This strength training exercise is an isolation exercise for the pectorals. To do this, we use a machine with two high pulleys connected to two handles. The intervention of the shoulder in the movement is reduced and that of the triceps almost zero. Generally, this finishing exercise is used to congest the pectorals at the end of the session.
It is not recommended for beginners who must favor more complete exercises such as bench presses, to build a good solid base of mass and strength.
How To Make A Cable Crossover
1- Starting position
- Select the desired resistance and grab the two handles connected to the cables.
- Adjust the height of the pulleys so that they are slightly above the head.
- Take a step forward so as to place yourself on an imaginary line running between the two pulleys, and bring the arms and the handles in front of you to the force of the pecs. The arms are then parallel and perpendicular to the bust.
- The hands are joined or slightly crossed in front of you, and the arms are stretched out, elbows slightly bent.
- Tilt the chest slightly forward, keeping your back straight.
2- Execution of the movement
- Extend your arms to the side in a large arc.
- Continue until you feel a stretch in your chest, roughly when your arms are parallel to your chest.
- Return the arms to the starting position by reproducing the same arc and maintaining the slight bending of the elbows.
- You can vary the point on which you make your arms meet to get more. Make sure you stay stable and keep your torso still.
- Hold the initial position for one second.
Repeat the movement until the end of your series.
This movement is an exercise in isolating the pectoral muscles, it is therefore quite naturally these muscles that will intervene first.
- Large pectoral (sternal part)
- Small pectoral (a muscle placed under the large)
- A short portion of the biceps
This exercise does not involve the triceps, this is why it is an isolation exercise because the vast majority of exercises for the pectorals involve the work of the triceps. It is therefore a positive point for this movement.
This exercise remains ineffective for the mass, and mainly useful because of the stretch it provides. It is interesting to learn how to better recruit the pectorals in the basic movements, to seek out the sensations in the pectorals. It is practiced in medium or long series, without giving a jerk and in a slow and controlled way in order to have the best possible sensations.
The more the arms are folded, the easier the exercise will be, but the less the pectorals will be recruited.
The arrival area of the handles defines which portion of the muscle works, the more the handles meet towards the face the more the upper portion of the pectorals is stressed, the more they meet towards the belly the more it is the lower portion of the pectorals than we solicit.
You can use the declining technique to further increase the sensations, provided you do not degrade the technique.
Danger / Cable Crossover
By keeping the arms straight, the biceps are stretched at the level of their two insertions which places them in a position of “weakness”.
So bend your elbows well.
Also, watch your shoulders, they may not appreciate the stretch that this exercise causes. In this case, you will need to reduce the range.
Risks And Mistakes To Avoid
- With adequate warm-up and the practice of Cable Crossover at the end of the session as a finishing exercise, the risks are almost zero.
- Extending the arms at the end of the movement can be a symptom of too heavy a load.
- Keep your elbows slightly bent throughout the movement to avoid straining the joints.
- Do not force unnecessarily on the shoulders: do not go up too high when the arms are spread.
- Control your movement while standing at Cable Crossover: do it slowly and without jerking.
- Keep the arms and torso immobile, only the shoulder joints must work, do not contract the back muscles.
- Keep your arms aligned with the pecs during the approximation phase.
- By performing the spread upright with the Cable Crossover, a movement too large, poorly executed, or a lack of flexibility, can present several risks: a tear in the pectorals or in the biceps (if the arms have been fully stretched), or an injury to the shoulder joint….
- Inhale while spreading your arms.
- Exhale when you bring them back against each other.
To more easily maintain the stability of the torso, block your breathing: inhale in the starting position and exhale at the end of the contraction.
- Bust position:
- The more you learn the more you apply the upper portion of the pectoralis major.
- On the other hand, the straighter the bust, the more the central (sternal) part of the pectoralis major is used.
- Cable Crossover seated.
- Cable Crossover on an inclined bench.
- Cable Crossover base.
- Dumbbell Flyes, Inclined, Declined.