Exercises using a cable pulley machine are excellent for not only strengthening your legs but also for developing your core and improving your balance. Cable exercises are a good way to add changes to your workouts and prevent adaptation. When used to work your legs, cable exercises mainly focus on your quadriceps and gluteus maximus.
Standing Hip Extension
You need an ankle cuff attachment for this exercise. Attach the cuff to a low pulley and hold the bar in front of you with both hands and take a step back with the other foot. The leg of the attached ankle is straight, and your foot is off the floor. Begin the movement by pulling the cable back by extending your hip, keeping your elbows straight. As you reach the top of the exercise, squeeze your glutes and slowly return to the starting position.
Stand between two low cable pulleys with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend down and grasp each stirrup attachment at your sides. To begin the exercise, step back with one leg; bend that leg and the front leg to form a lunge. Once your back knee is almost in contact with the floor, straighten and return to the starting position. Repeat the exercise on the other side, alternating between sets. A large step back focuses on your glutes, and a small step back focuses on your quadriceps.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart on a platform and grasp a stirrup attachment in each hand with the pulley set at a low setting. Squat down with your chest held high and keep your knees over your ankles and your weight in your heels. Allow your hips to bend back behind you and continue squatting until your upper thighs are just past parallel to the floor. It is important to keep your knees in line with your feet.
For this exercise, you need a platform on which to stand. Set the cable pulley on the lowest setting and stand behind the elevated platform. Hold the stirrup attachments in each hand by your sides. Place your right leg on the platform while keeping your hands by your sides. Step up by extending your right hip and knee, and place your left foot on the platform. Step down with your left leg and return to the starting position. Repeat by beginning with your left leg and continue to alternate sides. Keep your torso upright throughout the exercise. Stepping close to the platform focuses on your quadriceps and standing farther from the platform focuses on your glutes.