A home gym pulley system provides a wide range of training options at a relatively small price, focusing on things you might neglect otherwise.
We think the Cable Pro is the best home gym pulley system for most people, but there are other great options that may better suit your needs or budget.
Best Home Gym Pulley Systems
Best Value & Most Portable Pulley System: Cable Pro
Cable Pro is a perfect lightweight, portable choice for when you want more from your home gym without forking out a ton of cash!
- Great portability and versatility
- Ridiculously inexpensive for the training options it opens up
- Among the best options for revolutionising a home gym without spending much money
- Doesn't have the same top-end performance you'd get from a more expensive product
Cable Pro is a super lightweight home gym pulley system that you can use almost anywhere with high support. That could be a tree, a beam in your home, or just over the top of your squat rack.
This gives you the utility to perform 100s of cable exercises at the lowest price on the market.
It’s a super-portable choice that easily packs up into your car or even gym bag, giving you the chance to train wherever you want. This obviously trades off against (1) weight capacity and (2) durability or commercial quality.
You’re not going to max out your lat pulldown on this system, but you can use it to expand your training options at a tiny price. The value for money on this product is absurd, and all you need to use it is a place to put it and a weight – either plate, dumbbell, or kettlebell – to lift!
The Cable Pro is a great choice for anyone who wants to add lighter cable pulley exercises to their training.
It’s a simple piece that upgrades almost any home gym with some fantastic training options – especially in rehab, injury prevention, bodybuilding, and strengthening small, neglected muscles – like the rear delts.
Best Budget Pulley System: Mikolo Fitness LAT and Lift Pulley System
A simple but powerful choice that promises great value for money for anyone looking to build more muscle and move more weight.
- More sturdy than the Cable Pro with a higher weight capacity
- Larger variety of attachments and "bits" as standard
- Still very portable and easy to use compared to larger products
- Very affordable
- Lacks the top-end durability and commercial experience of some products
Mikolo make great economy choice fitness equipment for home gyms.
The LAT and Lift Cable Pulley is a fantastic addition to your home gym that uses a fixed pulley you can bolt on or attach to a rack, beam, or pull-up bar.
It’s a heavier-duty alternative to the Cable Pro. It offers many of the same benefits at roughly half the price.
You get a dedicated large pulley wheel, and a much wider selection of attachments as standard: 2 cable lengths, a tricep rope, a weight peg, collar, straps, extra carabiners, and a straight bar.
The heavier-duty design makes the Mikolo Fitness cable pulley a great choice for bodybuilding. However, it still doesn’t have the top-end quality and durability of a full cable system.
Still, it’s a great option for more serious lifters looking for that extra peace of mind and weight capacity.
This is a great product to fit in the space between Cable Pro and larger, non-portable cable pulley systems. It’s a simple but powerful choice that promises great value for money and a stronger build than Cable Pro – for anyone looking to build more muscle and move more weight.
It’s a significant upgrade but still portable, and that makes it great for home gym use – though less likely to go in your gym bag.
It’s a great product but one with a few limitations compared to products above and below in price!
Best Pulley System for Heavy Lifters: Spud Inc. Pulley System
Clearly the best choice for heavy lifters, Spud Inc's cable pulley is a great heavy-duty option and perfectly designed for rack-mounted use.
- Excellent weight rating and build-quality for heavy lifting
- Two buying options offer better budget-flexibility
- Improved resistance levels are great for stronger lifters
- Durability also means longer lifespan and more value for your money
- Is definitely more expensive than others for the full kit
- Designed to be rack-mounted - a little less versatile
- Attachments leave a lot to be desired and must be bought separately
The Spud Inc pulley system is a heavy-duty version of the portable design seen in Cable Pro and Mikolo, but with a huge bump to the strength of the moving parts and overall design quality.
The most important upgrade is the quality of the cable itself, lending a much higher weight capacity than the other products on this list so far.
It can handle a total load of 550lbs, making it a fantastic choice for bigger, stronger people looking to maximize their return on effort with a cable pulley.
This product is designed to be rack-mounted and comes with separate high- and low-mounting cable pulleys. These are great choices and offer different workout options. The high-mounting cable pulley is the most basic and important.
The cables are 75″ as standard, and the product coming in 2 parts means you can upgrade or bundle depending on your budget.
The base upper-mounting product is amazing by itself and definitely worth the money (around the cost of the Mikolo cable pulley). Then the second, lower mount is the same price again.
This is clearly the best choice for heavy lifters who need more weight capacity – up to 550lbs. Spud Inc’s cable pulley is a great heavy-duty option and perfectly designed for rack-mounted use.
The reduced portability and versatility compared to other portability-minded products is clear, but the trade-off in quality, value, and training utility more than makes up for the difference.
Best Wall-Mounted Pulley System: Elikliv Cable Weight Pulley System
This a great choice if you're looking to add a cable pulley to your home gym, and the versatility and training options are most important.
- Good overhead cable pulley option
- Includes multiple attachments and a second pulley system as standard
- Wall mounting offers a better experience than a cable pulley with the same parts
- Expensive relative to weight capacity (220lbs)
- May lack some of the top-end features and lifespan of the Spud Inc heavy-duty cable pulley
The Elikliv wall-mounted cable pulley system is a non-portable design to offer a heavy-duty option with better basic functions than others we’ve seen so far.
This trade-off means you have to have the appropriate height and space in your home gym to bolt it into the wall. Still, the result is a great overhead pulley system experience for the price.
The weight capacity isn’t amazing at 220lbs, but the angles and pulley movements are very smooth, and the result is a better experience than you’d expect for the relatively low cost.
This includes a tricep rope, straight bar, and dual cable handle attachments as standard.
You’ll also get a second cable pulley to open up seated and low-cable movements like seated cable rows.
This makes it a great training option, with many of the same benefits that would require secondary purchases on other products – like the Spud Inc cable pulley.
This is obviously a great choice if you don’t have a rack to mount a cable pulley on, expanding the value of your home gym at a good price. All it really requires is a strip of unused wall and the proper drywall options for mounting.
This is a great choice if you’re looking to add a cable pulley to your home gym, and the versatility and training options are more important than the weight. 220lbs is a relatively lightweight capacity but definitely enough for the vast majority of training options, you’d use a cable machine for.
It’s a perfect addition to a static home gym if you know you’re not moving for a while – and are handy enough to figure out where to put it. The result is a fairly economical stationary cable pulley that costs less than the experience is worth!
Best Pulley System Full-Package: RENRANRING Weight Pulley System
This is a great starter kit for your cable pulley experience, and it really offers the most important training options in one place.
- Complete package with a wide range of attachments
- Lat pulldown bar is a fantastic addition for better training
- Good price compared to alternatives on the market
- Doesn't have the same weight capacity as products like the Spud Inc
- Still requires you to own weight for training with
The RenRanRing pulley system is a complete bundle of items that will let you start training with a cable pulley immediately – all you need to add is the weight.
This cable pulley package includes a portable cable pulley that can be rack-mounted or mounted to the ceiling or other overhead support. It comes with two pulleys to allow you to low-mount one or just keep a spare in case of the worst.
It includes a full-length-weight peg, 3 different cables, a large collection of carabiners, dual handles, a tricep rope, and a pair of straps.
You’ll also get a guide on how to use cable pulleys for training – which can be helpful to explore the sheer range of cable exercises possible. The star is a medium-sized lat pulldown handle with 2 sets of grips – a great addition for cable exercise.
The result is a product that stands out by the diversity of training options while costing less than the Elikliv product and roughly the same as the Spud Inc cable pulley.
It doesn’t have the same durability and weight capacity as the latter, but the trade-off for getting started easily is worthwhile.
This is a great starter kit for your cable pulley experience, and it really offers the most important training options in one place. The guide can be useful if you’re completely new to cables but isn’t a necessity with the amount of information on the internet.
The lat pulldown bar is great, and the rest of the items are useful but not outstanding. Overall, this is a good economy option if you want to get a cable pulley set up in your home gym quickly, comprehensively, and without spending a lot of money or time shopping around.
Best Tower Pulley System: Titan Fitness Wall-Mounted Pulley Tower Short V3
This option is a great choice for taking the guesswork and “fiddling” out of the cable pulley system. It’s a plate-loaded, wall-mounted tower that provides all the support and stability you need for heavy cable pulley exercise.
- Great stability for more comfortable use
- Good - but not the best - weight rating
- Most adjustable option on today's list for better workout options
- Excellent all-rounder with some of the best value for money on the market
- Static and wall-mounted can be quite effort-intensive and committal
- Attachments are a little underwhelming
The Titan Fitness Wall-mounted pulley tower is a great choice for taking the guesswork and “fiddling” out of the cable pulley system.
It’s a plate-loaded, wall-mounted tower that provides all the support and stability you need for heavy cable pulley exercise.
The trade-off is a small bump in price, but it’s still very competitive – costing only slightly more than the Spud Inc heavy-duty cable pulley.
For this price, you get a full wall-mounted tower with two plate pegs and the most adjustability of any product we’ve looked at today with height, pulley options, and sheer stability.
The use of a steel frame reduces the jittering you might expect from a portable cable pulley, while the weight capacity of 350lbs is a good upper-mid point for the market. This means it’s a great choice for heavy lifters who want a dedicated accessory exercise option in their home gym.
This product is a little light on attachments as standard, with only dual handles – you’ll have to buy any others aftermarket or from Titan’s shop.
The pulley itself moves within the frame, however, meaning you can truly customize your cable movements to your needs, height, and the angles you want to hit with your training.
Overall, this is one of the strongest offerings on the market and only fails in some areas because it can’t compete with singular products. E.g., it’s not very portable or not quite as heavy-duty as the Spud Inc cable pulley.
It’s a fantastic static option for home gyms that need more training options at high quality – though it does take some wall-mounting and a few aftermarket purchases to get the absolute best out of this product.
How We Chose the Best Home Gym Pulley Systems
There are a lot of pulley systems on the market nowadays. Trust us – we know, we looked at them all to pick our best list.
Narrowing it down was no easy feat. To help us rank the options, we used the criteria in the Buying Guide section below – including:
- Build Style & Fundamentals
- Weight Capacity
- Cable Length
- Size & Compactness
Why You Should Trust Us
At Home Gym Boss we pride ourselves on being impartial and only recommend products we would use ourselves.
Sometimes it is not possible to try all the different products, so we do our research by talking to athletes, strength coaches & personal trainers, reading user reviews, checking product manuals, assessing overall brand quality and reputation, and checking the current prices.
What is a Home Gym Pulley Exercise System?
The cable pulley is a type of exercise machine that lets you perform exercises against a constant, pulley-assisted stack of weights.
It provides more consistent tension and challenge than free weights, which makes it popular for smaller muscles, complex joint movements, rehab, or just building muscle.
The added permanent tension of a cable stack can be used to strengthen the muscles effectively and build more muscle mass (sometimes).
It’s a way of keeping constant tension on the muscles – which makes it popular with bodybuilders whose focus is always on muscle mass (not strength).
Types of Home Gym Pulley Systems
Cable pulley systems come in a variety of shapes and designs.
Particularly, you can get different types based on what they attach to or if they’re free-standing. This is important because you want to get the most value from your purchase – and using the right cable pulley can save you a lot of cash.
Portable cable pulley systems are easy to pack up and unfold. They are typically lighter weight and may use plate-loaded resistance, which is typically lower quality but more versatile than the stack-loaded alternative (since it doesn’t have to include the weight but isn’t built for a specific weight or system).
These are also often cheaper than full-sized cable systems and can be a great way to save money.
If you’re looking for basic – or lighter- functions, these are often the best choice to get the most benefit at the least cost. Economy products often have great value per dollar and can be a fantastic way to get started.
For these 2 reasons, portable cable pulleys are great for improving your training options – especially among beginners. If you’re not completely sold on the purchase, smaller and portable options can be a great way to get more from less and often-use items (like plate weight) you already own!
Our favorite portable home gym pulley system is the Cable Pro.
Rack-mounted cable pulleys are a mid-way between portable cable pulley systems and the complete stack-loaded option. They’re typically also plate-loaded and involve a simple system that is attached to the rack itself.
Because of this focus, it’s a more durable, sturdier, and typically higher-quality product than the portable kind. However, it doesn’t incur the higher cost associated with stack-loaded cable systems.
This makes it a perfect compromise for many home gym builders – where it has better value and options for a smaller price – and only requires a rack to attach to and plates for weight.
Rack-mounted cable pulley systems are the most popular for home gym use where they perfectly fit the balance needed between space-saving, smaller costs, and better total durability and function-per-dollar than most others.
Check out more power rack attachments and accessories.
Wall-mounted cable pulley machines come with a wider range of options than others. You can get these in just about any setup with plate-loaded cable pulleys, a fully integrated weight stack, or anything between.
They’re simple systems that offer a range of benefits, and that makes it hard to say what they offer as a type.
You can get excellent versatility, value, and benefits from these products. They do require bolting into the wall, however, so they represent a commitment to the home and home gym you’re building.
This product offers a lot of extra durability over a portable choice – but still saves you tons of space and money.
If you’re sure of your home and gym, then this is a great way to get more benefits for less space and money.
We really like the wall-mounted Elikliv Cable Weight Pulley System.
What to Look for When Buying a Home Gym Pulley System
Build style and Fundamentals
The most important thing to look for in a cable pulley system is the quality of the cable system itself. This determines the smoothness of your experience and the closeness to a commercial quality experience.
Wall-mounted options typically involve better total function and a more premium experience – at a greater cost.
A portable pulley is typically less smooth in many cases, and more jerky since the system isn’t designed with extra stability or a specific position in mind.
Overall, cable and pulley quality are the most important factors – as you’ve already seen in the review of cable pulley systems.
Adding features to a cable pulley system is a difficult task as they’re typically going to be singular training tools.
However, added features can be a real benefit – like added cable hook attachments (e.g., a high and low cable pulley rather than just one).
Any feature on top of basic functions should be integrated well and needs to genuinely improve the quality of the training experience. You’ll be paying more for extra features most of the time, and it’s important to make sure that you’ll actually benefit from it.
This is both a point for reviewing a good cable pulley system and figuring out which is most appropriate for your training goals and needs.
A longer cable can make a significant difference to the use of a cable pulley system in your home – changing the range of motion for exercises and which exercises you can perform.
This is also more important in the logistics of choosing a spot for certain items – specifically wall-mounted racks, where cable length is so important to proper and comfortable function.
This also allows you to perform (e.g.) kneeling cable machine exercises like the pulldown or cable crunch with proper technique and range of motion.
Some products offer multiple cable lengths – which can be a huge bonus, depending on your needs.
Overall, you should never be able to run out of cable on an exercise – but, of course, more isn’t always better. So measure your space and focus on what you need for your own home gym.
Size & Compactness
Size and compactness are often useful – especially in smaller home gyms or those spaces where other equipment is used or stored.
Wall-mounted, portable, and rack-mounted options are all great for this. On the other hand, cable pulley systems tend to be a great investment for saving space.
Rack-mounted cables are a fantastic space saver if you have the setup for one, while wall-mounted options take up very little space but do require fixtures to the wall itself.
Portable cable pulleys are obviously the easiest space-saver, but you do trade-off for some functionality and durability, or at least weight capacity, for the portability.
More weight capacity means a more durable product and more training options. These are both great – and will always be a bonus if all other factors are the same between the two products.
The focus on weight capacity should be on the weights you use now, but also enough surplus to let you get bigger and stronger without having to replace your cable machine in the next few years, at least.
At a minimum, you should get a cable system that has 25-50% more capacity than you can reasonably use for lower-rep (5-8) sets right now on your heaviest exercise.
This is a rough rule of thumb – the important point is to give yourself headroom for getting stronger.
If you are looking lift really heavy, then a lat pulldown attachment may be a better buy.
It’s easy and obvious: paying less for the same quality and functions is better. Your money can go elsewhere – whether in the home gym or not.
A product that does the s same thing for cheaper is better. Equally, a product that does more for the same price is better. You’ll always be balancing up these two contrasts, with some products being cheaper and others more premium.
There’s not a 1-1 relationship between cost and quality, so focus on value: benefit per dollar over years to come. This means choosing what you can for your budget and being savvy about the features you do and don’t need!
Home Gym Pulley System FAQs
Are home gym pulley systems worth it?
Cable pulley systems are worth their asking price if you can get a good product with a balance of features and expense. The products on today’s list balance these foci. They’re definitely worth the investment – depending on your training and level of commitment.
Pulley systems have some of the most versatile training options – and come with a wide variety of price tags, features, and design qualities. The more you play, the more you should get – and that can drop off quickly.
The best cable pulley systems on the market are definitely worth it – and those are the ones we’ve discussed today.
Are cable pulley systems better than free weights?
Cable pulleys are better than free weights for some exercises and muscle groups. They’re isotonic and can be used to rehabilitate, strengthen, and build some muscles more effectively than their free weight alternatives.
Exercises like the face pull, seated cable row, and others will offer a superior alternative to using free weights. Again, it’s about finding the right tool for the job – not just choosing one or the other.
Cable systems are especially useful for bodybuilding. The isotonic demands are perfect for high-rep, medium-weight exercise for muscle growth.
What exercises can you do with a cable pulley system?
You can perform almost any exercise with a cable pulley, but they do depend on the attachments you have available and the type of system.
Usually, cable pulley systems are used for rows, pulldowns, tricep extensions, bicep curls, and core exercises (like the cable crunch or woodchop).
You can perform just about any isotonic exercise and variations on the major exercises: presses, hip hinges, core exercises, and rowing or pulling exercises.
Squatting and other exercises are harder on a cable machine, but they’re possible with a little ingenuity and the right attachments!
What are the best cable pulley systems for home workouts?
- Best Value & Most Portable Pulley System: Cable Pro
- Best Budget Pulley System: Mikolo Fitness LAT and Lift Pulley System
- Best Pulley System for Heavy Lifters: Spud Inc Pulley System
- Best Wall-Mounted Pulley System: Elikliv Cable Weight Pulley System
- Best Pulley System Package: RENRANRING Weight Pulley System
- Best Tower Pulley System: Titan Fitness Wall-Mounted Pulley Tower Short V3
- Best Functional Trainers
- Best Power Racks with Cable Crossover Attachments
- Best Budget Power Racks
- Best Squat Stands
- Best Power Rack Accessories
- Best Power Racks with Lat Pulldown
- Best Half Racks
- Best Wall-Mounted Squat Racks
- Best Lat Pulldown Machines
Cable pulley systems are an excellent addition to any home gym.
They provide a wide range of training options at a relatively small price, focusing on things you might neglect otherwise.
We think the Cable Pro is the best home gym pulley system for most people but there are other great options on our list that may better suit your needs or budget.