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Cable Machine Alternative with Resistance Bands

by | Jul 10, 2019 | Optimize Weekly

If you’re a seasoned gym pro or just dipping a toe into fitness, the cable machine is a one stop shop for an effective, full body workout. However, if you’re on the go and don’t have access to full facilities or have #gymtimidation, here’s a quick workout alternative you can do at home with Stroops Slastix resistance bands and attachments.

Benefits of cable machines 

A cable machine, or cable pulley machine, is an endlessly versatile piece of resistance training equipment that offers some key benefits. One cool feature is how you can hit so many specific areas with some quick adjustments or attachments. Another is how you can approach many angles of training, like diagonal and twisting movements, instead of staying in just one plane of motion. It’s also easy to add weight, perfect for fitness newbies and pros alike. Plus, no need to wander the gym to grab more weight plates or re-rack when you’re done!


Headlining our list of cons against a cable machine is that, especially for a home user, they tend to be expensive and take up a lot of physical space. In a gym setting, they’re also often mobbed, and you may have to wait or change your workout to fit your gym time. Not so for the home workout alternative we’re bringing you today!

Use resistance bands at home as a cable machine alternative

If you don’t want to approach the cable pulley machine at the gym or just want to get some similar moves at home, using resistance bands is the perfect way to simulate these moves. As a bonus, resistance bands are inexpensive, portable, lightweight and easy to store, unlike a cable machine. While you’re not going to be working variable weights against gravity, you’re going to be able to use consistent resistance to target specific areas in a controlled way.

Setup options

There’s a few options you can use to set up at home. If you have access to a power rack like our Performance Station, or our Spine or another adjustable height anchor, use that. If you need a portable option to bring along, consider our Spine Strap, which allows you to similarly change the height your Slastix is clipped to, or use a Door Anchor. You’re just going to want to be able to adjust the height of the band and angle of the resistance as you’re working your way through these moves. Today we’re using pieces from the VITL Kit –  two medium Slastix, two Textured Grip Handles and a pair of Foot Straps, and anchoring to a Spine Strap. 

The Moves

Lat Pull

Clip your Slastix to a high anchor point with a Textured Grip Handle attached to one or both bands, depending on how much resistance you’re after. In a kneeling stance, squeeze your shoulder blades together, pulling down and back from your anchor with a bent elbow.  

Tricep Extension

Face the anchor, with your Slastix anchored at a high anchor point, starting with bent elbows, pulling down on the handles and extending your arms just slightly behind you. Return to the starting position for one rep.

Back Fly

Starting at a mid anchor point, with your hands facing each other in front of you, extend arms out wide to the sides at shoulder height, return to center for one rep. 

Lateral Raise

Point the side of your body towards your anchor point, with your Slastix clipped to a low anchor point. Raise your outside arm towards shoulder height, then lower for one rep.

Pull Through

Still using the handles, face away from your anchor, with the Slastix at a low anchor point, standing over the bands. To perform your Resistance Band Pull Through, hinge at the hips, reaching back towards your anchor, then pull the handles through, coming to a standing position for one rep.

Face Pull

For this move, clip both handles into both ends of your Slastix, so you’ll end up with a single band with a pair of close set handles. Using a high anchor point, pull the handles towards your face, keeping your elbows wide and even in height with your shoulders. We’ve chosen to do this one standing, but you can also move your anchor point down and perform the movement from a seated position.

Glute Kickback

Switching from the handles to the Foot Straps, using a low anchor point, clip your Slastix to the front ring on the Foot Straps. Hinge at the hips and balance on your standing leg, kick back away from your anchor point, being careful not to strain or overextend the lower back.

We hope you like these moves and they allow you to do a cable machine alternative workout wherever you are! Happy training.

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