The cable machine is a staple exercise tool used by millions to include variation in their resistance training regimes. There are so many advantages to using cables, most notably that you can use more angles and positions than you could if using free weights, but you’ll still maintain tension on the muscles, and therefore, it’s one of the most versatile pieces of training equipment there is.
And while many do have a cable crossover machine at home, most typically use them in a training facility. But what if you prefer to workout in the comfort of your own home? Well, you can get a whole setup and we have some great picks for you here today.
Our List of Top Cable Crossover Machines Ranked:
- XMark Fitness XM-7626 Functional Trainer Cable Machine – Buy here Editor’s Choice
- Inspire Fitness FTX Functional Trainer – Buy here
- Body-Solid Powerline PFT100 Cable Machine – Buy here
- FreeMotion Fitness EXT Cable Machine – Buy here
- Ipanda Wall Cable System – Buy here
- Mikolo Power Cage – Buy here
- Commercial Home Gym Cable Machine – Buy here
Editor’s Choice – XMark Fitness XM-7626 Functional Trainer Cable Machine
Although we like all of the picks that you’ll find in this article, XMark offers some top-notch products that we feature in many of our reviews, and we fancy the XM-7626 cable machine for many reasons.
It definitely looks like a cable crossover machine that you’d find in a gym and it’ll function like one too.
It has dual weight stacks that provide 200 lbs/0.45 kg of resistance each and there are 19 settings to adjust the height of the pulleys which are spaced 3.5″ apart.
What’s really nice is that the system has pull-up bars with different angles for back and biceps training versatility. So in between your cable training, you can hit a few pull-ups or chin-ups and get a total upper-body workout.
The XM-7626 also comes with the following accessories: 8″ hand straps, 17″ long strap handles, 23″ triceps rope, short bar, 42″ long bar, leg extension leg curl strap, and an ankle strap. The machine also has hooks to hang the handles/attachments.
Overall, this is an awesome multi-functional training system.
- Two 200lb/0.45kg weight stacks
- 2:1 stack to resistance ratio
- 10lb/4.5kg increments
- 11 gauge 2×3 steel mainframe construction
- Height-adjustable pulleys
- Multi-angle split grip pull-up/chin-up bars
- Several handles/attachments included
- Assembled dimensions: 65”W x 43.5”L x 83” H
- Product weight: 250+ lbs/113+ kg
- Comes with various handles/attachments and hooks for storage and easy use
- Has a pull-up/chin-up bar
- Very rugged design and construction
- Space-saving design
- You’ll be paying more… but for better quality
- Few complaints about pulleys not sliding smoothly
Who makes it
Taken from their site, “XMark products will grant you the finest return on each fitness investment.”
The brand takes big pride in knowing that it provides carefully and precisely crafted exercise equipment.
“Attention to detail was put into every aspect of our equipment, and their ergonomics are second to none.”
It’s not just about making products for them but rather, being responsive to customer needs.
Inspire Fitness FTX Functional Trainer
A similar design to the XMark editor’s choice pick with its differences, of course, the Inspire Fitness FTX functional trainer is a fantastic option. One of the big selling points is that it’s compact and the company describes it as “one of the industry’s smallest footprints in a full functional trainer.”
The weight stacks are 165 lbs/74 kg each so not as much as the XMark, but again, there are ways to add more weight. There are thirty swivel pulley positions to train using various levels.
The curvy pull-up bar is an always welcome addition and its design is ideal for exercisers who have wrist issues using straight bars.
The FTX functional trainer also comes with a triceps rope, D handles, chin-up/dip belt (add more resistance to your pull-ups and chin-ups), and a curl bar. There are hooks to hang the attachments to as well.
You also have the option to use their fitness app that offers two weeks free. There’s lots to like about this cable machine.
- Two 165lb/74 kg weight stacks
- 1:2 resistance ratio
- 10lb/4.5 kg increments
- Heavy-duty steel construction and aesthetic matte black finish
- Includes several attachments and chin-up dipping belt
- Curvy pull-up bar
- Assembled dimensions: 40″W x 54″L x 85″H
- Product weight: 544 lbs/247 kg
- Compact size
- Thirty swivel pulley positions
- Comes with a chin-up/dipping belt
- A bit pricey
Who makes it
“We eat, breathe, and sleep fitness”… if that’s not enough to convince you of the passion the company has for offering the best equipment then we don’t know what will.
More than an exercise equipment manufacturer, Inspire Fitness has one of the most dedicated teams in the industry, an 8,400 square foot gym, apparel line, mobile app with live and on-demand workouts, and a whole lot more!
This gives us peace of mind and we hope it does for you too.
Body-Solid Powerline PFT100 Cable Machine
Body-solid is a great brand that makes quality products.
Their PFT100 cable machine has dual 160lb/72 kg weight stacks. Now, that may not be much for the more hardcore muscleheads, but the good news is that it is actually upgradable to 210 lbs/95 kg.
The swivel pulleys can rotate 180 degrees for more workout versatility and you can adjust them to 20 different starting positions that have 3.2″ spacing between them.
You can use the straight pull-up bar with knurling to build your pulling and curling strength and attach resistance bands for even more training versatility.
The cable machine also has two adjustable nylon handles/attachments.
You can do tons of exercises with this SOLID machine.
- Dual 160lb weight stacks upgradable to 210 lbs
- 1/2 to 1 weight ratio
- Two adjustable nylon cable attachment handles
- 180-degree swivel pulleys w/ 20 height notches
- Straight, long pull-up bar
- 20 starting positions
- Assembled dimensions: 42″L x 63″W.x 83″H
- Product weight: 476 lbs/215 kg
- Upgradeable weight stack
- Swivel pulleys offer more training versatility
- Little pricey
- Only comes with two nylon handles
Who makes it
Body-Solid develops products with literally everyone in mind including gyms, law enforcement fire rescue, schools, homes, etc. They focus to serve a wide variety of markets and make top-notch products.
FreeMotion Fitness EXT Cable Machine
The FreeMotion EXT cable system is much different than the ones before with a price point reflective of this. But it also has more features which makes sense.
It’s a decent-sized setup with adjustable, rotating arms, and swivel pulleys that allow you to train in all different directions and angles. The arms adjust upward in 12-inch settings and sideways in 9-inch settings which offer tons of versatility and we really like this feature.
The weight stacks are 210 lbs or 95 kg each but with a 3-1 cable ratio so it’s actually like having a maximum of 75 lbs/34 kg on each side. This should be sufficient for more uses.
Two people can use the machine at the same time although not during two-arm movements; it’s a spacious and hefty machine weighing 997 lbs/452 kg.
- Two 210lb/95 kg weight stacks
- 3 to 1 resistance ratio
- Made with 7 and 11 gauge steel tubing
- Workout demonstration panel
- Electrostatically powder-coated for enhanced resilience
- Includes single-grip handles and ankle cuffs
- Assembled dimensions: 60″ L x 113″ W x 84″ H
- Product weight: 925 lbs/419 kg
- Very versatile and adjustable
- Has a workout demonstration panel
- May be a little difficult to assemble for some
- The machine is very heavy
- Limited attachments included
Who makes it
Freemotion Fitness makes it a point to not follow the crowd but rather innovate. “We do things not because everyone else is doing them, but because no one else is doing them.”
They make some of the best state-of-the-art equipment on the market.
The brand is a part of ICON Fitness, a leader fitness equipment manufacturer with over 40 years of experience in the industry.
Ipanda Wall Cable System
Note: You’ll need to buy two if you want to be able to train using both arms simultaneously.
Ipanda is an interesting name for a cable system and it certainly has the design to match. But we still think it deserved a spot on our list of best cable crossover machines.
Now, again, it’s not the conventional cable machine you’d find at a gym. And it’s much more affordable than the other options because it’s a lot less involved. In fact, you mount the system on the wall and attach weight plates to the end of it for resistance.
It’s made from thick steel pipe that should be mounted to brick, concrete, solid wood beams and therefore, it does not move around and is not adjustable. Although you can choose rotating pulleys which is ideal when purchasing two pulley systems to be able to use both arms simultaneously.
So you will need to ensure that your wall can accommodate the pulleys and you’ll need to be handy or know someone that is to install these cable arms.
You can do pull-downs, triceps pushdowns, and any exercise suitable for this setup. But make sure you install it at a height that you’re happy with and that will allow you to do a variety of exercises.
The Ipanda setup does not come with handles according to the description.
- 20cm length, 50x50mm square tube
- Made from heavy-duty steel
- Single cable pulley arm
- Weight plate holder design
- Not as pricey as a full cable system
- Ideal for smaller spaces
- Not as versatile as other cable systems
- Not adjustable
- Doesn’t include weights and handles
Who makes it
Ipanda clearly makes functional and unique exercise equipment and we especially like their wall-mounted cable arms.
Mikolo Power Cage
We’re taking it up a notch with this power cage from Mikolo. It’s a bit more than a cable crossover machine but if you’re in the market for something like this then it’s something to not look past.
Not only does it have a cable crossover station, but there are separate multi-grip pull-up bars, dip handles, a lat pulldown section, seated row footboards, J- hooks for barbell squats, and it even has a landmine setup that you can insert a barbell into and do rows, presses, squats, and so many other effective exercises.
The landmine station fits 2″ barbells and can swivel a full 360 degrees.
14 adjustable height positions allow you to train from various levels
There are also plate holders for easy storage and use and the machine includes a cable bar, lat pulldown bar, cable handle, and a T-bar.
The cage is built to support up to 1200 lb/544 kg.
- Multi-grip pull-up bars
- Landmine station
- Lat pulldown
- Dipping bars
- J-hooks for squats and shoulder presses
- Seated row footplates
- 14-level adjustable
- 80mm x 40mm steel tubing
- Assembled dimensions: 81.9”L x 67.7”W x 52”H
- Product weight: 260 lbs/117 kg
- Full workout system
- Landmine setup is a big plus
- Few complaints about parts and assembly
Who makes it
We’re impressed with some of the offerings from Mikolo who seem to fit well in the value category. They offer decent products at an affordable price.
Commercial Home Gym Cable Machine
As the name suggests, this cable crossover machine is of commercial quality.
Each weight stack weighs 176 lbs/79 kg and there are 16 levels of weight adjustment in 5kg or 11 lb increments. There are 11 levels of cable pulley adjustment.
The multi-angled pull-up bars are a great feature too.
The machine is electrostatic powder-coated and heat cured for long-lasting durability and it’s made from heavy-duty materials.
Related: 13 best home gyms reviewed
- Two 176lb/79 kg weights stacks
- 1:1 weight ratio
- 5kg/11lb weight plates
- Flat oval steel tube construction
- Electrostatic powder-coated and heat cured for durability
- Assembled dimensions: 39″L x 55″W x 89″H
- Product weight: 350 lbs/158 kg
- Has multi-grip pull-up bars
- Treated to maximize durability
- A bit pricey
Who makes it
The design and functionality of this cable machine seem to be up to par with other quality options on the market. It has a lot of great features with a price point to match.
Advantages of Having A Cable Crossover Machine
Here are what we believe to be the biggest advantages or benefits of having a cable crossover machine.
More angle variety/constant tension
Cables have an advantage over free weights in that you can utilize more angles and still maintain tension on the muscles.
This means you can lie or stand any way you like and most cable machines allow you to adjust the height of the pulley/s to train at various angles/levels.
Some exercises are even more convenient and preferred when using cables compared to free weights, like the face pull, straight arm lat pushdown, or most row variations for example.
In addition, you can take several steps away or stand right next to the machine and still perform your chosen exercises. So your arms can be far in front or behind your body which you could not do in many instances if using free weights.
More handle/attachment options
There are so many different handles/attachments that you can use for cable training to do a variety of exercises.
- Single and double-grip rope
- Single-grip/stirrup handle
- V-bar/row handle
- EZ-bar/curl bar
- Tricep handle
- Revolving straight bar
- Lat bar
- Ankle and thigh straps
- Press/squat bar
Being able to use different handles and grip positions allows you to do certain exercises more effectively and comfortably. Plus, if using one handle doesn’t feel right, you can easily grab another, attach it and continue training.
Another great thing about using cable attachments is that there are no bulky free weights moving around so you may find a lot of exercises to be more comfortable and safer (e.g., overhead triceps extensions).
You can do any exercise
You can also do just about any exercise using cables that you could with free weights or other training tools/equipment.
Of course, you can only lift as much as the stack is heavy but there are ways to add more weight.
Although, who does all of their heavy lifts just using cables anyway? You’d obviously not be a serious lifter if you’re only utilizing cables…
But yes, deadlifts, squats, chest press, shoulder press, rows, curls, extensions, pushdowns, flys, and anything else you can think of can probably be done using a cable crossover machine.
Get yourself a good workout bench and you’ll have even more exercise options.
What To Look For In a Cable Crossover Machine
Not all cable machines are created equally… which is a good thing. Budget, needs, and preferences vary between individuals, and out of the seven machines on this list, there’s something for everyone.
Here are some things to consider before purchasing a cable crossover machine.
If you want a quality cable machine, then expect to spend anywhere from several hundred to a few thousand dollars.
Typically, the more expensive, the more features and/or better overall quality. But any of our picks will serve you well whether you can afford the cheapest or most expensive options.
Some machines are more compact than others but you’ll want to consider the amount of space that you can spare to set up your machine.
We’ve provided dimensions for all picks on this list because it’s always good to plan ahead.
But also keep in mind that you’ll want a machine that best suits your goals and physical stature. This we’ll leave up to you.
You may have noticed that we’ve included the resistance or weight ratio under key features (e.g., 1:1, 2:1, etc) for most of the cable machines that we reviewed.
Well, there are different cable machine designs that affect the resistance felt or weight handled. And you may have noticed this using different cable machines at your fitness club.
So, let’s say the weight stack on the cable machine is 200 lbs/90 kg. If a machine has a 2:1 ratio, this would mean you’re actually lifting about 100 lbs whereas a 1:1 ratio would mean you’re lifting about 200 lbs.
Another way to explain this would be that for a 2:1 ratio, the cable would travel two feet while the weight stack moves one foot upward. Therefore, there’s less slack in the machine that causes faster and farther movement of the cables.
Also, machines with more than one cable (supporting cables) give the exerciser more of a mechanical advantage whereas machines with a single cable are more straightforward and offer less of a mechanical advantage.
But the fact that there are different weight ratios doesn’t mean one is necessarily better than the other. They’re just… different.
For example, a 4:1 ratio on a 200 lb stack makes the resistance equivalent to just 50 lbs/22 kg. But it also causes further cable travel and much faster movement. Therefore, this could be more ideal for speed and functional training where you want optimal responsiveness.
You may also notice that the 10 lb weight plates that are built into the stack feel lighter or heavier with certain machines. Well, sometimes being able to use smaller weight increments can be beneficial where you can’t progress in 10 lb increments.
On the other end, the 1:1 ratio causes slower cable movement and will limit the cable travel comparatively. This is ideal for heavier and slower movements.
A 2:1 ratio may offer the best of both worlds. But… a 1:1 ratio is best if you want to ensure you’re lifting what you think you are.
Although… if you’re not counting your cable numbers or using the same machine for your workouts, then it may not matter at all, so long as the resistance is sufficient for your goals. And regardless of what the weight really is, you can still progress by tracking the numbers and reps performed.
Not to mention, there are a bunch of other little intricacies and factors involved with the mechanics and usage of cable machines that your time would be better spent on other things than worrying about whether a cable machine is 100% accurate.
Explaining all the details can get rather complex but you get the idea.
You probably noticed that we reviewed different types of cable machines. While some are more basic, others have a lot more features or options to do more than just cable training.
For example, the Mikolo power cage has various stations including dipping bars, a landmine setup, row foot plates, and more.
Then, of course, you have the Ipanda that attaches to the wall and is more limiting but it also costs less.
Some also include several attachments that are great for training variety, and a place to hang them on the machine is certainly convenient.
Be sure to check all of the features to determine which ones you prefer.
We hope you found something suitable for your needs in this list of the best cable crossover machines. Not all are created equally both where the quality or features are concerned. So we chose the best ones we could find at various price points.
Using cables in your workouts means you’ll have so much variety and this must-have training tool is preferred for many exercises where free weights just don’t cut it.
We hope you found this article helpful and if you have any questions or want to leave a comment, then don’t hesitate to do so. Also, check out our review of the best compact home gyms to consider right now.