How These 8 Chest Exercises Make the Best Cable Chest Workout?

Advantages of cable chest workout

Did you ever think your whole chest workout could happen on a single machine? NO !

Now you know ! You can get a full chest workout targeting all the major chest muscles make up your pectoralis, using Cable Machine.

Cable chest workout on cable crossover machine has many advantages. which cable chest workout muscles are under pressure all the time because of the resistance of the cables. Moreover you can workout various parts of your chest or pectoral muscles with cable chest exercises. Similarly there are many other advantages of doing cable chest workout. The main advantages of doing cable exercises chest cable crossover are listed below:

  1. Cable exercises exert constant pressure in your pectoral muscles. Unlike Dumbbell or Barbell Exercises where motion is totally impulsive, Cable chest exercise do not allow your chest muscles to relax for a second.
  2. Cable Chest Exercises are really versatile exercises in the sense that you can train various parts of your pectoral muscles by varying the position and direction of the cable crossover. For instance, cable crossover from top to bottom direction works out lower chest muscles. On the contrary, bottom to top crossover our upper pectoral muscles are under emphasis. If cable crossover is more or less horizontal, it works out your inner chest muscles. Isn’t it great?
  3. The intensity of stretch and contraction is greatly increased by crossover technique.  your target muscles at the top and also make your muscles contract as much as possible when your hands come towards each other.
  4. For safety concern also cable chest workout is praiseworthy as there are no heavy weights involved.

Keep This In Mind While Doing Cable Chest Exercises

Cable chest exercises are basically isolation exercises which means only one muscle group is primary target during the entire movement. Thus, you should always focus on proper technique and load the muscles to that reps which will cause it to get perfectly exhausted. Other muscles are to be kept at zero stress while doing isolation exercises like this.

That is why, our main focus is in form and technique than the intensity of weight. Instead of loading pecs to maximum loading which other basic exercises can cover, try to make it get maximum enrollment so that it get proper impulse to grow. It is completely irrelevant to load up your cable decks to heavy weights and perform haphazard movements.

Top 8 Cable Chest Exercises

In this article, I have tried to incorporate all of the best chest exercises that you can do on a cable machine. At the end of the explanation, I have also included a sample chest workout for you to try out on your chest workout day. So, if you feel like switching up the barbells and dumbbells with some new cable movements, please go on reading.

Form and technique are the major determining factor for making gains. So please pay close attention to the information provided below.

Cable Crossover

Primary Chest Muscles Targeted: Pectoralis Major ( Lower)

Unlike bench press, cable crossover is an isolation movement that directly targets your pectoral muscles. Most of the bodybuilders favour to do this workout as they believe this workout helps in achieveing perfect definition of chest muscles and definately it does !

Cable Crossover Guide

  • Set the handles at both ends of the pulleys at the highest level.
  • Stand in the centre of the machine with feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend your torso forwards slightly, keeping your spine neutral and back straight, and bend your elbows slightly as well, with your wrists facing the floor.
  • Keeping your core engaged, pull both handles down and across your body.
  • Squeeze your chest muscles in this fully contracted position (the handles don’t have to be touching).
  • Slowly reverse to the start position, keeping the bend in your elbows throughout.
Cable chest workout lower chest

Cable Fly

Primary Chest Muscles Targeted: Pectoralis Major ( middle)

Cable Fly incorporates the constant tension on the muscles through its entire range of motion. Moreover, if performed with properly stable shoulder blade, cable fly occurs in such angle of movement where joints are not under potential stress. However, a constant tension on chest muscles really a big deal about Cable Flyes.

Cable Fly Guide

  • Set the pulleys on a dual-cable machine to chest height, and stand between the two stacks. Grab the handles.
  • Keeping your back straight and core engaged, raise your arms out to your sides, palms facing forward, and walk a step or two forward in order to create tension on the cables. Stand with one foot in front of the other.
  • Bend your elbows slightly, making sure not to let them travel behind your shoulders. This is your starting position.
  • Pull your hands toward each other in wide arcs in front of you, pausing when your hands touch before slowly returning to the starting position. Alternate your forward foot with each set.
Cable Chest Workout for middle chest

Low Cable Fly

Primary Chest Muscles Targeted: Pectoralis Minor(upper)

Low Cable Fly helps you target upper chest muscles primarily which gives you the best bang for your workout. It means low cable fly is one of the great upper cable chest exercises.

Low Cable Fly Guide

  •  With two cable handles aligned low and a light weight selected, grab the handles stepping forward slightly. Palms should be facing forward, head should be up, chest out and shoulders back.
  • Keeping the elbows pulled in towards your sides, exhale, contracting through the chest and bringing the handles up and in until your elbows are aligned with the middle of your chest.
  • Inhale, slowly lowering down keeping the elbows pulled in.
Cable Chest Workout for Upper Chest

Exercise Ball Cable Fly

Primary Chest Muscles Targeted: Pectoralis Major ( Lower to Middle)

Stability Ball Chest Fly is a great way to strength your core along with all the advantages of basic chest fly. It works out the muscles of your chest and core in unison and also gives you a great core workout. Unlike traditional chest flyes done on flat bench, this exercise ball cable fly is donre by lying on an exercise ball or stability ball.

Exercise Ball Cable Fly Guide

  • Start off by sitting on an exercise ball, gripping cable handles in each hand.
  • Slowly roll down on the exercise ball making sure that your head and neck are on the ball with your feet planted on the floor ahead of you.
  • Lift up with the cables and bring them straight up above your chest, squeezing throughout the entire motion.
  • Hold onto this position for a few seconds then return back down to the starting position.
  • Repeat for as many reps and sets as desired.

Bonus tip: Perform this exercise unilaterally to feel extra challenge in stability and control!

Unilateral Cable Press

Primary Chest Muscles Targeted: Pectoralis Major ( Lower to Middle)

Also known as single-arm cable chest press, unilateral cable press is a suitable upper body strengthening exercise which will work more than just your chest.

Here is a great content by mytpi on why to choose cable press over bench press.

As per mensfitness, the three major advantages of unilateral cable press are:

  • Joint Strengthening
  • Core Strengthening
  • Caloric Burn

Unilateral Cable Press Guide

  • Place your feet shoulder-width apart but put your right leg behind you to provide a stable base. Hold a cable handle in your right hand up by your right shoulder.
  • Brace your abs and press the cable away from you in a straight line for two seconds, rotating your body.

Cable Flat Bench Press

Primary Chest Muscles Targeted: pectoralis major and minor (lower To Middle)

You may be wondering why we are using cables here instead of barbell or dumbbells. Unlike dumbbells, cables provide your chest muscles the constant level of tension throughout the movement even at the peak contraction. Doing cable flat bench press will definitely stretch your chest muscles to more extent which will lead to greater muscles gain.

Cable Flat Bench Press Guide

  • Lie on a flat bench within a dual cable machine. Attach the bar to the cables and set it above you at arm’s length.
  • With an overhand grip, bring the bar to the neck, before controlling the bar as it travels back up.
  • Bonus Tip: Use cable wrist straps attached to each wrist with a dumbbell in each hand for this exercise – double pain, double gain!

Cable Incline Bench Press

Primary Chest Muscles Targeted: Pectoralis Major and minor ( middle to upper)

Cable Incline Bench Press also provides constant tension in your chest muscles from middle to upper pecs. The pros of doing this is that when you are doing drop sets, it will be really handy to switch weights.

Cable Incline Bench Press Guide

  • Set up the bench in between two low cable pulleys at a 30-45-degree incline.
  • Then, sit on the bench and grab both pulleys.
  • Now lie down on the bench and arch your back slightly.
  • Press the cable pulleys up while contracting your chest until your arms are straight. Exhale during this portion of the exercise.
  • Then, slowly lower your arms back down until you feel a slight stretch in your chest. Inhale during this portion of the exercise.
  • Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Cable Iron Cross

Primary Chest Muscles Targeted: Pectoralis Major and minor (inner)

The cable iron cross is a slight variation of cable chest fly. This is an exercise which helps you to strengthen the pushing muscles of the body including chest, triceps, and shoulders too.

Cable Iron Cross Guide

  • Set both pulleys as high as possible and select the desired weight.
  • Grasp both handles with a neutral grip and keep your feet in line with the pulleys..
  • Remain upright, keep a slight bend in the elbows, move entirely at the shoulder joint, and pull both handles together in front of your body.
  • Slowly lower back to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Bonus Tip: Perform Cable Iron Cross one arm at a time to concentrate on balanced left and right arm strength. 

How to design your own cable chest workout plan?

Cable Chest Exercises can be performed after more difficult basic chest exercises. For example, you can do cable chest flys are doing other exercises like bench press. Cable Chest Exercisers should be performed for 2-3 sets with 10-15 reps in each set. You can use both low or medium weight but going heavy can hinder your technique because form and technique are of main importance when it comes to chest cable crossovers.

The combination of cable chest workout with pushups also usually works really well. That means hit 20-30 regular pushups or any pushup variant you like and then immediately hop onto 10-15 cable chest crossovers.

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FAQs Related To Cable Chest Exercises

Is cable fly good for chest?

Cable chest flyes are really good for your chest in the sense that it really works out your chest muscles offering you different way to hit it. The real deal is in least joint stress while doing this movement which is really awesome.

How do I make my chest pop out?

If you want your chest to pop out, focus on training all three major chest muscles, lower, middle and upper. Do not just limit your chest training to same workout routine. Introduce varieties and add volume to your chest mass. Then, they will definitely pop out.

What workout helps your chest?

Traditional pushups are great chest builder if you know the different form and variations to do it. If you’re on gym, there are a lot of effective exercises like bench press, cable crossovers, etc, to target chest muscles.

Do chest flys build muscle?

The dumbbell chest fly may be a good exercise if you’re looking to build strength in your chest, shoulder, and arm muscles. Yes, definitely chest flys are really great exercise to build chest.

How many chest exercises should I do?

It usually depends on your goal. Normally, you should try to do at least 4 exercises per chest workout.

Do chest flys help bench press?

Chest flys and bench press are great combination for a superset. You can superset your bench press with a light chest flyes. It will target the pectoral muscles in a way that bench press cannot do single handedly.
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Aaron Reiner

Aaron is a fitness blogger, founder & editor of Prosfitness. He has been lifting weights & writing about fitness for over 3 years. He has been a contributor for several health and fitness publications.

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