Home Training THE ONE-MACHINE LEG-DAY WORKOUT ROUTINE

THE ONE-MACHINE LEG-DAY WORKOUT ROUTINE

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The cable machine gets a lot of love for working the upper body, but it can do a lot more than sculpt your shoulders, arms, back, and chest. “I also love the cable machine for targeting all of the lower-body muscle groups,” notes Meka Gibson, C.S.C.S., a Miami-based strength and conditioning specialist.

If you’re used to training with free weights, the cable machine offers constant resistance while allowing you to go a little heavier; for beginners, the cables offer a sense of safety. Plus, there are loads of variations. “You can use the attachments to work both sides, one side, or across the body,” adds Gibson.

Give this entire routine, modeled by IFBB bikini pro Rachelle DeJean, a try—or sub in some of your favorite moves on your next leg-day workout for results you’ll love (and feel!).

1. Front Squat

Cable Position: Low

Attachment: Long Bar

  • Stand between the two stacks with the bar stacked on top of your shoulders, arms crossed at chest height, with elbows in front of body.
  • Keeping upper body in this position, squat down as deeply as you can, pushing hips back and keeping weight over heels.
  • Push through heels to stand back up to starting position, squeezing your glutes as you come up.
2. Standing Abduction

Works: Glutes, Outer Thighs

Cable Position: Low

Attachment: Handles

  • Stand to the left of cable stack with right foot in the handle around ankle. Bend both knees slightly and hold machine lightly with left arm for support.
  • Lift right leg as far as possible to right side, working against the resistance of the cable, then lower toward left foot.
3. Glute Kickback

Works: Glutes

Cable Position: Low

Attachment: Handles

  • Stand facing cable machine and step left foot into handle. Support your upper body by gently holding the machine. Bend right knee slightly and lift left foot off the floor.
  • Pushing through left heel, extend left leg as far as you can behind you without arching your back. Return to start and repeat.
4. Deadlift

Works: Glutes, Hamstrings

Cable Position: Low

Attachment: Handles

  • Stand on top of a low step or box with feet about hip-width apart, holding cable handles in each hand with arms extended at sides and knees soft.
  • Hinge forward from hips, bringing torso parallel to floor, bending knees slightly.
  • Pull through glutes to return to standing, keeping arms extended; squeeze glutes at the top of the movement. Lower down and repeat.
5. Hip Bridge

Works: Glutes, Hamstrings

Cable Position: Low

Attachments: None (Use resistance band)

  • Lie faceup on the floor between dual stacks with a resistance band tied around the base of each stack. Slide your body under band so it sits just below hips.
  • Lift hips off the floor, forming a straight line from knees to shoulders and pushing against the resistance of the band. Lower slowly back to floor, tapping glutes down, and repeat.

Tip: The hip bridge is a great warmup or finishing move for your leg workout because it really fires up the glute

6. Suitcase Squat

Works: Core, Glutes, Quads

Cable Position: Low

Attachment: Handle

  • Stand on a step or low box in front of cable stacks with arms at sides, holding one handle in right hand; keep left arm parallel to right arm.
  • Squat down, keeping weight over heels and lowering the handle toward floor, keeping arms extended.
  • Stand back up, pushing through heels and squeezing glutes at top. Lower to squat and repeat.

Tip: Using just one arm to work against the resistance of the cable stack provides an added challenge for the core

7. Bulgarian Split Squat

Works: Glutes, Quads

Cable Position: Low

Attachment: Handles

  • Stand facing away from cable machine with right foot on top of step or low box and left foot about three feet forward. Hold cable handle in left hand, elbow close to side and hand near shoulder, keep right hand at side with arm extended.
  • Bend both knees about 90 degrees, keeping left knee aligned with ankle and bringing right knee toward floor.
  • Stand up, keeping handle in place near shoulder and squeezing through glutes at the top.

Tip: The deeper you go into the lunge the more you’ll feel this move in your body.

8. Overhead Reverse Lunge With Knee Lift

Works: Shoulders, Back, Core, Hips, Glutes, Quads, Calves

Cable Position: Low

Attachment: Long Bar

  • Begin in a staggered stance, left foot forward, holding bar in an overhand grip with arms extended over shoulders. Bend knees 90 degrees, bringing right knee close to floor while keeping the bar lifted over head.
  • Stand up, bringing right knee forward to hip height; keep bar in place overhead and arms extended.
  • Lunge back again with right leg and repeat.

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