30 Best Stack Weight Home Gym Workouts

Last Updated on August 3, 2022 by MarcyPro

You’re done going to membership gyms. You’ve decided you’d rather save money and time by creating your very own home gym. You even went all in and purchased an all-in-one home gym, a Marcy Stack Home Gym (often called circuit trainers.) But, you don’t know where to start! Don’t fret, starting a workout regiment on a Marcy Stack Home Gym, or any stack weight machine, is much easier than you think.

If you have a Marcy Stack Home Gym in particular, a workout chart is included with 15 exercises to get you started on your fitness journey. The workout chart link provided at the end of this blog is included with the MWM-990 Stack Weight Machine, but applies to most stack home gyms. We will sprinkle those 15 exercises throughout the list below and include 15 more, for your convenience. BUT! Keep in mind, you will need to purchase a single grip cable handle and triceps rope separately to complete all of the exercise noted below.

  1. Front Deltoid Cable Raise
    MUSCLES TARGETED: Front deltoid raises target your shoulder muscles, specifically, your front deltoids (of course.) In addition, front deltoid raises also activate your lateral deltoid, serratus anterior, upper & lower trapezius, and biceps.

    HOW TO DO FRONT DELTOID RAISES: Attach your lat bar to the lower pulley of your Marcy Stack Home Gym. Stand shoulder width apart in front of your stack gym (facing away from the weight stack,) and pull the lat bar through your legs. Hold the bar at about your thighs to start.

    Simply lift the lat bar using both arms from the starting position near your thighs to just above chest height. Then, bring the lat bar back down to starting position.
  2. Cable Standing Front Raise Variation
    MUSCLES TARGETED: The cable standing front raise variation targets your lateral deltoid and upper / lower trapezius muscles.

    HOW TO DO CABLE STANDING FRONT RAISE VARIATIONS:

Attach your lat bar to the lower pulley of your Marcy Stack Home Gym. Stand shoulder width apart in front of your stack gym (facing away from the weight stack,) and pull the lat bar through your legs. Hold the bar near your thighs to start.

“Lift up and away from your body keeping your arms straight until you reach shoulder level. Lift up on one side of the bar and slightly rotate your your shoulder out and up.” Then, return to starting position.

3. Upright Cable Row

MUSCLES TARGETED: Upright Cable rows target the arms, shoulders, and upper back muscle groups. The main muscles activated are the biceps, triceps, front delts, side delts, and trapezius muscles

HOW TO DO Upright Cable Rows: Attach your lat bar to the lower pulley of your Marcy Stack Home Gym. Stand shoulder width apart in front of your stack gym (facing away from the weight stack,) and pull the lat bar through your legs. Hold the bar near your thighs to start.

With an overhand grip, bend your elbows and pull the bar up towards your head. When your arms are parallel to the floor, stop and return to the starting position.


4. Lower Pulley Cable Shrug

MUSCLES TARGETED: Lower pulley cable shrugs target the trapezius muscles and activate the forearm muscles to a lesser extent

HOW TO DO Lower Pulley Cable Shrugs: Attach your lat bar to the lower pulley of your Marcy Stack Home Gym. Stand shoulder width apart in front of your stack gym (facing towards the weight stack,) With an overhand grip, hold the bar at about your thighs (or wherever your shoulders are relaxed) to start the exercise.

Shrug your shoulders as high and as safely as possible, briefly hold your position at the top, then bring your shoulders back down to reach your original position.

5. Seated Bicep Preacher Curl

MUSCLES TARGETED: Seated biceps preacher curls target your bicep muscles, almost exclusively. Your forearm muscles are slightly activated as well.

HOW TO DO Seated Bicep Preacher Curls: Attach your lat bar to the lower pulley of your Marcy Stack Home Gym (or the short bar if it was purchased separately.) Grab the bar with an underhand grip and extend your arms over the preacher curl pad as you sit on the stack gym seat.

Bring your arms and the bar from the extended position towards your chest by bending your elbow and squeezing your biceps. Once the bar is just about level with your shoulders, release your biceps gradually and bring the bar back to starting position

6. Standing Bicep Curl

MUSCLES TARGETED: Standing bicep curls target your bicep muscles. However, unlike preacher curls, standing bicep curls also activate your core as you maintain your balance (and many leg muscles to a much lesser extent.)

HOW TO DO Standing Bicep Curls: Attach your lat bar to the lower pulley of your Marcy Stack Home Gym (or the short bar if it was purchased separately.) Face the weight stack, grab the bar with an underhand grip and extend your arms down to your thighs to reach your original position.

Bend your elbows towards your chest until the bar is parallel with your shoulders / chest. Hold the curl at its peak for a couple of seconds, then release the curl by straightening your elbows until you reach your starting position.

7. High Pulley Curls / Overhead Cable Curl

MUSCLES TARGETED: Overhead cable curls target your biceps similarly to the standing bicep curls. As a result, your core and leg muscles are activated during this curl variation.

HOW TO DO Overhead Cable Curls: Attach your cable handle to the upper pulley of your Marcy Stack Home Gym. Stand with the arm that is going to curl towards the home gym. Grab the handle with an underhand grip and extend your arms completely so they’re parallel with the floor. Pull the cable handle using your biceps / flexing your elbow up towards your head. Once you’ve reached the peak of your curl, release the curl and return to your starting position.

8. Tricep Cable Push-Down

MUSCLES TARGETED: Tricep cable push-downs target the triceps primarily (the long head, lateral head, and medial head.) This exercise also activates your forearm muscles to a lesser extent.

HOW TO DO Tricep Cable Push-Downs: Attach your lat bar to the upper pulley of your Marcy Stack Home Gym. Face the weight stack with your legs shoulder width apart, with a slight bend at the knees, and an overhand grip on the lat bar.

With the overhand grip on the lat bar, your arms should be against your rib cage, with your grip being parallel (or close to parallel) with your chest (this is your resting position.) Push down on the lat bar using your triceps by extending your arms directly below the starting position, then return to your starting position.

9. Reverse-Grip Triceps Cable Push-Down

MUSCLES TARGETED: Reverse-Grip Triceps cable push-downs target the triceps with more extreme isolation than the traditional cable push-down. This exercise also activates your forearm muscles to a lesser extent.

HOW TO DO Reverse Grip Tricep Cable Push-Downs: See Exercise #8, and simply use an underhand grip instead of an overhand grip.

10. Standing Single Arm Cable Rows

MUSCLES TARGETED: Standing Single Arm Cable Rows primarily target your lats, traps, rear deltoids, and rhomboids. The bicep is also targeted to a lesser extent.

HOW TO DO Standing Single Arm Cable Rows: Attach your cable handle to the lower pulley of your Marcy Stack Home Gym. Sit on the floor facing the weight stack with your knees slightly bent and feet at the foot plate (if applicable to your stack weight gym model.) Grab the single handle with a palm-down grip. Pull your arm from the extended position towards your waist. Then, slowly return your arm to the extended position.

11. Pectoral Fly

MUSCLES TARGETED: The Pectoral Fly, also known as the chest fly, targets the pectoralis major muscles (or, chest muscles.)

HOW TO DO Pectoral Flys / Chest Flys: Sit on your stack home gym facing away from the weight stack. Grab each pec fly arm so that your hands are essentially pointing up and your elbow is at a 90 degree angle. Push the press arms together until they touch, then go back to starting position.

12. Seated Bench Press

MUSCLES TARGETED: The seated bench press targets the pectoralis major muscles (or, chest muscles) and activates your biceps to a lesser extent.

HOW TO DO Seated Bench Press: Sit on your stack home gym facing away from the weight stack. Grab each press arm handle so your hands are pointed away from your chest, with an overhand grip. Push the press arms forward until your arms are extended completely, then bring them back to the original position to complete a rep.

13. Seated Cable Rows

MUSCLES TARGETED: Seated Cable Rows target the back muscles (including the traps, rhomboids, and latissimus dorsi,) and the biceps.

HOW TO DO Seated Cable Rows: Attach your lat bar to the lower pulley. Sit on the floor with your feet pointing towards the stack gym (on the foot plate if it is available on your stack weight home gym) and knees bent. Pull the lat bar towards your abdomen, then return the lat bar to your starting position. Throughout the seated row, make sure you’re not relying on momentum to pull the weight and keep your back straight with your shoulder blades together during each row (which will make your chest stick out.)

14. Oblique Side Bend

MUSCLES TARGETED: Oblique Side Bends target your abdominals, specifically, your obliques, which are at the sides of your torso.

HOW TO DO Oblique Side Bends: Attach your single cable handle to the lower pulley of your stack weight home gym. Stand with your shoulder pointing towards the weight stack. Keep your feet hip-width apart with your chest up and pull the single cable pulley with the arm that is pointing towards the stack weights by bending your torso away from the stack weights (image to the left.) Pull the pulley by bending your torso until you feel your obliques tugging, then go back to the starting position and repeat.

15. Seated Upper Pulley Ab Crunch

MUSCLES TARGETED: Seated Upper Pulley Ab Crunches primarily target your abdominals (abs.) To a much lesser extent, your chest and arm muscles are activated.

HOW TO DO Seated Upper Pulley Ab Crunches: Attach your lat bar to the upper cable of your stack weight home gym and sit facing away from the stack with your back straight. With an overhand grip, pull the lat bar to the back of your neck to reach starting position (or, you can hold the lat bar well above your head.) Pull the lat bar down to your neck using your arms, then bend your torso forward while maintaining the lat bar at your neck. Return to your starting position, then repeat.

16. Wide Lat Pulldown

MUSCLES TARGETED: Wide Lat Pulldowns primarily target your back muscles, but your biceps and forearms are also activated.

HOW TO DO Wide Lat Pulldowns: Attach your lat bar to the upper cable of your stack weight home gym and sit facing towards the weight stack with your back straight. With an overhand grip, grab the lat bar to be in the starting position. Pull the lat bar down to your chest and slowly return the lat bar to starting position.

17. Reverse Grip Cable Pulldowns

MUSCLES TARGETED: Reverse Grip Cable Pulldowns primarily target your back muscles, as the regular lat pulldown, but puts more of a focus on the lower back muscles.

HOW TO DO Seated Upper Pulley Ab Crunches: Attach your lat bar to the upper cable of your stack weight home gym and sit facing towards the weight stack with your back straight. With an under hand grip, grab the lat bar to be in starting position. Pull the lat bar down to your chest and slowly return the lat bar to starting position.

18. Cable Hip Adduction ( Inner Thigh Leg Cross)

MUSCLES TARGETED: Inner Thigh Leg Cross / Cable Hip Adductions target the muscles of your inner thigh (adductor longus, adductor brevis, andadductor magnus)

HOW TO DO Inner Thigh Leg Crosses: Attach your ankle strap to the lower pulley of your Marcy home gym and to your ankle. Stand with your shoulder pointing towards the preacher curl pad (you can use the pad for stability.) Allow your strapped ankle to be pulled out by the pulley so that you are putting all your weight (and essentially standing) on the unstrapped ankle.

Pull the ankle strapped leg down and in front of the other leg and hold for two seconds. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat.

19.Standing Leg Curl

MUSCLES TARGETED: Standing leg curls target your hamstrings and calf muscles.

HOW TO DO Standing Leg Curls: Attach your ankle strap to the lower pulley of your Marcy home gym. Stand hip width apart facing the preacher curl pad of your stack home gym (you can use the backpad for stability.) With the ankle strap on, bend your knee until the bottom of your foot points almost directly up (or wherever you feel most comfortable stopping.) Slowly return to the starting position and repeat.

20. Cable Pull Through

MUSCLES TARGETED: Cable Pull throughs are a compound exercise which targets the hamstrings, gluts, and lower back muscles.

HOW TO DO Cable Pull Throughs: Attach your single cable handle (or triceps rope if you purchased it separately) to the lower pulley. Face away from the stack weight cable machine and grab your chosen attachment with your palms facing each other in between your legs. Step away from the machine until the cable is taut, stand straight up with your legs shoulder width apart. Bend at the waist towards your knees, while pushing your hips back toward the machine. Make sure to keep your back straight throughout the movement. One you feel a strong pull on your hamstrings, pull the attachment back up as you go to the starting position.

21. Leg Extension

MUSCLES TARGETED: Leg Extensions isolate your quadriceps.

HOW TO DO Leg Extensions: Sit on your Marcy Stack Weight Machine facing away from the weight stack, with your thighs over the upper foam rolls of the leg developer and your shins facing the back of the lower foam roller pads. Extend your legs as much as comfortably possible, then slowly return them to the start position.

22. Cable Leg Kick-Back

MUSCLES TARGETED: Cable Leg Kick Backs target the glutes, hamstrings, and core.

HOW TO DO Leg Kick Backs: Attach your ankle strap to the lower pulley of your Marcy home gym and to your ankle. Face the preacher curl pad (the preacher curl pad can be used for balance.) Keep the leg that is not kicking back planted firmly and fairly straight. Engage your abs and contract your glutes as you kick your leg back as far as possible in a calm motion (not like the power of kicking a soccer ball, for example.) Squeeze your glutes at the top of the motion and slowly return to your starting position.

23. Cable Front Lunges

MUSCLES TARGETED: Cable front lunges target the quadriceps and also activate your calves, core, and glutes to a lesser extent.

HOW TO DO Cable Front Lunges: Attach your single cable handle to the lower pulley of your Marcy cable machine. Grab the cable with both hands and stand straight a few steps back from the weight stack (until the weights selected lift up a bit.) Step back while bending your leg so your knee reaches a lunge position near the ground. Hold the end position for a couple of seconds, then return to your starting position.

24. Cable Hip Abduction ( Outer Leg Kick)

MUSCLES TARGETED: Outer Leg Kicks target the glutes and hip muscles

HOW TO DO Outer Leg Kicks: Attach your ankle strap to the lower pulley of your Marcy stack home gym. Stand with your shoulder pointing toward the weight stack, and the ankle strap strapped to the ankle furthest from the machine. Pull the strapped ankle up and away from the weight stack machine until the leg pulling the weight is at about 45 degrees compared to the leg on which you’re standing (or until you feel a pull at your hip abductor / glute.)

25. Lateral Cable Lunge

MUSCLES TARGETED: Lateral Cable Lunges target the quads and the glutes.

HOW TO DO Lateral Cable Lunges: Attach your ankle strap to the lower pulley of your Cable Machine. Stand with your shoulder pointing toward the weight stack, and the ankle strap strapped to the ankle furthest from the machine. Pull the strapped ankle away from the weight stack machine by lunging until you’ve reached a comfortable distance and complete the lunge. Hold the lunge for a couple of seconds and return to your starting position.

26. Cable Rope Hammer Curls

MUSCLES TARGETED: Cable Rope Hammer Curls target the biceps, forearms, Brachialis, and brachioradialis muscles.

HOW TO DO Cable Rope Hammer Curls: Attach your triceps cable rope to the lower pulley of your Cable Machine. Stand shoulder width apart while looking towards your weight stack. Grab the rope with a palms-in grip and stand straight. Keep your elbows near your sides and, using your biceps, pull your arms up until your biceps touch your forearms. Hold your forearms to your biceps for a second, then slowly release back to the starting position.

27. Face Pull

MUSCLES TARGETED: Cable Rope Face Pulls target the shoulder and back muscles.

HOW TO DO Cable Rope Face Pulls: Attach your triceps cable rope to the upper pulley of your Marcy Weight Stack Cable Machine. Stand with your legs shoulder width apart while looking towards your weight stack. Grab the rope with your palms facing down (and slightly towards each other.) Step back so the cable is taught (where the weight stack is just about to provide resistance) and lean back slightly for balance. Pull the rope towards your forehead, hold for a second, and release back to your starting position.

28. Cable Front Squat

MUSCLES TARGETED: Cable Front Squats target the back, hips, thigh, and butt muscles. In addition, not having the weight on your back helps improve your knee strength during these squats.

HOW TO DO Cable Front Squat: Attach your triceps cable rope to the upper pulley of your Marcy Weight Stack Cable Machine. Stand with your legs shoulder width apart while looking towards your weight stack. Grab the rope with an overhand grip. Step back slightly and hold the rope to your chest to ensure the weight plates are lifted off the stack. Slowly squat down until your thighs are nearly parallel to the floor. Return to standing position to complete one rep.

29.Straight Arm Pull-Down

MUSCLES TARGETED: Straight Arm Pull-Downs target the lats, back, rear deltoid, triceps, and core muscles.

HOW TO DO Straight Arm Pull-Downs: Attach your triceps cable rope to the upper pulley of the Marcy weight stack machine and stand looking towards the stack. Stand with your chest sticking out in front of you and your hips sticking out behind you so you are bent forward a bit and your feet shoulder width apart. Pull the triceps rope down to your hips / thighs, hold for a second, and return to your starting position.

30. Overhead Triceps Extension

MUSCLES TARGETED: Overhead Triceps Extensions target and isolate the triceps muscles.

HOW TO DO Overhead Triceps Extension: Attach your triceps cable rope to the upper pulley of the Marcy weight stack machine and stand looking away from the stack. With a neutral grip, grab the triceps rope over head, keep your arms straight up, and take a step or two away from the machine (if the weights lift off the stack, you went too far.) Lean slightly forward for balance, slowly lower the triceps rope by bending your elbows back behind your head. Hold your position for a second when your arms bent, and point them back towards the sky / ceiling to return to starting position.

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