Pulley straps, handles and bars
No matter how good the quality of your cable crossover machine or the pulley station on your home gym, if it doesn’t have the right attachments you won’t get much use out of it.
It’s not necessary to have every attachment you can possibly buy, but there are a few important styles that’ll allow for a wide range of beneficial exercises.
Best cable attachments
- Rope - These consist of a center cable attachment and a short rope that hangs down on each side, with thick rubber ends. Rope attachments are good for doing ab exercises and triceps pushdowns.
- Curved short bar - These bars are perfect for doing two-handed cable exercises like triceps pushdowns.
- Straight bar - Straight bars are used for two armed moves like straight arm pulldowns and double arm bicep curls.
- Ankle cuff straps - Kickbacks, leg adductors and abductors and many more lower body exercises can be done using ankle straps.
- Single handle - One-armed exercises, like chest presses and biceps curls are done with single handles. Two armed exercises such as woodchoppers can also be done with single grip handles. If you have a cable crossover machine you’ll need a single grip handle for each side.
- Triangle handle - It’s not absolutely necessary to have a triangle handle attachment to do seated rows, but they make the move a lot easier for some people. They are also good for close-grip pulldowns.
- Lat bar - You’ll need one of these for beneficial back exercises like wide and close grip pulldowns.
- Tricep hammer curl
- Swivel triceps pressdown bar
- Palm grip
- Straight handle
- Stirrup/double stirrup
- Double stirrup with chain
Individually, cable attachments can be pretty pricey. Some lat bars are about $70, while handles and ropes range from $30 to $50. Ankle straps, which are usually included with home gyms that have low pulleys, can be fairly cheap to buy but it’s a good idea to choose wisely and get ankle straps that have padding for comfort, otherwise you might be spending money on an attachment you won’t use. Cable attachment sets can be cheaper than buying each style separately, but don’t bother if the set is made up of accessories you don’t need or it lacks variety.