cable squats

What Are Cable Squats?

The cable squats are a closed kinematic chain exercise that produces multi-joint movements. Cable squat is one of the best exercises for strengthening lower body muscles.

How To Do Cable Squats?

  • Stand in front of a cable machine. Make sure that the cable is attached to the bottom of the cable machine.
  • Grab the handles of the cable and walk a few steps away from the machine keeping the elbows straight (extended) until the cable is tight
  • Keep the feet about shoulder-width apart and toes slightly outward
  • Keep your abs tight and maintain the normal arch of the back
  • Lower your body by your hips (butt) back and down and bend your knees into squatting motion
  • Stop when the fold of the hip is parallel to the ground or just below the knee. The knees should not cross the toes.
  • Rise and return to the starting position by squeezing the hip muscles (Glutes), without leaning or shifting balance.
cable squats


  • Always keep your head up and eyes straight
  • Keep the feet flat on the ground. Do not move the heels.
  • Do not slouch the shoulders
  • The knee and hip should be completely extended (straight) when raised from the squat position.

Muscles Worked In Cable Squats

The major muscles involved in cable squats are:
Gluteus maximus (butt muscle),
Quadriceps, and Hamstrings (thigh muscles)
The other muscles are:
Soleus and Gastrocnemius (Calf muscles),
Scapular stabilizers and Spinal erectors (upper and lower back muscles)

Muscles involved in cable squats

Benefits Of Cable Squats

  • The cable squat is a closed kinematic chain exercise that produces multi-joint movements. The co-contraction of the muscles and the compressive forces to the joints improves joint stability.
  • It helps to develop the lower extremity muscles thus reduces the risk of injury.
  • It helps to increase the core strength and lower body strength and improves athletic ability.
  • The combination of a squat with shoulder flexion enhances the activity of Gluteal muscles and trunk muscles.
  • Studies showed that shoulder movement induces the (center of mass) COM of the body to displace anteriorly (to the front), which leads to greater activation of back muscles. The Gluteal muscles play an important role in maintaining lower extremity alignment. Thus, loading shoulder movements with an elastic cable tube increase the Gluteus maximus muscle activity.
  • It helps to improve stability for walking and balancing in the older population.

How To Do Cable Squats At Home / Alternatives To Cable Machine

  • Cable squats can be performed at home using an elastic tube band or a color resistance band (TheraBand) by attaching or tieing them to a pole or any hard object.
  • These bands are easy to use and are available at reasonable prices.
  • The intensity of the Squat exercise can be adjusted based on the length of the elastic tube. The elastic tube with the shortest length provides the best resistance force for strengthening gluteal muscles during the squat exercise.
  • If a Thera band is used, the exercise intensity can be determined by the extensibility of the band. The extensibility is indicated by the colors of the Thera Band. Yellow is least resistant and gold color provides the highest resistance,

Effects Of Doing Incorrect Cable Squats

  • Incorrect cable squat exercise can result in potential damage to the knee.
  • Avoid a knock-knee and bow-legged stance. It can cause Jumper’s knee, Pattelofemur syndrome, ACL tear, Iliotibial band tendonitis.
  • Avoid excessive forward leaning while performing cable squats as this may lead to back muscle injuries.


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