Centr trainer Maricris Lapaix performs a cable forward lunge using the Centr 1 Home Gym machine.
Centr Team

5 leg cable exercises to build your glutes, hamstrings and quads

Centr Team

There are no excuses for skipping leg day when your home gym has everything you need.

If you’ve been looking for a cable machine to pump up your lower-body strength training at home, look no further. If arm gains are more your focus, try these upper-body cable exercises instead.

The Centr 1 Home Gym is a compact and powerful functional trainer packing a 160lb (73kg) weight stack, frictionless pulleys and unique radial arms. Available from shop.centr.com and select retailers, it comes with a 3-month digital subscription to Centr – and we’ve got your cable machine leg routines covered, too.

Our 9-week Centr 1 Strong muscle-building program is designed specifically for the Centr 1, with expert splits – including cable machine leg workouts – to help you get total-body results.

We’ve chosen 5 powerful cable leg exercises from the program to get those gains started.

The best cable exercises for lower-body strength

SAFETY NOTE: When performing exercises using the Centr 1, make sure you are standing on the front plate at all times.

1. Cable Romanian deadlift

This lift works the hamstrings, glutes and lower back. It improves posture and your functional hip hinge movement by strengthening the posterior chain.

How to do a cable Romanian deadlift:

  1. Adjust the cable pulley to the lowest setting.

  2. Standing on the front plate with feet hip distance apart, grip the handles with your palms facing down.

  3. Hinge forward at the hips, allowing your arms to extend as the handles retract.

  4. Keeping your core engaged and back flat, continue hinging until your torso is parallel to the ground.

  5. Pause at the bottom of the movement, then slowly raise your torso back up, pulling the handles toward the top of your thighs as you return to the starting position.

2. Cable good mornings

This move works your posterior chain, including your lower back, glutes and hamstrings, to improve posture. It can also help to develop your core strength and stability.

How to do cable good mornings:

  1. Set the radial arms at the lowest position and attach D handles to each side.

  2. Stand on the front plate with your feet shoulder width apart.

  3. Grip the handles above your shoulders, your palms facing upward, cable outside your arms and elbows up and out at a 45 degree angle.

  4. Keeping your chest up and knees soft, push your hips back and hinge forward to lower your torso toward the ground.

  5. Pause at the bottom of the movement, then slowly lift your torso by pushing your hips forward, squeezing your glutes as you return to the starting position.

3. Cable standing hip abduction

This move works the gluteus medius muscles at the side of your hips to boost hip stability and flexibility. Strong glutes can also improve your overall posture, balance and propulsive power.

How to do a cable standing hip abduction:

  1. Set the radial arms at the lowest position, then attach an ankle strap to the cable machine and secure it around your right ankle.

  2. Facing to the side, plant your left foot on the front plate and grip the top bar of the machine with your left hand for balance.

  3. With an engaged core and stable hips, lift your right leg out to the side, keeping it straight.

  4. Pause at the top of the movement for one second, focusing on squeezing your glutes.

  5. Lower your leg back down with control.

  6. Avoid leaning toward the cable machine to maintain proper balance.

  7. After completing a full set of hip abductions on your right side, switch to work your left.

4. Cable alternating forward lunges

With the added resistance of the cable machine, these lunges work the glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves to improve balance, coordination and flexibility. You’ll also be boosting overall leg strength.

How to do cable alternating forward lunges:

  1. Set the radial arms at the lowest position and attach D handles to each side.

  2. Facing away from the machine, stand on the front plate with a handle in each hand, arms fully extended at your sides.

  3. Step forward with your left leg, dropping your rear knee toward the floor.

  4. As you lunge forward, keep your torso upright and your front knee in line with your toes.

  5. Push through your front foot to drive back up to the starting position, then repeat on the other side.

5. Cable calf raise

This move works the two main muscles in your calf – the gastrocnemius and soleus. It can also contribute to developing overall lower leg strength and stability, as well as improved ankle mobility.

How to do a cable calf raise:

  1. Set the radial arms at the lowest position and attach D handles to each side.

  2. Stand on the front plate, facing away from the machine, with feet shoulder width apart, holding the cable handles just above your shoulders.

  3. Rise up onto the balls of your feet, squeezing your calves at the top of the movement.

  4. With control, lower your heels back down onto the floor.

Ready to start building total-body strength at home with our exclusive Centr 1 Strong program? The one-of-a-kind Centr 1 Home Gym functional trainer is available at shop.centr.com and select retailers.

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