Cable crossover is a special machine, which consists of two racks with weights, interconnected by a frame.
Cable crossover chest fly is an isolated (single-joint) exercise aimed at working out the muscles of the chest. Along with dumbbell chest fly, only the shoulder joint works in this exercise, so the triceps do not experience any load. The main benefit of the cable crossover is that all the time while the exercise, your chest is under load, due to the resistance of the blocks. Since the exercise is isolated, it is recommended performing after basic bench press and dumbbell bench press.
Varieties and technique of cable crossover chest fly
There are only two varieties of cable crossover chest fly. The exercise is performed either from the upper blocks (standing) or from the lower blocks (standing or lying).
Let’s take a closer look at each of the types and analyze the execution technique.
Upper cable crossover chest fly
This variation of the exercise is most often performed while standing (although it can be done while sitting on a bench). The technique is following: you come to the cable crossover, set the desired weight and take the handle of the block with each hand. Then you take a stable position, bending slightly and putting one leg forward, and you begin to smoothly move your arms forward not bending them in elbows.
From how and at what angle to the body you will bring your hands together, it depends on which bundle of pectoral muscles a large load will be distributed.
If you bring your arms perpendicularly to the body (as in the gif), the middle bundle of the pectorals will work more. This is the classic version of the exercise. The smaller the angle between your torso and arms will be, the more load will shift to the bottom of the pectoral muscles. Accordingly, the larger the angle will be, the more load the upper chest bundle will experience.
Lower cable crossover chest fly
This type of the exercise can be performed both standing and lying on a bench. When performing cable crossover from the lower block while lying, it is somewhat similar to dumbbell chest fly. You lie on the bench and move your hands to the sides, only as I’ve said, the chest does not rest for a second due to the resistance of the blocks. Also, when performing cable crossover chest fly lying on a bench, you can vary the angles of the back of the bench, thereby shifting the load between different bundles of pectoral muscles.
When performing cable crossover from the lower block while standing, the front deltas will steal a lot of load. Therefore, I would not recommend doing this exercise when training your chest. It is better to focus on the classic upper cable crossover chest fly.
Tips on performing cable chest fly
1) Perform the exercise smoothly, without jerking, concentrating on stretching the pectoral muscles. When performing the exercise with jerks, there is a high chance of injury.
2) Do not hold your breath while doing the exercise. Move your arms out to the sides as you inhale, and bring them together as you exhale.
3) Don’t chase after weights. Heavy weights will definitely break your technique. Remember, the main goal of isolation exercises is to maximize muscle stretching.
4) When performing the exercise, alternate the angle of inclination of the arms relatively to the body. For example, during one workout move your arms perpendicularly to the body, another training – at a large angle. This will allow you to purposefully affect a particular bundle of pectoral muscles and will not allow them to get used to and adapt to the load. You can also alternate the upper and lower blocks, one workout doing cable crossover while standing, another – lying on the bench.
5) The movement amplitude of hands should be the same as during dumbbell chest fly. Do not bend your arms in elbows, do not keep them to your body, and do not hunch your back.