This exercise provided courtesy of Mike Clausen, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.
Cable squats aren't just a great leg exercise; they also activate your core, providing a more full-body workout.
Set both arms on a dual cable machine at the lowest height setting with a single handle attached to each cable. (If you do not have access to a dual cable machine, use a single-cable machine and use a double-handled rope attachment.) Stand about two feet away from the machine facing the machine. Hold one handle in each hand and your hands held up near your face, with your arms bent all the way in toward you as if you were at the top of a bicep curl. Your palms should be facing in toward your body (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, bend your knees and perform a squat, keeping your weight a little more back on your heels than on your toes. Go down to the point where your quads are parallel to the floor without compromising your form. The tension of the cable in your hands should provide some counterbalance, allowing you to squat down further. Do not allow your knees to go in front of the line of your toes (see Photos 2 and 3).
- When you have squatted down fully, reverse direction, activate your core, and push back up to starting position, keeping your knees slightly bent at the top of the squat (see Photos 4 and 5).