Cable Machine (Functional Trainer) vs Crossover Symmetry (Exercise Tubing)
QUESTION: So I go to a regular gym 3x a week, and a crossfit box 1x (due to commuting issues). I just got to try the Crossover Symmetry bands, and I didn’t feel any pain from my mild shoulder impingement afterwards. The problem is my regular gym doesn’t have these bands. But they do have a similar cable column machine there, and I was wondering if there are any real physiological differences between using bands and using cable resistance to do the same Crossover Symmetry protocols. My guess is that there shouldn’t be any real difference, but I’m not exercise expert. Does anyone know if there are significant disadvantages to doing the Crossover Symmetry protocols with cable resistance instead of bands?
ANSWER: We have both at Sand & Steel. Cable machines have the advantage of having a load that remains the same through the motion, while the exercise tube increases in resistance throughout the motion. When I am doing physical therapy I often prefer the exercise tubing route, whereas for hypertrophy the cable machine is the tool of choice. This becomes even more significant as you try to work primary movers. For example a standing benchpress with tubing goes from too easy to very difficult quickly, whereas the cable machine allows for a fixed resistance. In advanced applications, tubing can be linked with free weights (hip thruster, barbell) (this is known as accommodating resistance) and many studies shown is highly success in building strength. Would I buy the Crossover Symmetry Bands? I personally like Bodylastics comparable product better. If your need is really rehabilitation or physical therapy, they are probably worth it. Grey Cook’s Exercise Tube is also very good.
- $3000-$5000 for a good Functional Trainer (and they are worth it no matter what CrossFit may tell you)
- $240 for the Crossover Symmetry Bands (this is a little pricey, but it’s a nice product)
- Combination of Iron Woody and Bodylastics bands $100-$150. My Choice