Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

4 Shoulder Cable Workouts

shoulder cable workouts

Everybody wants strong and muscular arms, but achieving them is no easy feat, yet it doesn’t have to be that hard either. You can get nice looking and healthy upper body with Shoulder cable workouts.

The best part about these workouts is that they can be easily manipulated according to your preference when it comes to difficulty level and intensity.

Depending on the setup of your pulley, you can do shoulder cable workouts with either one or both shoulders or start with your weaker side and move on to the opposite side. In other words, you have a clean slate and you can draw whatever you like on it.

This blog highlights the four most effective shoulder cable workouts that target key areas in your upper body giving you stronger arms you can show off to your friends.

Benefits Of Shoulder Cable Workouts

Constant Muscle Tension

The best part about shoulder cable workouts is that the machine used makes your muscles go through constant tension. Free weights don’t relay the same intensity of tension. Gravity plays a huge part when it comes to free weights.  The difficulty of the exercise changes.

To experiment take one dumbbell and do a bicep curl. As you bring the bicep down it is easier to do compared to using a cable machine. Your biceps hardly feel the tension when bringing the bicep down to the starting position. Although, the exercise is great for your biceps using a cable machine is much more effective.

Multiple Angles

Another great aspect of doing cable shoulder workouts is that you can adjust the angles easily because the cable machine comes with an adjustable pulley.

As mentioned earlier, the pulley can be adjusted at different angles and each adjustment takes only a few seconds and multiple angles target different muscles.

Resistance Levels

Resistance levels is another benefit of using cable during shoulder workouts. You can select weights according to the intensity of the workout you want to go for and then stack them up on the cable machine.

Muscles targeted

Shoulder cable workouts

Shoulder cable workouts are great for your upper body. They can improve the range of movement of your shoulders and add a bit of oomph to your generic shoulder exercises. Compared to your usual dumbbells, the cables used for shoulder cable workouts are lighter and smaller. You can do similar exercises as you do with dumbbells and row bars but with an added variation.

Also, the levels of difficulty when using cables is more compared to the dumbbells but the risk of injury is less. You can push yourself harder with shoulder cable workouts easily.

Here are some muscles targeted with shoulder cable workouts:

  • Side deltoid
  • Rear deltoid
  • Front deltoid

1.Cable External Rotation

Shoulder cable workouts

Cable external rotation is one of the shoulder cable workouts you should incorporate into your exercise routine. It doesn’t build a lot of muscle mass but it’s a surefire way of preventing injury while keeping your shoulders healthy and strong.

Step By Step

  • Make sure the cable pulley is positioned to elbow height and then attach a D handle to it
  • Stand in front of the pulley and hold the handle with your arm far away
  • Make sure your grip is neutral
  • Slightly bend your elbow and keep it locked on your side
  • As you pull the handle inhale and rotate the shoulder externally away from your body
  • Go as far as your body allows but don’t overdo it or you might get injured
  • Hold the stance for a few seconds and then come back to the starting position
  • Repeat 10 to 12 times

2.Cable Upright Row

Shoulder cable workouts

If you are looking for effective shoulder cable workouts, then look no further than the cable upright row. It is an excellent exercise that targets your upper traps and side delts. You can spice things up by either using a rope attachment, straight bar, or cambered bar when doing this exercise.

Step By Step

  • Attach a rope, cambered bar, or a straight bar to a cable stack in the lowest position
  • Hold the bar with both hands palms facing upwards and stand in a neutral position
  • Your arms should be extended in front of you with the weight stack elevated
  • Keep your arms slightly bent and avoid locking them on your sides
  • Slowly pull the bar up inhale and bend your elbows and move your shoulders away from your body
  • Keep your back neutral and core engaged
  • When your elbows reach your shoulders, hold this position for a couple of seconds and then go back to the starting stance
  • Repeat 10 to 12 times 3 sets each

3.Single Cable Front Raise

Shoulder cable workouts

Single arm cable front raise is a type of isolation exercise that targets your medial and anterior deltoids. Perhaps one of the most important shoulder cable workouts, this one requires single arm movement at a time putting less strain on your shoulders and enforcing your body to focus on each arm independently.

Step By Step

  • Adjust the weight on the machine according to your preference
  • Grab onto the attached cable with your left hand
  • Face your body away from the machine and position your arm down with the cable in front of your legs
  • Your palms should be facing inwards toward your thighs
  • This is going to be your starting position
  • Make sure your back is neutral and your core engaged so your torso doesn’t swing back and forth when you do this exercise
  • Slowly and mindfully lift your left arm up with your elbow slightly bent and bring it up until it is perpendicular to the floor
  • Hold this position for a few seconds and exhale
  • As you lower your arm to the starting position slowly inhale
  • Repeat 10 to 12 times with 3 sets

4.Cable Lateral Raises

Shoulder cable workouts

If you want to do arguably one of the best shoulder cable workouts out there, then cable lateral raises are your best bet.

  • This workout targets your side delts throughout making them stronger.
  • Take two D handles and attach them to the lowest position on the machine
  • Hold the handles with each hand with your palms facing the floor
  • Position yourself in the middle and extend your arms fully in front of you
  • Make sure the weight stack is slightly elevated and one arm should cross over your other arm. This is going to be your starting stance
  • As you raise your arms to the side inhale, keeping your elbows slightly bent and make sure they are positioned higher than your wrists
  • When your shoulders reach shoulder height, hold this position for a few seconds while squeezing your side delt and then go back to the starting stance
  • Repeat 10 to 12 times with 3 sets

5. Cable Face Pulls

Face pulls is an exercise that can be easily done with a cable machine. It is great for developing and engaging your rear deltoids.


  • Select the weights on the cable machine and make sure to set the pulley at the top position
  • Connect the rope to the pulley
  • Hold both ends of the rope with a neutral grip ensuring your thumbs face the ceiling
  • Step away from the machine and keep your arm straight
  • Engage your core, bring your shoulders back and keep your back straight
  • Pull the rope to your face and make sure the rope splits to avoid hitting your face
  • Make sure your elbows are flared and then maintain a neutral grip
  • Hold this position and squeeze your rear deltoids
  • Bring your arms back to the starting position
  • Do 10 to 12 reps

6. Shoulder Cable Kneeling Press

This is one of the best shoulder cable workouts because it is a compound exercise. It works by targeting your side deltoids and makes your muscles work harder if you add more weight.


  • Set the pulley cable at the lowest position and make sure to use a straight bar
  • Select the weight accordingly
  • Get on your knees and hold the bar with an overhand grip
  • Make sure your arms are shoulder-width apart
  • Hold the bar in front of your chest ensuring your elbows are locked on your sides
  • Engage your core, bring your shoulders back and inhale as you lift press the bar overhead
  • Hold the position for a few seconds and then bring the bar back to the starting position
  • Do 10 to 12 reps

Key Takeaway

Building big and strong shoulders require more than bench presses a couple of times a week, you need to add a variety of different upper body exercises to get the results you desire. This is where shoulder cable workouts come into play.

They target almost all areas of your shoulder and provide a much-needed range of movement to your shoulders. The versatility of these workouts is great for when you get bored with the same old upper body exercises with dumbbells and barbell rows.

Continue Reading

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.