The cable crossover is a popular and effective isolation exercise for the chest.
Albeit not a primary mass builder like the barbell and dumbbell bench press variations the cable crossover is without a doubt a worthy accessory exercise in any chest workout routine.
The big benefit of the cable crossover is the constant tension on the muscle on both the concentric and eccentric portions of each repetition – unlike any dumbbell flies variation.
Required: Cable Machine + Attachments
Cable Crossover Form:
Set up your cable machine with 2 handles slightly above head height, grasp the handles and take several steps forward with a karate-esque stance (one foot infront of the other).
Maintain a slight bend in your arm as your drive through the chest to arc the cables down infront of you.
Pause and contract for 1 second.
Maintaining this bend in your arm begin to arc your arms outward as wide as possible, returning the cables as far back as possible while contracting the chest.
Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Cable Crossover Variations
Low Cable Crossovers
Instead of starting with your cables overhead setup your cable machine with your handles at the lowest possible level.
Instead of arcing your arms down and infront of your torso you’ll be maintaining the same bend in your arms while your arc the cables up to face height, squeezing your chest tightly at the top of each repetition before lowering back down to your sides.
Chest Height Cable Crossovers
Instead of starting with your cables overhead setup your cable machine with your handles at chest height.
Instead of arcing your arms down and infront of your torso you’ll be maintaining the same bend in your arms while your arc the inline with your chest, this should feel very similiar to the movement performed during a flat dumbbell fly or pec deck fly.
Common Cable Crossover Mistakes
Utilizing A Partial Range Of Motion
As you maintain a slight bend in your arms you must allow the cable machine to pull your arms back until you feel the stretch in your chest.
Not Maintaining A Bend In Your Arms
With dead straight arms you’ll find that you’re not only failing to get the same stretch and contraction in the chest, but you’re also placing yourself at greater risk of elbow/shoulder injuries.
Failing To Contract The Chest On Each Repetition
As the cables are crossed over in front of your torso you must squeeze your chest muscles together in order to get a full contraction, if you’re merely crossing over the cable but not taking the time to squeeze on each repetition you’re going to fail to see the results you’re after.
Similar & Substitute Exercises
- Flat Dumbbell Flies
- Incline Dumbbell Flies
- Pec Deck Fly