When looking for a cable crossover machine it’s a great idea to look for one with adjustable pulleys and a weight stack. The adjustable pulleys can be moved up and down allowing for a number of different exercises such as external rotator exercises and face pulls. As with the one attached to the power rack they typically do not offer this functionality. The pulleys are either in the high or low position, but that doesn’t mean you should skip the attachment altogether.
The one downside to the cable crossover machine is you may find it hard to perform lat pulldowns as there is no leg bar or attachment to keep you from pulling your body up. Not to mention it certainly takes up a lot of space.
There are typically two options when it comes to choosing your weight. You can choose from a weight stack like the one recommended above or you can manually load your own plates. I recommend going with the weight stack as this will free up your plates for other exercises. It will cost a little more but will come in handy if you are performing circuits with low rest times. Then you don’t have to worry about moving plates around. To adjust the weight is as simple as moving the pin.
When scouring Amazon.com for different cable crossover machines there are many options to choose from. Below are a few of the Jeffsmithfitness.com recommendations.
This is a great piece of equipment. I was excited to find this one on Amazon.com because it is the same one used at my gym. It is a solid piece of equipment that holds up well to the everyday abuses of a commercial gym.
It comes with a pull-up bar attached to the cross bar with multiple grips and even a neutral grip on one side. This can make up for not being able to do the lat pulldown as mentioned above. Also, being able to do pullups on the cross bar is a good sign it is not a cheap piece of equipment. It doesn’t wobble when doing pull-ups. This means it is solidly built and will hold up perfectly for at home use.
The weight stack is your standard stack with a pin inserted to choose the weight. The cables hold up well and there are no issues with the pulleys. It is advised that you lube the pulleys from time to time to keep them working smoothly.
My one gripe with this crossover machine is it can feel a little low. When doing triceps pushdowns with a rope I have to go to my knees to get the full range of motion. Otherwise, if I’m standing the plates will come in contact with the stack. It’s a minor inconvenience, and not really a big deal.
Also, when doing pull-ups you either need to extend your legs out in front of you or bend your knees as your feet will hit the ground before you can fully extend your arms. All other exercises are performed with no problem. I am able to perform standing and kneeling rotational chops through the full range of motion without any problems whatsoever.
For more information on the Body-Solid Cable Crossover Functional Trainer
Talk about functionality! This thing has nearly an unlimited number of positions in which you can adjust the arms. Rated for “light commercial use” this piece of equipment will certainly go the distance for your home gym. It allows you to do both upper and lower body exercises and come with all the necessary handles and ankle straps. Although it wouldn’t hurt to get a few extra handles such a rope attachment to add a few more options.
It appears that some people have had issues with assembly. It’s advisable to have a friend help you with assembly if you are not the handyman type. Also, if there are any defects in the equipment it’s important to contact the distributor as quickly as possible and they will send you out a replacement.
Having used one of these before it is certainly a gym quality piece of equipment and offers a ton of options when it comes to any upper and lower body exercises. What’s more is the weight stacks are independent of each other allowing for two people to exercise on it at the same time. It will make a great addition to any home gym should you have the room and the budget.
For more information on the FreeMotion Light Commercial EXT Dual Cable Cross
As with all my equipment reviews, I try to have at least one budget option. At $415.06 this one certainly fits the bill. This one utilizes a plate loading system as opposed to a weight stack. This means you’ll need to already have some weight plates before purchasing. If you don’t be sure to read my Weight Plate Review before making a decision.
With a 4.5 star rating on Amazon.com, it has a pretty good reputation for budget equipment. Especially when looking at other options. This one is certainly lacking in features though which you should take into consideration.
First, there is no adjustability with the cables. This means that performing external rotator exercises can be rather difficult if not impossible. If you already have a power rack with the cable pulley system then you won’t get much more functionality out of this pulley system.
Secondly, It’s not designed for pull-ups. The thin bar at the top is not designed to support a shearing force. This means it will wear out more quickly and possibly bend if you try doing pullups. That being said if you already have a Pullup bar than this won’t be an issue.
Finally, after sifting through the reviews it appears that when using the lower pulley it tends to pull the legs of the machine inward. It’s possible the max amount of weight was exceeded, but it still doesn’t sound too safe. To remedy this you can use brackets but that would require bolting into the floor which may not be worth the effort. Overall if you are looking for a budget cable crossover machine this just might be the ticket. But if you can afford it I highly recommend going with one of the other two options above.
For more information on the PowerLine PCCO90X Cable Crossover
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