apart, and load 10 to 20 pounds on each stack. Hold a handle in each hand in front of you, arms extended and palms facing floor (cables taut). Lift left leg in front of you and squat [A].

Rise up as you pull the handles straight down to your sides [B]. Switch legs halfway through set.

Side-Lunge Twist

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WORKS: LEGS, BUTT, AND CORE

Position one lever about a foot above your head and load 10 to 20 pounds on the stack. Stand with right side facing the lever and grasp the handle with both hands overhead at a diagonal to the right (cable should be taut) [A].

Lunge to the left with left foot as you pull the handle toward left knee [B]. Step back to starting position. Switch sides to complete set.

Pull-Row Rotation

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WORKS: CHEST, BACK, BICEPS, AND ABS


Position the left lever at shoulder height and the right at shin height and load 10 to 20 pounds on each stack. Stand with your left side facing the machine and hold a handle in each hand, left arm extended in front of hips and right arm extended at chest height behind you, palms facing right; rotate torso to the right [A].

Twist torso to the left as you bend left elbow, drawing left hand toward side, and pull right arm forward [B]. Return to starting position. Switch sides (face the opposite direction) to complete set.

Low-High Fly

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WORKS CHEST AND SHOULDERS

Position levers at ankle height and load 5 to 15 pounds on each stack. Stand facing away from the machine and hold a handle in each hand at sides, palms facing forward and elbows slightly bent [A].

Raise arms in front of you and overhead [B], then lower to starting position.

Plank Kickback

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WORKS TRICEPS, CORE, AND LEGS

Position one lever at ankle height and load 5 to 10 pounds on the stack. Get in plank position facing the lever and hold the handle with right hand, palm facing left. Bend right elbow and draw it toward your side [A].

Extend arm back as you rotate palm up [B]. Bend elbow to return to starting position. Switch sides to complete set.

Bridge Curl

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WORKS: LEGS, BICEPS, BUTT, AND CORE

Position levers at ankle height, hip-width apart, and load 5 to 15 pounds on each stack. Hold a handle in each hand and lie face-up facing levers with knees bent and arms at sides. Curl handles toward shoulders as you lift hips [shown]; lower arms and hips to starting position.