Do you think it is too tiring to hop from one machine to another for this exercise or that? Do you think that is too cumbersome? How about we simplify things for you without compromising the quality of the workout?
Well, it’s simple: add a pair of ankle straps to your gym gear, and that’s all! Attach the cable from the cable machine and perform a bunch of exercises for maximum Lower body strength, size, and definition.
Ankle straps come with hooks to attach the cable from a cable machine, which is almost always available in a gym. Cable attachment to your ankle straps adds weight to the exercise, meaning your muscles will have to work harder to overcome the pressure. This, in turn, engages them more and boosts muscle building. Resistance does wonders for increasing muscle mass, and cable machines are a great way to add it to your common strength-building exercises for quicker and more defined results.
Let’s get into the details of the cable ankle straps exercises and how they help you build stronger muscles before you choose to buy a pair for yourself.
What are Ankle Straps with Cable Machines?
Ankle straps are just bands that come with hooks for cable machine attachment. As the name suggests, they are worn around the ankles, and cables are attached to the hooks. The straps stay firm in their place while the cable challenges the lower body and core with increased resistance.
The ankle straps are very simple: you may not be able to appreciate their efficacy in increasing muscle engagement and activation until you have used them. They are perfect for working your lower body to accelerate the toning and sculpting of the legs and the waist.
You can gear up muscle building big time if you know how to use them for maximum efficacy. Ankle straps with hooks are very versatile too: they allow you to perform many exercises and target multiple muscle groups in the body.
Ankle straps are made from non-slip, sturdy and breathable neoprene material for comfort and convenience. They support your ankles from abrasions and tone your legs faster.
Toning-Up With Ankle Straps
The main idea behind ankle straps is to offer resistance to the targeted muscle. When you wear ankle straps and attach cable to them, the leg muscles are activated more. Why? Because the cable increases resistance that muscles have to overcome to perform ( research proves cable resistance works just like weighted barbells or dumbbells). This means your lower body has to work harder to perform a particular exercise, and that’s great if you want to burn fat and build muscle.
Resistance is a great muscle-building strategy. It engages your muscles more by adding force to be overcome. Adding weight to your lower body exercises can be difficult with traditional accessories, but you can find the easy way out.
It’s simple and smooth to isolate muscles and provide resistance for better engagement with seemingly simple but amazing accessories like ankle straps. Attach cable to the straps, and your stretching goes to a completely different level.
The ankle straps are perfect for all whether you are doing cardio or strength training. There is no restriction whether you are a newbie or a hard nut; anyone can use ankle straps with cable machines to boost muscle building, increase muscle size and definition.
Reasons to Use an Ankle Straps
- Maximize training efficiency
- Deliver you faster results in terms of body shaping
- Easily adjusts for a snug fit on your ankles
- You can perform a variety of exercises
- Work on any cable machine
- They are multi-purpose
- Increase the efficacy of a cable machine
Ankle Strap Exercises
Ankle straps are quite multi-purpose in nature; they let you pull various exercises and target more than one muscle at once. You can add them to your routine no matter your fitness level: they work for all.
It’s best to use a cable machine towards the end of your workout when there is more room for increasing muscle mass.
Let’s find out about a few moves for intensive lower body engagement.
1- Cable Straight Leg Hip Flexions
- Set the cable at the bottom level
- Stand with you back to the machine With feet close together
- Attach the cable to one of your feet
- Now move the leg with cable off the ground and go until 45 degrees
- No bending in the working or the static leg: keep them straight throughout
- As your leg returns to the original position, go slow for harder stretch and pull in the glutes
- Repeat 15-20 times and then switch sides
2- Cable Inner Thigh Pulls
Let’s give your inner thighs a bit of a challenge. These muscles are usually not so defined in women. This exercise is perfect for giving you properly and nicely defined legs that everyone wants.
Consistency is the only condition here
- Stand with side to the weight on the machine
- Attach the cable to the ankle next to the weights
- Now stretch the leg with the cable across the other leg
- Repeat it several times before switching sides
3- Cable Hip Abductions
It’s time to define your inner and outer thighs along with your bum.
- You will set the cable at the lowest level in the machine
- Stand next to the machine sidewise
- Attach the cable to the leg that’s not right next to the cable for a harder pull
- Now pull the cabled leg straight out until it’s at 45 degrees
- You will feel the stretch in the side of your thighs and butt
4- Cable Standing Leg Extensions
This exercise targets your VMO and quads very effectively
- Set the machine weight in the center
- Stand with the machine at your back
- Attach the cable to one of your straps
- Grab something for support
- Now bend your leg at knees like you are doing curls, making a 90 degrees angle at knee bend
- Stretch your leg straight out
- Your foot should not touch the ground during the exercise
Note: you will feel the stretch in the quads as your return from the bent angle. So your return to the original position should be controlled and slow for maximum muscle activation
5- Cable Standing Hamstring Curls
Get solid hamstrings and sculpted glutes with the leg curls. Adding a cable machine will enhance the effect even more. You will get defined and toned legs that are so desirable.
- Stand facing the cable machine and set the cable to the lowest level
- Attach the cable to one of your straps
- Now move the leg with the cable attached backward and upward in the direction of your thigh
- You will be bending at the knee, but you must not flex it
- Keep your torso straight and stable: repeat the curl in a slow and controlled fashion for maximum gain.
- Keep the core engaged through the exercise
- Repeat 15-20 reps in one leg before moving to the other.
6- Cable Lying Down Hamstring Curls
This one is again a great glutes and hamstrings buster.
Do hamstring curls lying down on the floor or use a table: it’s your choice but maintain enough distance from the cable machine to allow a full stretch of your legs as you do the reps.
- Start by lying down on your tummy
- Attach the cable to your straps
- Your feet and legs should be closed together in one block
- Now raise the legs up, pulling against the cable pressure, bending legs at the knees
- You go up only until your knees and then go down
- Do not move your knees or lift them from the ground or table.
- Repeat 15-20 times
7- Cable Reverse Lunges
Lunges are well known for building leg muscles and improving joint stability and mobility.
You just attach the cable to the bending leg for added resistance and increased engagement. It’s perfect for your legs, thighs, glutes, and core.
- Stand in a slightly wide stance and attach the cable to the ankle strap in your right leg
- You will be facing the cable machine, but you will lunge in the opposite direction
- Now move your right leg behind the left, bending at your knees
- The left knee will be at 90 degrees, and the right will be close to the ground
- The aim is not to touch the ground or touch it very slightly before you start getting back up
- Repeat 15-20 reps on each side
8- Cable Lateral Lunges
Lunges engage your glutes, hamstrings, and all of your core muscles. Its benefits are increased many folds with ankle straps and a cable machine.
- Attach the cable to your left leg, and the right leg stays fixed for support and balance
- Move your left leg outward laterally while slightly bending the knee
- Pushing your hips back and keeping the torso straight, you want to lower your body until your knee is at 90 degrees and your thighs are parallel to the floor
- Now get back in the neutral position and repeat on the other leg
- Do 12-15 reps
Lower body muscles need special attention because they play a key role in our daily activities. Performing exercises that specially target glutes, quads, hamstrings, and thighs will be extremely beneficial for you, but adding resistance will be magical. You will love how your muscles gain the perfect definition in no time. Out of the many ways of adding resistance, the cable attached to the ankle straps is the best because of its versatility and ease. Ankle straps are affordable, and cable machines are everywhere in gyms, so no extraordinary settings are needed. Getting ripped was never this convenient!
- Lopes, Jaqueline Santos Silva, et al. ‘Effects of Training with Elastic Resistance versus Conventional on Muscular Strength: A Systematic Review and meta-Analysis’. SAGE Open Medicine, vol. 7, Feb. 2019, p. 2050312119831116. PubMed Central, https://doi.org/10.1177/2050312119831116.
Written by: Marwa Sarfraz