How to Use All These Weird Cable Anchors in the Gym

Every gym has a lot of weird equipment, from many types of barbells to single-tasking items like a press wheel and bicep blaster. But by far the biggest treasure trove of “what the heck?” bucket or rack near cable machines. There are all kinds of handles and attachments. Why are they needed at all?

Rope with a clip in the middle and rubber tabs at the end.

What is it called : rope handle, triceps.

Commonly used for: pushups triceps when you hold the ends close to the projections and attach the clip to the cable over your head. Here’s a demo :

Small V-bar

What it’s called : V-shaped handle for downward push, triceps handle for downward push.

Commonly used for: push-ups on the triceps, similar to the handle with a rope.

Two handles are parallel to each other

What it is called : triangle nozzle, double handle, narrow handle.

Commonly Used For : Seated Rows, where the zip line is at your waist and you pull it cross-legged.Here’s a demo :

Medium straight bar with a clip in the middle.

What is it called : Straight bar.

Commonly Used For : Pretty much everything that other adaptations can do, including triceps push-ups, triceps extensions, arm curls, and seated rows.

Medium straight bar with clamp at one end.

What is it called : pivot bar or straight bar.

Commonly used for : movements in which you imitate the movement of something like an ax or a sports movement.Here’s a demo of several ways to use it:

Long placket with curved ends

What it’s called : pulling the horizontal bar.

Typically used for : gravitating the lats, where you lock your knees under a pillow and pull the bar towards your chest. Usually you grip the beveled ends of the bar, but there are also neutral grip bars with handles at either end of the bar that allow you to turn your palms to face each other.Here’s a demo :

Long, straight bar with clips at both ends

What’s it called : Double swing arm

Typically used for : Barbell exercises such as squats and deadlifts, if you attach both clips to a cable machine. They are intended for use on a machine that has two cable towers parallel to each other.

Cuff

What is it called : ankle cuff, ankle strap.

Commonly used to : Attach a cable to your ankle for movement as you swing or push your leg against resistance.Here’s a demo :

Square handle

What it’s called : D-handle, single handle

Typically used for : movements in which you hold the cable with one hand, such as a one-handed bicep curl. You can use two of them to perform certain movements that require two cables, such as crossovers.

Magic bar

What’s it called : EZ curling bar

Commonly used for : Curling the biceps when you attach the barbell to a cable below the waist. Swinging provides a more comfortable wrist position than a straight bar.

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