If you want to build up your pectoral muscles, then cable-crossover exercises are the effective fitness choice. Unlike weights, which depend on your momentum as you lift them to be effective, the cable provides a steady resistance that will definitely strengthen your chest muscles. This resistance works not only with your pectorals, but with the small stabilizer muscles in your chest that then become more defined and improve in strength.

What to expect from the cross-over

Cable-crossover exercises improve your upper body strength as they also work to define your muscles. By using the cable crossover pulley machine at your gym, you use the force of resistance to maintain control. When you incorporate different techniques of using the machine by pulling the weight across your body in either upwards or downward motions, you train various areas of your pectoral muscles so that there is not one group that is left more weakened than the others.

How to prepare for the cross-over

You can set up the cable crossover machine by choosing how much resistance you want in terms of weight. Keep in mind the load of weight that you can usually lift when working with other weight machines, and use that ballpark figure as a starting off point. When working, keep yourself centered in front of the machine with your palms facedown. The starting position has your elbows bent as you maintain good straight posture, with your eyes staring straight ahead.

Muscles you'll work while doing the cross-over

Your pectoral muscles are what primarily get a workout with the cable crossover exercise. This includes the muscle fibers of the upper and lower pectorals. You can choose which areas of your chest you want to strengthen and define based on the pulley work. To work on your lower pecs you would set the pulleys high, and setting it at shoulder height will work your middle pec fibers. You can also work your midback and shoulder muscles with a machine reverse cable crossover since all of those muscles must work together to follow through the movement. Starting high or love, for midback or your shoulders, you simply grab the right pulley in your left hand and vice versa. By stretching the pulleys across your torso you benefit the posterior deltoid, rhomboids, trapezius, and to a lesser extent your latissimus dorsi.

Tips for success with the cross-over

In order to get the most out of your cross-over workout, mix up your routine when it comes to the angles at which you are bringing your arms together. You can begin with a standard cable-crossover, keeping your arms parallel to the floor and working with your pecs. You can work your lower pecs, try a decline cable-crossover. An incline cable-crossover will strengthen your upper pectoral muscles as you pull the cables from a lower position. The form is straightforward: keep your palms facedown, elbows slightly bent, and standing in the middle of the machine. This is the ideal starting position. As you work out, make sure you squeeze your chest muscles to get the most benefit from your routine.

Find Local Fitness Facilities

Choose from a list

Find Exercise Routines