10 Best Effective Cable Crossover Alternatives – You Need to Know

Mahrukh Lodhi

Cable crossovers are the go-to exercise for building a rock-solid chest that will undoubtedly turn heads when you walk through the door. It’s no surprise why this classic gym equipment is always packed with fitness enthusiasts looking to add some serious muscle and definition.

However, if you get overwhelmed with monotony or don’t have access to a cable machine due to gym unavailability and home training limitations, don’t worry; I have got you covered.

There are multiple cable crossover alternatives that you can seek to build that rock-solid chest.

Here are some of the best exercises to help keep your chest in tip-top shape. 

Beat boredom and pump up those pectoral muscles with little to no equipment. 

1.  Push-Ups Plus

Push-Ups Plus is a variation of the traditional push-up exercise designed to target the muscles in the upper body, including the chest, triceps, and shoulders. The “plus” aspect of the exercise usually refers to the added challenge of incorporating an unstable surface, for example, a stability ball or BOSU ball, into the exercise to increase difficulty and muscle activation. This will help you build strength and enhance your overall fitness.

  1. Stand in front of a stability/BOSU ball.
  2. Start in a high plank position, with your hands shoulder-width apart, resting on the ball, and keep your core engaged.
  3. Squeeze the shoulder blades, bend your elbows, and drop your body towards the floor.
  4. Make sure there is a straight line from your head to your heels.
  5. Once you’ve sunk as far as you can, push yourself back up to the starting position.
  6. Repeat

2. Dumbbell Fly

The dumbbell fly is an ideal alternative to the cable crossover and requires a steady base. You’ll need two weights plus a flat bench to execute this exercise. Achieving stability is key when performing the ever-popular dumbbell fly.

Compared to the cable crossover, the dumbbell fly reduces tension in the chest muscles when your hands are close together, but lifting slightly heavier weights can quickly resolve this issue.

  1. Place a free-weight bench on the floor and position it so that it is horizontal.
  2. Rest your head on the bench and hold the dumbbells above your chest, palms facing each other.
  3. Keep your back slightly arched and your elbows slightly bent but not floppy.
  4. Exhale as you lower your arms to a horizontal position and slowly open your arms to stretch your pectoral muscles.
  5. Pull the dumbbells together and compress your pecs as you exhale.
  6. Keep your shoulder blades pressed together the whole time.
  7. Keep going until you’ve completed the set amount of repetitions. 

3. Resistance Band Crossover

Take your workout to nature with this innovative cable crossover alternative!

You only require a resistance band and a secure anchor like a tree, pole, or other object. Anchor the band at chest height for optimal results in your strength training. 

Resistance band crossover is an energetic exercise that targets your chest muscles and enhances flexibility. This exercise provides the same benefits as cable crossovers and improves shoulder mobility for an all-around fitness boost!

  1. Position an anchor at chest level and wrap a resistance band around it.
  2. Turn your back away from the anchor and grip the ends of the band in your hands.
  3. Keep your back straight as you adopt a split stance and bend forward slightly from the hips. 
  4. Start moving forward until you feel some stress in the resistance band.
  5. Pull your arms close to your body and stretch the band out before you.
  6. Reverse the arc of your arm movement and return your arms to their original position.
  7. Repeat. 

4. Olympic Ring Pec Flys

The Olympic rings pec fly is an excellent option for those looking for a chest fly exercise that provides a more challenging workout. Utilizing your body weight and hanging on two suspended Olympic rings in a purpose-built frame or power cage setting gives you an intense but rewarding challenge capable of maximizing results!

  1. Arrange a set of Olympic rings to hang on a sturdy support structure.
  2. To increase the difficulty of your workout, you can move your feet farther or closer to the rings. Distance from the rings increases difficulty because you become more horizontal.
  3. Keep your palms together and your arms at a right angle to your torso while holding on to the rings.
  4. Maintain a mild bend in your elbows and a fully stretched, diagonal stance.
  5. Keep your abs tight and engaged as you lower your body by spreading your arms wide.
  6. On the way down, take a deep breath in.
  7. When you have reached maximum triceps extension while pinching shoulder blades together, bring your arms back to the starting position and exhale.
  8. Repeat

5. Pec Deck

Get creative with your chest exercises by trying out the pec deck! This workout eliminates tension in both your biceps and triceps, allowing you to focus solely on isolating different parts of the pectoral muscles. With a more straightforward approach than cable crossovers, this exercise will help take those toned arms to new heights!

  1. Raise the pec deck seat until your elbows reach the middle or lower part of your chest.
  2. Adjust the elbow pads as far back as your reach allows. You can push them back further depending on how flexible you are.
  3. Put your back against the back pad as you take a seat.
  4. Hold your breath, rest your elbows on the elbow pads, and grab the handles.
  5. Release your breath as you hunch your chest and squeeze your elbows together.
  6. Exhale as you slowly restore the elbow pad to its original position.
  7. Repeat

6. Dumbbell Pullover

An easy cable crossover alternative is the dumbbell pullover, which pulls the dumbbells over the head. It is a common point of contention whether this exercise targets the pecs or the lats; ultimately, it targets both. With a few simple tweaks, you can focus more on working your pecs than your lats.

  1. Orient yourself perpendicular to a free-weight bench that you have set up.
  2. Lay on the bench with your upper back supported and your feet flat on the floor. Your hamstrings should be parallel to the floor, and your shins should be vertical.
  3. Place your hands on the inside sides of the dumbbell at one end and hold it above your chest.
  4. Take a deep breath in, then slowly drop the dumbbell by bringing your arms back above your head and as close to parallel as possible.
  5. Ensure your elbows remain slightly bent but still fixed and flared during the entire exercise.
  6. As you bring the dumbbell back up to your shoulder, exhale.
  7. Repeat

7. Chest Dips

Chest dips are an excellent exercise to strengthen your pectoral muscles, not to be confused with tricep dips. They are a superb cable crossover alternative and ensure you get the most out of your strength training routine!

Unless you have a dip machine making this exercise easier, supporting your entire body weight can be tough – but don’t sweat it! A helping hand from a spotter or friend will make all the difference in getting you started on mastering dips. 

  1. Start by holding your body above the bars with extended (locked) arms so you can perform the exercise properly.
  2. From here, lower yourself down while inhaling, keeping your elbows slightly out and your torso angled forward at about 30 degrees.
  3. You’re there when you get to the point where your pectoral muscles start to feel a little stretched.
  4. Exhaling deeply as you mentally connect your chest muscles with pushing up will help you regain your balance and get back up.
  5. It’s essential to contract the muscles at the top of the movement fully and hold for a second or two before moving on to the next rep.
  6. Repeat

 8. Single-Arm Dumbbell Bench Press

One of the most important things about strength training is having an excellent mind and muscle connection to target your muscles as effectively as possible. 

A single-arm dumbbell bench press is an ideal cable crossover alternate that increases the mind-muscle connection while fixing muscle imbalances.

  1. Start by grabbing onto a dumbbell and lying down on a flat bench
  2. With your palms facing away from you, raise the dumbbell in one hand until your arm is fully extended
  3. Lower the dumbbell slowly, in a controlled motion until your elbow is at a 90-degree angle to your body.
  4. Repeat the exercise for the desired number of reps. 

9. One-Arm Landmine Press

The one-arm landmine press is one of the most fantastic cable crossover alternatives for building your chest muscles or pecs.

This exercise helps build your upper chest and enhance your shoulders, allowing you to perform all your pressing movements smoothly. The best thing about this exercise is that if you don’t own a landmine at home or it’s unavailable at the gym, all you have to do is place a barbell in the corner and get training.

  1. Stand before a landmine with your feet a little more than hip-width apart.
  2. Hold the landmine or the barbell with one hand and slightly lean forward.
  3. Raise it straight up till it’s at your shoulder height.
  4. Once you’re set, take a deep breath, engage your core, bend your knees, and press the arm above your head.
  5. Slowly bring it down between your ear and shoulder, then lift it back up, extending your hand thoroughly.
  6. Repeat

10. Svend Press

This is a unique yet effective workout to train your pectoral muscles. While its name is not simple, the workout is easy and effective.

  1. Stand straight and hold a weight plate in between your palms
  2. Raise the palm to your chest and hold it tightly as if you are trying to crush it
  3. Start pushing the plate outwards and away from the body until your arms are straight
  4. Pull the plates back in towards your chest, and keep pressing the entire time
  5. Repeat. 

Related Article: 8 Best Dumbbell Tricep Exercises For Bigger Arms

Wrapping Up

With these ten excellent alternatives, you can spice up your workout routine and experience an exciting way to target your pecs!

If you’re eager to build up your pecs and bulk up on functionality, don’t worry if a cable machine is out of reach! This chest workout offers some great alternatives — so maximize that pump in the gym for optimal gains.

Get those pecs pumping! A chest day in your workout routine will help ensure you have an even-keeled muscular system. Your pectorals are key for allowing your arms the freedom of movement across and around your body – let’s get them going strong!

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