Cable pulley machines are an awesome addition to a home gym that makes you feel like your home gym is a complete. But they can be pretty big. So which ones are the best for a small home gym? Here is the top three.
The best compact pulley towers are;
- Titan Pulley tower V3
- Vanswe Wall mount pulley tower
- Valor Fitness BD-62
These are all very compact, wall mounted pulley towers where the height of the pulley is adjustable.
Let’s see why these are the best option and what you can do with these machines.
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Top 3 compact pulley towers
In a small home gym every square inch of floorspace counts. It’s easy to get a big cable crossover machine and while those are awesome, they are hard to fit in a small gym. These are the three best pulley machines for a small home gym.
1. Titan Pulley tower V3
The best pulley tower for a home gym is the Titan Pulley tower V3. While it’s not the absolute smallest option, it is the best. That’s because these have a significantly higher load limit than the other two options.
This tower is compatible with the T-3, X-2 and X-3 series of Titan power racks. These are very popular racks for a home gym so that’s a big plus for this machine. This means you can attach it to your power rack and not to the wall. This gives some extra flexibility where you put it.
The quality is great and it will last for a long time. All the hardware like pulleys and cables are also of high quality and can handle workouts for a long time.
It’s also the cheapest option out of this list which is always a good thing.
- Footprint: 27-in x 26.5-in.
- Overall Height: 80.5-in.
- Overall Depth: 25.5-in.
- Weight Capacity: 350 lb.
- Product Weight: 75 lb.
- Compatibility: T-3, X-2, X-3, and TITAN Series Power Racks.
- Two single hand straps included with your tower; you can start your new pulley routine immediately!
- 18 Different adjustable positions open a variety of exercises to suit any size athlete.
- One-year warranty on the product comes free with every purchase
There are two pulleys at the same height. That means you can choose to use one arm/leg or two arms at the same time. Both pulleys move the same weight.
2. Vanswe Wall mount pulley tower
If you don’t need such a high load limit, the Vanswe can also be a great option. It’s the smallest available option and still has almost all of the features of the Titan. The only downside of this machine is the load limit. It’s 100 lbs. lower than the Titan one which puts it at 250 lbs. While that is still quite a bit, there might be a good few people that will run into the load limit. If that’s enough really depends on your size and strength goals.
- Footprint: 25″ x 24″
- Overall Height: 82.6″
- Weight Capacity: 250 LBS
- Height adjustable in 18 steps
- Upper and lower brace for wall mount
- Dual pulleys
3. Valor Fitness BD-62
Finally we have the Valor BD-62. It’s a good machine but just a little behind the first two. One of the reasons for that is that the load limit is quite low at 200 lbs. The pulleys are also only adjustable in 16 steps instead of 18 so there is a little less flexibility.
Otherwise this machine is very similar to the other two. The fit and finish is a bit better than the Titan but it’s quite a bit more expensive as well.
- Total height: 80”
- Footprint: 25” x 24.5”
- Load Capacity: 200 lbs.
- Height adjustable in 16 steps
- Dual pulleys
- Product weight: 62 lbs.
If the load limit doesn’t bother you and you want something that looks a bit nicer than the Titan, this is the one for you. Click here to find the current price on Amazon.
Pulley towers for low ceilings
A small footprint doesn’t necessarily mean it will fit under your ceiling. And there are many home gyms that have low ceilings. That’s because they are located in a basement for example. So let’s take an extra look at the heights of these different machines to see which ones are the best for a home gym with lower ceiling.
Pulley tower dimensions list
|Brand||Model||Height||Width||Depth||Load type||Max load||Notes|
|Vanswe||Wall mount||82.6||24||25||Plates||250||Height adjustable|
|Fitness Reality||X-Class||81||44||46||Plates||360||Only high and low pulleys|
|Titan||Pulley Tower v3||84.5||27||26.5||Plates||350||Height adjustable|
|Titan||Pulley Tower v3 Short||80.5||27||26.5||Plates||350||Height adjustable|
|Valor Fitness||BD-62||80||24.5||25||Plates||200||Height adjustable|
You might have noticed that all of the machines mentioned here (except the Rogue) are wall mounted. That’s necessary because these are tall machines with a small footprint you apply lateral forces to. That means without mounting them to something else will make them fall over.
That ‘something’ can be a wall but in some cases it can also be a power cage. But, that requires you to have a power cage that’s compatible with the pulley tower. That will be a power cage from the same brand and in the same series of products as the tower. If you’ve already got a power cage, it’s worth a look if there are compatible pulley towers but if there isn’t, you can always just mount a pulley tower to the wall.
That does require you to have a bit of wall space available. Since the recommended ones are pretty small, that shouldn’t be too difficult. Don’t forget you need free space in front of the cable machine to actually be able to use it. How much space depends on what you want to do of course.
Which exercises can you do with a wall mounted pulley tower?
In a home gym with limited space, I’m all for equipment that is multifunctional. The more exercises you can do with a single piece of equipment, the better. Because in the end that means that you need less equipment to do a full workout which means you can do more in a smaller space.
A basic home gym should have free weights. A free weights setup can provide an awesome workout in very small space. If you’ve got a bit more space left over a cable pulley tower is a very good addition. There are two reasons for that;
- A cable machine provides other exercise options than free weights. (see below)
- Cable exercises have a different strength curve than free weights. This can help with extra muscle gains.
Because the weight always moves straight up and down, the force you have to provide to move the weight is much more linear throughout the movement than with free weights. That’s why cable exercises feel different than free weight exercises. The different feel provides a different training impulse which can lead to extra muscle and strength gains.
There are tons of exercises you can perform with a home gym pulley system. Some are similar to exercises you can do with free weights while others are unique to cable machines. Even exercises that are the same as with free weights have benefits if you perform them on a cable machine.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of exercises you can do.
- Tricep extensions
- Front raises
- Shoulder presses
- Straigth arm pulldowns
- Cable Rows
- Face pulls
- Lat pulldown (with bench)
- Reverse fly
- Chest fly