Typical lat pulldown or cable crossover machines with dual weight stacks are rather large. What if you have no space in your home gym or garage, but you do not want to neglect the cable exercises? And, “just” high-pulley and low-pulley stations will do for you?
Then, here are 3 compact cable machine options with space saving design. They have such a small footprint that you can put them in the corner of the room. You are maybe skeptical now if these cable stations will provide proper functional training, but you will see they are complete systems with excellent features.
The only disadvantage of that, since they are single cable machines, is that you cannot do dual cable exercises like chest flyes. Although, there many practices for substitution.
1. Valor Fitness BD-62 Wall Mount Cable Station – Most Compact & Cheapest
A wall mounted cable machine is not just the most compact but also pretty affordable. However, that does not mean it has a lack of functionality.
BD-62 is a durable construction with plenty of adjustabilities to do a wide range of exercises with it.
The assembled dimensions of the machine are 25″D x 26″W x 80″H, so it has minimal design. It is 80″ tall so that it fits in a room with a 7′ standard ceiling. Besides, such height makes it convenient to use for taller guys. The width of the system is 26″ because of the weight plate pegs.
When you plan its place, calculate extra area, about 1-2 feet on the sides. And, obviously, a few feet of clearance at the front to perform the exercises comfortably. But, it requires far less area as traditional home cable machines.
The frame is made from heavy-duty steel tubing covered with stretch resistance and non-corrosive paint finish. On the end of the stabilizers at the bottom, there are plastic caps for floor protection and better stability. But, there are no pre-drilled holes to fix it to the floor. Do not forget, that Valor BD-62 is a wall pulley system so it can be only used by attaching it to the wall. Otherwise, it falls over.
This compact machine comes with 12 pulleys with stainless steel ball bearings for smooth operation. The steel cables have a tensile strength of 2,000 lbs and covered by a layer of PVC material for even better functioning.
A handy feature of the unit is that it has 17 adjustment positions. The lowest point is at about 8 inches, and the highest is at about 72 inches above the ground level. Hence, you can use it for low, mid, and high pulley exercises for a more versatile full body workout. And, the pivoting pulley braces make your functional training convenient since they provide plenty of movement flexibility.
As you see, Valor Fitness BD-62 is not a weight stack home gym, so you need to have weight plates to use. The weight pegs with stoppers are made for 1″ standard plates, but you can get 2″ Olympic adapter sleeves for a few bucks.
The maximum capacity is 250 lbs, which is not bad, but the weight ratio for the arms is 2:1. So, if you load it with 100 lbs, on one handle, the resistance will be half, 50 lbs.
It comes with two adjustable strap handles, but you can purchase additional accessories as a short bar, ankle cuffs or triceps rope. And, of course, you can also get lat bar turning it into wall mounted lat pulldown machine.
To sum up, it is a versatile compact cable machine that is a good option for an average level person. Although, big lifters may find the resistance limited.
2. XMark Lat Pulldown and Low Row Cable Machine XM-7618 – High Capacity
If low and high pulley stations are enough, XMark XM-7618 is maybe the perfect choice for you. It is not as compact as the previous one, but still not that big. The footprint measures approx. 57″L x 31″W. However, because of the lat bar, which measures 48″, you need a few feet clearance around the machine.
The height of the item is 84″, which is rather tall so it may not fit into a room with a regular ceiling, which is about 7 feet. But, because of that extended height, this lat machine provides a comfortable workout environment for taller guys up to 6’4″.
Although it has a compact footprint, the Xmark lat pulldown is a stable item thanks to the large pads on the base bars. Unfortunately, there are no holes for anchoring to the ground, which would make it a rock solid construction. However, the assembled machine is 100 lbs, so it is rather stable on its own.
XM-7618 has a small, but well-padded seat that can be flipped up to have room for lower-pulley workouts. But, the bench is not adjustable. The adjustable oversized 4.33” vinyl covered thigh pads provide excellent support while doing lat pulldowns.
A handy attachment is the flip-up footplate with a non-slip pattern that provides better adherence while you do rows.
The weight holders are made for standard 1-inch plates, but surprisingly the manufacturer gives a set of chrome Olympic sleeve adapters with the pack.
Cable system includes heavy-duty nylon pulleys with stainless steel ball bearings and (2,200 lb) steel ropes with a nylon coating for smooth operation.
This single cable weight machine is equipped with accessories such as a short bar with extension chain and lat bar with two knurled areas. Although, other cable machine attachments are available from Xmark.
The weight capacity is 400 lbs, which is pretty high and can be loaded with Olympic or standard plates. The number of exercises you can perform are numerous. And, thanks to the high capacity, even pro users can use it safely. It is a great value cable weight machine giving a convenient usage and designed for small spaces.
3. Valor Fitness CB-12 Lat Pull Down Machine
Valor Fitness CB-12 lat machine is very similar to Xmark, although its max weight limit is lower, 300 lb. But, it has a mid-pulley station giving more options to exercise. And close to the rare base, there are pegs for weight plate storage and for improved stability.
The footprint is 57.5″L x 23.5″W with a 38″ lat bar. Hence, it a small home cable machine. But, do not forget that we need some clearance around it.
The height of the unit is 80″, but if you check the picture above, you can see the lat bar holder that enables the bar to turn upwards. And, because of the grips, about 2″ more space is required.
Valor Fitness lat machine is a plate-loaded unit without weight stacks. The item is about 80 lbs, not that heavy alone and there are no pre-drilled holes to anchor it to the floor. But, as I mentioned before, there are additional plate storage pegs, and by using them, you can make it more stable.
The seat is adjustable in four positions, but the backrest is not. The thick foam rollers to hold knees are thickly-padded for comfort and stability during heavy load lat pulldown exercises.
Valor Fitness CB-12 is suitable for users up to 6’2″, taller guys may not get the full range of motion while doing lat pull down.
Cable system includes 9 heavy-duty pulleys with metallic ball bearings that provide a smooth drive for the steel PVC covered cables.
The folding textured metallic footplate at the front is a useful accessory for more comfortable seated rows.
To get the required resistance, you can use standard plates with 1″ holes. The holders are rather long so you can put on many plates if you want to lift heavy.
What accessories do you get? Valor Fitness CB-12 includes a short row bar with chain, a lat bar, and neoprene ab harness with foam handles. But, Olympic adapters and ankle cuffs are not added.
The upper pulley station comes with one pulley, and unfortunately, it does not pivot, so movements to sides are not comfortable.
The mid-pulley is added to the center of the front upright bar. That station is useful to perform such cable exercises like trunk rotation or abs strength training with the ab harness accessory.
The low pulley with the help of the short bar and footplate is an excellent station for rowing. Use it for biceps curl, and if you invest into inexpensive ankle cuffs, you can strengthen your legs as well.
The max capacity of the cable system is 300 lb. But, the weight ratio is 1:1 so you get almost the same resistance you put on the pegs.
To sum up, Valor Fitness CB-12 plate loading lat pulldown is a sturdy and versatile unit with acceptable maximum resistance. Also, its space-saving design makes it the right choice for people having a lack of space at the home gym.
What to check out when buying compact lat pull down or cable machine?
- The weight capacity. Depending on your fitness level, you need a home gym equipment that suits your needs. Obviously, machines with higher maximum capacity are more robust but cost more.
- Stability. Since these are compact cable machines, they have a pretty small footprint going at the expense of stability. Wall mounted lat pulldown machines are fixed and very stable like BD-62. Freestanding ones like Xmark or CB-12 more willing to wobble. A rubber mat under them could help a lot. Anchoring to the floor is far the best option, but you lose the warranty.
- Will you have enough place to use you chose unit comfortably? In spite of the space-saving design, you still need a few feet around the machine for comfortable usage. Calculate it when you plan the place.
- What types of plates do you have? If you only have Olympic plates, do not forget about getting adapters.
- What sorts of accessories you get with the machine and what is it compatible with? Most products come with only the most important attachments such as short and lat bar. However, extra accessories are not that expensive.
If you want to enjoy the benefits of cable strength training but have only a little space, then these compact cable machines are the right choice. Aside from a few practices, you can perform the best cable exercises.
If you do not find what you are looking for, you may want to check out the best compact home gym machine reviews here with multiple functions.
Last update on 2019-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API