Many folks prefer to use the bench press for sculpting their chests. The cable crossover is frequently neglected, although it is a fantastic chest strengthener that has a few advantages over the bench press. As with all the other major muscles in your body, if you want to develop your chest size and strength, you must use a variety of approaches and methods. – Some exercises that target only the chest muscles, while a few other compound exercises that target many joints and muscle groups at once.
The bench press has been a popular chest exercise that works the shoulders, triceps, and chest muscles, and there’s no doubt about it being a move worth including in any chest-pumping workout. The cable cross-over is an isolation move that will specifically target the chest muscles. If you don’t like laying down on the bench and pushing plates, dumbbells, or other weights up and down, the cable crossover can be just what you need. It’s a popular bodybuilding exercise since it enhances the definition of your chest muscles. Continue reading to learn how to perform this exercise correctly and safely.
How To Do Cable Crossover
- To get into the stance, set up the pulleys on a high level (above your head), select the resistance and hold the handles in each hand.
- Step in front of an imaginary vertical line between the two pulleys while drawing your arms together in front of you. Your torso should exhibit a minor forward bend from the waist. This will be your starting position.
- Extend your arms to the side (straight out at both sides) in a wide arc until you feel a stretch on your chest with a slight bend on your elbows to avoid stress on the biceps tendon. As you go through this portion of the exercise, take a breath in. Tip: Keep in mind that the arms and body should remain stationary during the entire movement; only the shoulder joint should move.
- As you breathe out, return your arms to the starting position. Make sure you use the same arc of motion as when you lowered the weights.
- Hold for a second at the start position, then repeat the move for the required number of reps.
Working Your Chest From Different Angles
An incline bench angle of 30-45 degrees activates the upper chest to a marginally greater extent than when using a flat bench, according to research. However, we expect the same angle to produce comparable gains with the cable crossover, despite the lack of a study indicating it.
Now, the higher the cables are positioned, the more emphasis you’ll give to your lower chest. The lower the cables are, and the more you target the upper chest. It’s important to note, though, that a neutral cable attachment will cover more of the mid to overall chest surface area.
- To work your lower chest, your hands should descend and come together at the lowest point possible(About mid thigh).
- To target the upper pec muscle fibers, bring the cables as high as possible (above your upper chest).
- For the neutral stance, your arms should form a straight line out in front of you.
To target all parts of the chest, it’s usually better to use a combination during a chest workout. However, if you’re combining the cable crossover with other pressing workouts, reduce your sets to concentrate on a range of angles.
The cable crossover may be progressed by performing three distinct exercises, each of which targets your chest from a different angle.
- Upper chest (handles in a low position)
- Middle chest (handles in mid-position, usually shoulder height)
- Lower chest (handles in a high position, usually above the head)
The cable crossover, while minor, will also target areas of your chest, back, and shoulders: pecs minor, levator scapulae, rhomboids, latissimus dorsi, and anterior delts.
Mistakes to Avoid
Avoid these mistakes to get the most out of your cable crossover workout
Elbows moving in and out
The elbows should be locked in and not bend at any time throughout the movement to engage your chest muscles fully. By ensuring this, you’ll be able to keep the arch movement pattern that this exercise requires .
Pushing the shoulders
At the end of the movement, your hands should be almost touching each other in front of your body, but not too close to you. You will negate the chance for your chest muscles to work at their full potential by pushing through your shoulders or moving your elbows and hence divert from what should be the focus of cable crossover
Swinging weights too fast
This is not a race to see who can complete the most reps in the fastest time. On the eccentric and concentric phases, maintain control of your tempo.
Cable Crossover vs Bench Press
The bench press will always be regarded as the most important exercise for increasing your chest size and strength. In a study done by a group of University of Wisconsin researchers, the bench press was found to be the best exercise to stimulate the pectoralis major, with the cable crossover coming in third. The chest fly or pec dec stood at second.
Why would you go with the cable crossover rather than a bench press?
First off, if your primary goal is to look good aka aesthetics, the cable crossover will work a bit faster.
Furthermore, the cable crossover enables you to hit all levels of your chest without much difficulty. With a simple shifting of the handles upwards or downwards, you can easily hit your your mid, upper or lower chest quickly.
In contrast, the bench press is a fantastic compound movement that works your chest while also stimulating your triceps and shoulders. To activate your upper chest, you must incline your bench; to pump up your lower chest, you must decline your bench; this may be inconvenient and time-consuming.
The cable crossover, being a cable machine exercise, stretches the pecs from the start of the movement and maintains tension throughout, which the bench press does not.
Similarly, you may increase the amount of weight you lift by adding more plates to the cable crossover, much like a basic bench press.
In general, it’s a question of personal preference, availability (because most individuals struggle to discover an empty cable machine), and time constraints.
We hope you enjoyed all of this muscle-building information regarding the cable crossover.
As you now know, there are several means to take advantage of this exercise for the greatest results, and you can do so in a safe manner.
Despite what people have said about the cable crossover in the past, you can certainly build muscle and strength with it. So, feel free to utilize it as a major component of your chest routine. However, it’s also an excellent warming-up exercise and you’ll see results whichever way you choose to use it.
To achieve the greatest gains, practice excellent form and train intelligently with the cable crossover.…
Rahul is a sports and performance consultant. Over the course of his 15-year career in the fitness sector, he has held positions as a strength and conditioning instructor, gym owner, and consultant.
He is deeply committed to assisting people in finding happiness and feeling good about themselves.
Rahul has a master’s degree in exercise science and is a certified NSCA CSCS and CISSN.