HomePowerlifting12 Greatest Cable Crossover Options (With Footage)

12 Greatest Cable Crossover Options (With Footage)


12 best cable crossover alternatives (with pictures)

The cable crossover is likely one of the mostly carried out workouts for isolating the chest muscle groups. It’s nice for preserving fixed stress within the pecs all through the vary of movement. 

Nevertheless, you might need to select another in the event you get bored or should not have entry to a cable machine as a result of your gymnasium doesn’t have one otherwise you prepare at dwelling.

The 12 finest cable crossover options are:

  1. Machine Pec Fly
  2. Pec Deck
  3. Dumbbell Fly
  4. Incline Dumbbell Fly
  5. Decline Dumbbell Fly
  6. Banded Pec Flys
  7. Olympic Ring Pec Flys
  8. TRX/Suspension Coach Pec Flys
  9. Dumbbell Pullover
  10. Flooring Slide Pec Flys
  11. Alternating Dumbbell Fly
  12. Plate Loaded Pec Fly Machine

On this article, I’ll undergo what makes cable crossover various, find out how to carry out every train, and find out how to take advantage of out of every variation.

I’ve included various workouts that use machines, dumbbells, Olympic rings, suspension trainers, free weight plates, and your personal body weight so you possibly can isolate the pecs no matter what sort of tools you’ve.

What Makes A Good Cable Crossover Different?

What makes a good cable crossover alternative?

A superb cable crossover various will have the ability to fulfill the next circumstances:

  • Targets the chest muscle groups
  • Hundreds all sides independently

Targets the Chest Muscle groups

The first muscle groups used within the cable crossover are the pectoralis main and pectoralis minor, that are the primary chest muscle groups that you would be able to see on a physique.

The pectoralis main helps you progress your arms throughout your physique and, if you’re doing vertical pulling motions, works along with the again muscle groups to tug your physique up. The pectoralis minor assists within the stabilization of the scapula (your shoulder blades) and helps you convey your shoulders down and ahead.

The secondary muscle groups used within the cable crossover are the entrance deltoids (the entrance of your shoulders) and the serratus anterior, the striated muscle groups beneath your armpit and between your pecs and abs. They work everytime you convey your shoulder blades ahead in an train.

Regardless that these secondary muscle groups help the train by way of stabilizing the bigger muscle groups, the cable crossover motion comes by way of the squeezing of the pectorals with minimal involvement of the triceps on the elbows. A superb cable crossover various will work the identical muscle groups by following the same motion sample.

You may be shocked to see that I don’t embody bench urgent actions within the checklist under. It is because the bench press works much more than simply the pecs, as we mentioned in our information on the muscle groups labored within the bench press.

Hundreds all sides independently 

Throughout the entire execution of a cable crossover, the management and loading on the arms on all sides are unbiased.

Because of this one arm is just not assisted by the opposite and has to work tougher if the weaker arm struggles. This stops the stronger arm from taking on and decreasing the subjected stress on the weaker arm. That is in the end helpful for making each side extra symmetrical in energy and measurement.

12 Cable Crossover Options

1. Machine Pec Fly

The machine pec fly is a neater various to the cable crossover that can be utilized as a regression. It is because the motion of the machine pec fly is thru a set path.

The cable handles within the cable crossover train have quite a lot of freedom of motion, and it requires extra effort to stabilize them throughout execution. This makes the machine pec fly train to push nearer to failure as there’s much less demand on specializing in stabilization. 

How To Do It

  • Arrange the seat of the machine pec fly in order that the handles of the are roughly mid to decrease chest degree
  • Maintain onto the handles with a slight bend within the elbows and preserve the elbows in keeping with your arms
  • Set the arm handles way back to your shoulder mobility will allow you to
  • Take a deep breath in, then exhale as you convey the machine’s arms collectively in entrance of you and squeeze the pecs
  • Slowly management the machine’s arms again in direction of the beginning place whereas respiration again in
  • Be sure that you retain your again flat up towards the again pad and that you’re not dishonest by pushing your legs too arduous within the floor so you’re not sitting
  • Repeat for desired repetitions as prescribed in your program

Professional Tip

Most machine pec fly machines will permit you to regulate the seat top. You’ll be able to regulate the peak in order that the handles are increased or decrease, which allows you to work extra of the higher or decrease chest relying on which space you need to goal.

If you happen to regulate the seat in order that the handles are roughly at shoulder degree, you’ll really feel extra of a stretch in your higher chest fibers.

If you happen to regulate the seat in order that the handles are roughly decrease than chest degree, you’ll really feel extra stress within the decrease chest fibers. Nevertheless, you will need to word that in the course of the execution of the machine pec fly, all of the pec fibers are nonetheless activated no matter how excessive you regulate the seat.

2. Pec Deck

The pec deck is the best various to the cable crossover and may isolate the pecs greater than the machine pec fly. Quite than holding onto the machine arms along with your arms, you press towards elbow pads. This fully removes stress away out of your biceps and triceps, so that they not have to stabilize the motion.

How To Do It

  • Arrange the peak of the pec deck seat in order that your elbows are at mid to decrease chest degree
  • Arrange the elbow pads way back to your mobility will permit. The extra versatile you’re, the additional again you possibly can set them.
  • Sit down on the seat and preserve your again pushed up towards the again pad
  • Place your elbows behind the elbow pads, grip the handles, and take a deep breath in
  • Exhale as you flex by way of your chest muscle groups and produce the elbow pads collectively
  • Inhale as you come back the elbow pad again to the beginning place in a managed method

Professional Tip

Because of the nature of the pec deck, you possibly can isolate the pec muscle groups very effectively and alter the weights very simply. As a development, you possibly can implement a number of drop units as a approach so as to add an additional overloading stimulus. 

A superb protocol you should utilize to fatigue the pec muscle groups on the finish of your final set on the pec deck is to first carry out the chosen load until failure, then drop the load by roughly 10% and carry out one other quick set until failure. Then drop the load once more by 10% to carry out one remaining set until failure.

Drop units are similar to back-off units and can be utilized for quite a lot of totally different lifts, however there are some variations in how they’re carried out. Study extra about back-off units and drop units in Again Off Units: How To Use Them The Proper Approach.

3. Dumbbell Fly

The dumbbell fly is a well-liked various to the cable crossover and requires the same demand of stabilization. It’s carried out with dumbbells on a flat, horizontal free-weight bench.

The distinction between the dumbbell fly and the cable crossover is that there’s decreased stress within the pecs when your arms are shut collectively for the dumbbell fly. The cable crossover provides you extra even stress by way of the vary of movement.

How To Do It

  • Arrange a flat free-weight bench to be horizontal and maintain a pair of dumbbells by your sides
  • Lie down on the bench and maintain the dumbbells above your chest along with your arms straight and palms going through one another
  • Preserve a gentle arch in your again and a tender however mounted bend in your elbows
  • Inhale as you slowly open your arms and let your pec muscle groups stretch as your arms decrease to a roughly horizontal degree
  • Exhale as you squeeze your pec muscle groups and produce the dumbbells collectively
  • Preserve pinched shoulder blades all through the train
  • Repeat for the specified variety of reps

Professional Tip

A typical drawback that many individuals expertise when performing the dumbbell fly goes too heavy. This isn’t the kind of pec train that you just need to use a heavy load on as a result of it’s inherently an unstable train and may simply be cheated.

If you’re decreasing the vary of movement all through a set or if you’re beginning to bend your elbows as you go down, you’re dishonest the train and may cut back the load.

Don’t have a bench? Try my favourite dumbbell chest workouts you are able to do and not using a bench.

4. Incline Dumbbell Fly

The incline dumbbell fly is much like the dumbbell fly and is a good various to the cable crossover. The incline dumbbell fly is carried out on a free-weight bench that’s set to a 15- to 30-degree incline. You may additionally really feel it barely extra in your entrance deltoid shoulder muscle groups.

How To Do It

  • Arrange a free weight bench to be at a low incline of about 15 to 30 levels and maintain a pair of dumbbells by your sides
  • Sit down on the bench, lean your again towards the pad on the bench, and maintain the dumbbells above your chest along with your arms straight and palms going through one another
  • Preserve a gentle arch in your again and a tender however mounted bend in your elbows
  • Inhale whereas slowly opening your arms and let your pec muscle groups stretch as your arms decrease to a roughly horizontal degree
  • Squeeze your pec muscle groups as you exhale and produce the dumbbells collectively
  • Preserve pinched shoulder blades all through the train
  • Repeat for the specified variety of reps

Professional Tip

You need to maximize the vary of movement to extend the stimulus for constructing muscle mass, however you shouldn’t drop the dumbbells under shoulder degree in an try and recruit extra muscle activation.

This locations pointless stress in your biceps and shoulder joint, which may result in damage. You’ll be able to inform you’re going too low if you end up overextending your again on the backside of the rep. Your posture must be stationary all through your complete rep.

In search of chest workouts you are able to do with out dumbbells? Try these 7 dumbbell chest options that you are able to do with bands, your physique weight, or a plate.

5. Decline Dumbbell Fly

The decline dumbbell fly is an effective various to the cable crossover and mimics the cable crossover motion probably the most by way of how you progress your arms relative to your torso. It is advisable to carry out this on a decline or sit-up bench that’s set to a 20- to 40-degree decline.

How To Do It

  • Arrange a decline free weight bench to be at a decline about 30 levels under horizontal
  • Wrap your legs within the leg pads, lie down on the bench, and maintain the dumbbells above your shoulders along with your arms straight and palms going through one another
  • Preserve a gentle arch in your again and a tender however mounted bend in your elbows
  • Inhale as you slowly open your arms and let your pec muscle groups stretch as your arms decrease to a roughly horizontal degree
  • Start to convey the dumbbells collectively as you exhale and squeeze your pec muscle groups
  • Maintain your shoulder blades pinched all through the train
  • Repeat for the specified variety of reps

Professional Tip

To keep away from recruiting the biceps and bending your elbows on the best way up within the decline dumbbell fly, you need to just be sure you preserve your complete arm tense all through by squeezing the dumbbell. One other good psychological cue is to visualise your self hugging a big tree trunk as a substitute of excited about reaching upwards.

6. Banded Pec Flys

The banded pec fly is a good variation that you would be able to carry out within the gymnasium or at dwelling. There are two various kinds of resistance bands that you should utilize: single-length resistance bands, that are all one size and can be utilized with handles or connected to a door, or single-loop resistance bands, that are bands which are within the form of a circle. 

How To Do It (Single-Loop Resistance Bands)

  • Maintain onto the ends of a single-loop resistance band
  • Wrap it round your higher again whereas being seated or standing
  • Stretch your arms out to the aspect of you and maintain them horizontally
  • It is vital that there this nonetheless some stress within the band at this level. In any other case, the train will probably be too simple. If there isn’t a stress, try to shorten the band by looping it round your hand a number of instances.
  • Flex by way of your pec muscle groups and produce your arms collectively in entrance of you whereas preserving them horizontal
  • As you convey your arms collectively, exhale and switch your arms in order that your palms face downwards. Maintain your head tall and face ahead all through.
  • Inhale as you come back your arms again outwards in a sluggish and managed tempo 

How To Do It (Single-Size Resistance Bands)

  • Connect the single-length resistance band onto an anchor reminiscent of an influence cage or pull-up bar so it’s at or increased than head degree
  • Stand in a cut up stance and maintain onto the ends of the band. Be sure that you face away from the facility cage or pull-up bar. That is in order that the bands can stretch your arms backward.
  • Stretch your arms out to the aspect of you and maintain them horizontally
  • Enable your shoulder blades to be pinched again and chest muscle groups stretched out initially
  • Flex by way of your pec muscle groups and produce your arms collectively in entrance of you whereas preserving them horizontal
  • As you convey your arms collectively, exhale and switch your arms in order that your palms face downwards. Maintain your head up and your eyes ahead all through.
  • Inhale as you come back your arms again outwards in a sluggish and managed tempo, and slowly rotate your arms out once more so that they face ahead

Professional Tip

Another approach you possibly can carry out banded pec flyers with single-loop resistance bands is performing them with two resistance bands to extend resistance. You can too connect the resistance bands onto each side of a squat rack and stand along with your again going through the rack to imitate the cable crossover motion

For extra concepts on different standing chest workouts you are able to do, take a look at 12 Standing Chest Workout routines: Cables, Dumbbells, & Body weight.

7. Olympic Ring Pec Flys

The Olympic ring pec fly is a complicated various to the cable crossover that depends on you being robust sufficient to handle your personal physique weight. You have to to make use of a set of Olympic rings which are suspended on an acceptable anchor, reminiscent of a purpose-built body or in an influence cage.

How To Do It

  • Arrange a set of Olympic rings hanging off from an acceptable body or anchor
  • Put your ft at a sure distance away from the rings relying on how troublesome you need the workouts to be. The additional you progress your ft away from the rings, the extra horizontal you’re and the tougher it will likely be.
  • Maintain onto the rings along with your arms collectively and arms at 90 levels out of your physique
  • Maintain your physique absolutely prolonged and diagonal whereas preserving a tender bend in your elbows
  • Open your arms outward and permit your physique to decrease whereas preserving your abs tight and engaged
  • Inhale in the course of the descent
  • When you stretch your pecs as a lot as you possibly can whereas pinching your shoulder blades collectively, shut your arms again collectively once more to return to the beginning place and exhale

Professional Tip

Olympic rings are usually connected to adjustable straps. A great way you possibly can simply progress this train is by extending the straps. Once you lengthen the straps, you decrease the angle of your physique, which makes the train tougher.

8. TRX/Suspension Coach Pec Flys

The TRX or suspension coach pec fly is one other superior various to the cable crossover and is much like the Olympic ring pec fly.

TRX bands could also be extra comfy to make use of than Olympic rings as a result of the handles are simpler to grip onto. You can too regulate the TRX or suspension coach in order that it could possibly cater to your energy degree by placing you at a much less horizontal place.

How To Do It

  • Arrange a set of TRX straps or suspension coach straps hanging off from an acceptable body or anchor reminiscent of an influence cage
  • Put your ft at a sure distance away from the TRX or suspension coach relying on how troublesome you need the workouts to be
  • Maintain the handles along with your arms collectively and arms at 90 levels out of your physique
  • Maintain your physique absolutely prolonged and diagonal and preserve a tender bend in your elbow
  • Open your arms outward and decrease your physique whereas preserving your abs tight and engaged
  • Inhale in the course of the descent
  • When you’ve reached a degree the place you possibly can’t stretch your pecs any additional whereas preserving your shoulder blades pinched collectively, shut your arms again collectively once more to return to the beginning place and exhale

Regardless that TRX straps generally is a worthwhile device, they’re fairly costly. If you happen to’re on the lookout for cheaper choices, take a look at my favourite TRX options.

Professional Tip

A superb development you are able to do is to raise your ft by placing them onto an train step, bench, or plyo field. This lowers your physique angle and suggestions extra of your physique weight onto your pecs, which makes the train tougher.

9. Dumbbell Pullover

The dumbbell pullover is a straightforward various to the cable crossover. It’s generally debated whether or not it’s a pec train or a lat train, however it’s each. With a number of changes, you possibly can goal the pecs greater than the lats.

Right here is a good video from Dr Jordan Shallow that explains it:

How To Do It

  • Arrange a free weight bench and stand perpendicular to it
  • Lie your higher again on the bench along with your ft on the ground so your hamstrings are parallel to the bottom and shins are vertical
  • Put your arms onto the inside sides of 1 finish of the dumbbell and maintain it above your chest
  • Inhale and decrease the dumbbell by shifting your arms again above your head till they’re as parallel as potential
  • Be sure to preserve your elbows barely bent however mounted and barely flared all through
  • Exhale as you convey the dumbbell again up

Professional Tip

The train will get simpler if you convey the dumbbell again to the beginning place, and also you get probably the most stress on the chest muscle groups if you decrease it. To extend overload on the pecs, add a momentary maintain of two to three seconds when the dumbbell is on the backside place throughout every repetition.

Excited by shopping for dumbbells in your dwelling gymnasium however unsure which of them to get? We focus on the variations between spherical and hex dumbbells in Hex Dumbbells vs Spherical Dumbbells: Which Are Higher?

10. Flooring Slider Pec Flys

The ground slider pec fly is a complicated various to the cable crossover and is a variation that may be carried out at dwelling or within the gymnasium. You have to a pair of train sliders or furnishings sliders and a ground that’s flat and clean. Utilizing carpet is not going to work as effectively.

Identical to the Olympic ring pec fly, you want to have the ability to handle your personal physique weight to carry out this variation.

How To Do It

  • Begin in a push-up place along with your physique absolutely prolonged and your arms on high of the ground sliders
  • Inhale as your decrease your self to the ground by sliding your arms outwards to the aspect whereas sustaining a tender elbow
  • Enable your shoulder blades to pinch as you go down
  • Exhale as you slide your arms again collectively 

Professional Tip

You’ll be able to improve the issue of this train by elevating your ft, which can assist tilt your physique weight extra onto your arms and interact the pec muscle groups extra.

Begin with a low elevation of your ft with one thing like a yoga block earlier than progressing it onto one thing as excessive as a free weight bench or train stepper.

11. Alternating Dumbbell Fly

The alternating dumbbell fly is an effective various to the cable crossover and is carried out in the same technique to the common dumbbell fly that’s carried out on a flat bench. The distinction is that reasonably than shifting each arms concurrently, you’re alternating between your left and proper arm all through a set. 

How To Do It

  • Arrange a flat free-weight bench to be horizontal and maintain a pair of dumbbells at your sides
  • Lie down on the bench and maintain the dumbbells above your chest along with your arms straight and palms going through one another
  • Maintain your again barely arched and your elbows prolonged however not fully locked out
  • Inhale as you open one arm and let your pec muscle groups stretch as your arm lowers to a roughly horizontal degree
  • Exhale as you squeeze your pec muscle groups to convey the arm again to the highest
  • Preserve pinched shoulders blades all through the train
  • Repeat for the specified variety of reps

Professional Tip

As a development, you possibly can maintain the non-working arm on the backside as a substitute of the highest place. This will increase time beneath stress within the pec muscle as a result of it’s being stretched out for an extended time frame. This produces an even bigger stimulus for muscle hypertrophy.

Single-arm, or unilateral, coaching is a superb technique to deal with energy imbalances. You may additionally need to contemplate doing single-arm dumbbell bench presses if one aspect is considerably weaker than the opposite.

12. Plate-Loaded Pec Fly Machine

A plate-loaded pec fly machine is much like the machine pec fly besides that the handles transfer independently from one another. Because of this your stronger arm can not merely take over in the course of the train as a result of all sides is working independently, much like the cable crossover. This makes it various to the cable crossover.

How To Do It

  • Choose your required load on all sides of the plate loaded pec fly machine
  • Regulate the seat in order that the handles are round mid to decrease pec degree
  • Set the machine handles way back to your flexibility will allow you to
  • Sit down, preserve your again flat towards the again pad, and preserve your shoulder blades pinched as you maintain onto the deal with
  • Take a deep breath in and exhale when bringing the handles collectively whereas preserving your elbows mildly bent however at a set angle
  • Inhale as you slowly return the handles again to the beginning place and repeat for the specified variety of repetitions

Professional Tip

The plate-loaded pec fly machine is a good isolation train for the pec muscle groups the place you possibly can actually push to failure safely on the finish of a chest exercise. It could be a lot safer to go to failure on a plate-loaded pec fly machine than a cable or dumbbell various.

A good way to do that is to carry out a burnout set because the final set. It is a set that consists of utilizing rest-pauses till no extra repetitions may be carried out. Relaxation-pauses discuss with breaking down one bigger set into smaller units with 10- to 15-second relaxation durations in between.

A superb protocol to make use of for the plate-loaded pec fly machine is to carry out the set to failure and use a 15-second rest-pause earlier than repeating extra reps till failure. Proceed this till you possibly can’t do any extra reps.

Different Chest Coaching Sources


About The Writer: Norman Cheung ASCC, British Powerlifting Workforce Coach

Norman Cheung

Norman Cheung is a powerlifting coach and an accredited energy and conditioning coach beneath the UKSCA. He has been teaching powerlifting since 2012 and has been an IPF Workforce GB coach since 2016. He has expertise with teaching quite a lot of lifters from novices to worldwide medallists and worldwide college groups. Alongside aspect teaching, he takes curiosity in serving to powerlifters take their first step into teaching. He presently runs his teaching providers at strongambitionscoaching.com



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