Fads come and go in the gym equipment sector, but the latest trend looks set to take up much more room on the gym floor.

If you’ve been going to the gym over the past few months, you will see a new piece of equipment which looks like a cross between a swing frame and a set of pulleys. These new machines are called Extreme Cable Cross Over machines.  Standing in front of this contraption you are likely to see surprisingly trim and firm gym members looking as though they are hardly exercising at all. 

Gym instructors across the country are pulling their clients off the static machines on which you sit and pull and push leverage by metal weights. Their claim is that the more static, seated equipment doesn’t work the muscles, especially the core body muscles as effectively as the cables that are used when standing. 

The cables have been quite slow to take off, even though they have been around for several years.  It wasn’t until personal trainers started to be trained on the machines during their courses and began seeing the almost immediate benefits that demand for the cross over cables began to grow.

Now you can go into many gyms where whole walls of static equipment have been removed, with the cable equipment taking its place.  Usually they are found in the rooms where the heavy weights are (which slowed female takeup for a while). But the immediate benefits are seeing women getting braver and working out with the men. 

These machines don’t come cheap, with quality cable machines costing $6000, but the gym instructors are saying that’s all you need, once you have done a warmup, and some aerobic exercise.

The advantage of the cross over machine is that it covers all muscle groups so you don’t have to be moving around the gym, or have lots of different machines at home.

You can strengthen you abs, which trainers claim is more important that your six pack, and with a quick readjustment strengthen your arms – and if you’re female you can easily get those Princess Di muscles at the top of your arms.

Simply search the internet for a routine that suits your body shape, (or lack of it) or you can get instructions from a personal trainer. Once you have a set of exercises, that takes no more than 20 minutes you simply work through three sets of 12 to 15 and you will immediately feel the effects. 

Another advantage is that you can work one side of your body at a time, which is good as most people have an imbalance, with one side stronger than the other and so continue to build muscles that distort the body balance.

At the gym you might find that you are working on one side of the machine and another person comes up and uses the other. It turns out to be the most social machine in the gym. 

The equipment is especially good for lower back work and rectifying posture problems, so it is worth getting help from an instructor initially to identify the best exercises for your body shape.

Once you have tried out the machine, you might choose to trade off the cost of gym membership, and buy one to have at home in the garage (and of course if you need a personal loan or some finance you know where to come!).  There should still be room in the garage for your car, and the new slim, trim you might choose not to use your car quite as much.

It is always recommended that you first check your exercise program with a trained health professional, so it would be good to choose one that is really informed about the cable cross over machines.