Cable Cross Over
Primary Muscle Group: Pectorals
Secondary Muscle Group: Shoulders
Equipment Needed: Cable Machine
The Benefits of Cable Cross Over
The cable cross-over is an isolation movement that uses a cable stack to build bigger and stronger chest muscles. Because it's done using adjustable pulleys, you can target different parts of your chest by setting the pulleys at different levels. It is common in upper body and chest-focused muscle-building workouts, often as a pre-exhaust at the beginning of a workout, or a finishing movement at the end. It is often in combination with other presses or flyes to target the chest from different angles.
Some key benefits to doing Cable Cross Overs are;
Unlike dumbbells, cables provide constant tension, including at peak contraction.
Ability to quickly switch weights for drop sets.
Ability to customize cable height to target specific areas of the chest.
Stretches the chest muscles under load, which can lead to greater muscle gain.
If you are looking for other exercises that are the best for building muscle or wanting to lose body fat then you should check our Free Workout Plan or our Workout Plans With Coaching for professionally designed workout plans that have been proven to get results.
The Risks of doing Cable Cross Over
When doing Cable Cross Overs, the weights should still be suspended rather than dropping them into the stack. This can be a sudden movement that can massively increase the risk of muscle tears or straining. Keeping the cable (and therefore your muscles) under tension will enhance the effectiveness of the exercise.
So before giving Cable Cross Overs a go, here's exactly how to do them without risking pain or injury.
How To Do Cable Cross Over
1. Set the handles at both ends of the pulleys at the highest level.
2. Stand in the centre of the machine with feet shoulder-width apart & bend your torso forwards slightly, keeping your spine neutral and back straight, and bend your elbows slightly as well, with your wrists facing the floor.
3. Keeping your core engaged, pull both handles down and across your body. Squeeze your chest muscles in this fully contracted position (the handles don’t have to be touching).
4. Slowly reverse to the start position, keeping the bend in your elbows throughout.
For Perfect Technique
Although your arms shouldn’t really change in position as you’re moving, the angle needs to be there in the first place. A slight bend in your arm ensures that you aren’t putting too much unnatural stress on the ligaments in your arm. This is essential for preventing injury both in the long and in the short term.
Once you have mastered the Cable Cross Over exercise you can try alternative exercises that target similar muscle groups such as;
How To Do A Close Grip Chest Press
1. Lie on the bench with your feet flat on the floor and grip the barbell with your hands around shoulder-width apart. (They can be slightly closer than that, but don’t move them too close together or the set-up will become unstable and you’ll risk being injured)
2. Tighten your abdominals and squeeze your shoulder blades together to stabilise your body.
3. Lower the bar slowly and press up powerfully. Then bring the bar back down towards your sternum. Keep your elbows close to your sides to emphasise your triceps and don’t arch your back.
How To Do An Incline Barbell Bench Press
1. Lie flat on an incline bench and set your hands just outside of shoulder width.
2. Set your shoulder blades by pinching them together and driving them into the bench.
3. Take a deep breath and allow your spotter to help you with the lift off in order to maintain tightness through your upper back.
4. Let the weight settle and ensure your upper back remains tight after lift off.
5. Inhale and allow the bar to descend slowly by unlocking the elbows.
6. Lower the bar in a straight line to the base of the sternum (breastbone) and touch the chest.
7. Push the bar back up in a straight line by pressing yourself into the bench, driving your feet into the floor for leg drive, and extending the elbows.
8. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.