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8 Must-Try Cable Chest Exercises To Unleash Your Pecs

Are you looking for a way to add bulk and strength to your chest? Then you should consider incorporating cable exercises into your routine.

Cable chest exercises target different areas of the pecs than traditional weightlifting moves, which means they can help push your chest development further.

Plus, these exercises are incredibly versatile, allowing you to adjust the intensity by changing the cable's tension.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the very best cable chest exercises that will give you maximum gains in no time:

Best Cable Chest Exercises For Beginners

If you are a beginner and you are eager to build a heavy chest, here are a couple of chest exercises to do with a cable machine:

1.     Cable Crossover

Cable Crossover

Cable crossovers should be on your list of top chest cable exercises as they target the pectoralis major muscles, particularly the middle and outer portions, helping to develop a wider and more defined chest.

Step-By-Step Guide:

  • Begin by adjusting the pulleys on each side of the cable machine to a high position. Hold the grips connecting to the cables in the center of the machine.
  • Take a step forward, one foot slightly ahead of the other for stability.
  • Exhale and bring the handles downward and across your body, crossing them in front of you, while keeping your elbows slightly bent.
  • Pause briefly at the end of the exercise, compressing your chest muscles.
  • Inhale and slowly reverse the action, resuming control of the beginning position.

Mistakes to avoid:

Avoid using excessive weight, as it can lead to improper form and strain on the shoulders. Also, maintain a controlled and smooth movement throughout, rather than relying on momentum.

2.     Seated Cable Chest Press

Seated Cable Chest Press

The seated cable chest press is a great exercise for isolating and targeting the chest muscles while providing stability and support for the back and core. It helps in developing strength and size in the chest.

Step-By-Step Guide:

  • Adjust the cable machine's seat height so that the handles are in line with your mid-chest level.
  • Sit up straight on the bench, feet flat on the floor.
  • Exhale as you grasp the handles with an overhand grip and push them forward until your arms are completely stretched.
  • At the finish of the movement, take a little pause to feel the contraction in your chest muscles.
  • Inhale and slowly return the handles to their initial position while retaining control.

Mistakes to avoid:

Avoid arching your back or using excessive momentum during the exercise. Maintain a neutral spine and focus on using your chest muscles to drive the movement rather than relying on your shoulders or triceps.

3.     Cable Fly

Cable Fly

Cable flies are another beginner to intermediate chest cable workout as they work the major muscles of the pectoralis, helping to increase chest width and separation. They also engage the front deltoids and triceps.

Step-By-Step Guide:

  • Set the pulleys to a medium height and stand in the center of the cable machine.
  • Take a step forward, one foot in front of the other, and grab the handles with your palms facing front.
  • Exhale while keeping your elbows slightly bent and pulling the handles outward and forward until your arms are extended to the sides, parallel to the floor.
  • Pause briefly at the end of the movement, experiencing the contraction in your chest muscles.
  • Inhale and gradually return your arms to the starting position in a controlled manner.

Mistakes to avoid:

Focus on maintaining a slight bend in the elbows throughout the exercise and avoid rounding the shoulders forward.

4.     Cable Chest Pullover

Cable Chest Pullover

This cable chest exercise targets the chest, shoulders, and upper back muscles, helping to improve upper body strength and muscle definition. It also enhances flexibility in the shoulder joints and can contribute to better posture by strengthening the muscles that support the upper body.

Step-By-Step Guide:

  • Attach straight or angled bar to high pulley of cable machine.
  • Lie on flat bench perpendicular to machine, head closest to it, feet planted firmly on ground.
  • Grasp bar with overhand grip slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, arms fully extended over chest with slight bend in elbows.
  • Lower bar in controlled manner towards floor, maintaining tension on chest muscles and keeping core engaged.
  • Lower bar until feeling stretch in chest and shoulders, avoiding excessive strain on shoulder joints.
  • Engage chest muscles to pull bar back up to starting position, keeping movement slow and controlled.
  • Aim for 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps, adjusting weight accordingly.

Mistakes To Avoid:

Avoid using excessive weight, as it can strain the shoulder joints. Focus on maintaining proper form and feeling the stretch in the chest muscles. Don't arch your back excessively or allow your lower back to lift off the bench.

Keep your core engaged and maintain a stable position throughout the movement to prevent injury.

Best Cable Chest Workouts

Let’s have a look at the more advanced cable chest workouts:

5.     Unilateral Cable Chest Press

Unilateral Cable Chest Press

Unilateral cable chest presses help improve chest symmetry by addressing imbalances between the left and right sides. They are amongst the best cable machine exercises for the chest, which also engage the core muscles for stability.

Step-By-Step Guide:

  • Stand away from the cable machine, and adjust one pulley to a mid-height position.
  • Grasp the handle with one hand and take a staggered stance, one foot in front of the other.
  • Begin by bending your elbow 90 degrees and keeping your upper arm parallel to the floor.
  • Exhale and push the handle forward, engaging your chest muscles, until your arm is fully extended.
  • At the end of the action, pause briefly, then inhale and carefully return your arm to the beginning position with control.
  • Repeat the process on the opposite side.

Mistakes to avoid:

Avoid excessive twisting or rotation of the torso during the exercise. Maintain a stable and upright posture throughout, ensuring that your core is engaged.

6.     Cable Iron Cross

Cable Iron Cross

Cable iron crosses work the chest muscles, particularly the inner portions, stimulating muscle growth and improving overall chest development.

Step-By-Step Guide:

  • Set the pulleys on each side of the cable machine to a high position.
  • Place your feet shoulder-width apart in the center of the machine.
  • Extend your arms out to the sides, parallel to the floor, with your elbows slightly bent.
  • Exhale and move your arms forward, forming a "X" shape in front of your torso.
  • At the finish of the movement, take a little pause to feel the contraction in your chest muscles.
  • Return to the beginning posture slowly, opening your arms out to the sides.

Mistakes to avoid:

Keep your elbows slightly bent throughout the exercise and focus on a controlled and deliberate movement.

7.     Cable Bench Press

Cable Bench Press

Cable bench presses provide a different resistance angle than traditional barbell or dumbbell bench presses. They help to strengthen the chest muscles, especially the sternal portion of the pectoralis major.

Step-By-Step Guide:

  • Attach the grips to the cable machine and situate the bench away from the machine.
  • Position yourself on the bench so that the handles are at chest level and your arms are outstretched.
  • Using an overhand grip, grasp the handles and press them upward until your arms are fully stretched.
  • Return the handles to the starting position for a controlled stretch of your chest muscles.
  • Repeat until the desired number of repetitions has been reached.

Mistakes to avoid:

Throughout the exercise, keep your shoulder blades retracted and your chest high. Avoid rounding your shoulders forward because it puts undue strain on the shoulder joints.

8.     Single-Arm Cable Press

Single-Arm Cable Press

The single-arm cable press is excellent for isolating and strengthening the chest muscles, particularly the pectoralis major. It is one of the finest cable workouts for chest that also engages the shoulders and triceps, promoting balanced upper body development and functional strength.

Step-By-Step Guide:

  • Attach D-handle to low pulley of cable machine.
  • Stand perpendicular to machine, feet shoulder-width apart, facing away from it.
  • Grab handle with one hand, position arm parallel to ground and in line with shoulder, elbow bent at 90 degrees.
  • Push handle forward and upward until arm is fully extended but not locked out, squeezing chest muscles.
  • Slowly bring handle back to starting position under control, resisting weight of cable.
  • After desired reps on one side, switch sides and repeat with opposite arm.
  • Aim for 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps per arm, adjusting weight as needed.

Mistakes to avoid:

Avoid letting your elbow flare out to the side during the press, as this can strain the shoulder joint. Keep your elbow close to your body for better alignment and muscle engagement.

Don't use momentum to lift the weight; instead, focus on controlled movement and full range of motion to maximize muscle activation and prevent strain.

Final Verdict

Chest exercises are a great way to stay fit and build strength in your upper body. With cable chest exercises, you have a world of options to choose from, so there's something for everyone.

Even if you're just starting out, it's worth researching and trying different things to get the most out of these exercises.

Hopefully, this blog post has given you an idea of some of the best ones out there and given you the confidence to try them in your next workout.

But don't forget to come back to Gripzilla blogs occasionally for more updates on how to make your fitness routine amazing—we've got lots more up our sleeves, so keep checking back in!