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Usually I'm not a huge advocate of machine-based exercises. However, the cable crossover remains a staple in my workout routine. Why? The rotator cuff muscles are extremely fragile, especially when working the chest muscles. They are very prone to injury in this scenario!
Therefore, I usually perform this exercise with a machine that effectively stabilizes the rotator cuff to a greater degree than dumbbell flys. Don't get me wrong, free weights are fantastic for this exercise, but when I want to increase the intensity, I tend to go for the cable crossover machine
As you're probably aware, the cable crossover is a fantastic exercise for the pectorals and the anterior deltoid. Like I said before be careful as your rotator cuff muscles are in a precarious position.
Because this exercise is performed using a machine, please be familiar with the machine mechanics. If necessary, don't hesitate to ask one of the nearby staff members of your gym and be sure you understand the pecularities of the machine. This is an extremely important step in order to avoid injury.
First of all, grab each cable handle and position yourself in the center of the two pulleys with the weights still stacked. If the weights lift from their resting position at this time, you need to lengthen the handles to avoid injury.
At the starting position, your shoulders should be abducted to 90 degrees and slightly extended backward. Keep a slight bend in the elbow to prevent locking. Keep your feet facing directly forward and shoulder-width apart.
Now, similar to a standing dumbbell fly, slowly bring your hands towards each other in a forward and downward motion. You should and by having your knuckles nearly touching. At this point, begin the slow eccentric motion and allow the handles to gradually return to the starting point.
Do not let the weights suddenly drop! This defeats the entire purpose of the exercise. Remember that the eccentric motion is the most important aspect of the movement!
Step 1: Find a machine and make sure you know how to use it! Avoid injuries at all costs. Learn more about weight training safety.
Step 2: Grab a handle with each hand. Adjust the cables such that you can stand in the center of the machine with your arms abducted 90 degrees and slightly extended.
Step 3: Now, using a motion similar to the dumbbell fly, bring your hands together in a forward and downward motion until your knuckles nearly make contact.
Step 4: Without letting the weights drop suddenly, slowly let the weights descend back to the starting position.
For the cable crossover, I would recommend a two-count during the initial movement, and a three-count while letting the weights return to the starting position. This will maximize the eccentric motion and improve your overall results!
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