William Toro ‧ CPT & Nutritionist
William is a certified personal trainer from NASM, he has also been a rehab physiologist for sports persons. He has more than 15 years of experience training people. And has featured in multiple publications like FoxNews, CNBC, Bustle, and other.
If you want to look leaner and get rid of excess body fat, performing regular exercise is the way forward. Our entire body comprises different muscle groups that we can target and train to become muscular while getting rid of excess fat.
Some muscles in our body are larger than others, such as the pectoralis major of our chest wall, thus requiring extensive training. Lying beneath the breast tissue, the pectoralis major is a chunky, fan-shaped muscle that gives your chest a proper definition when trained.
Most people perform exercise regularly, but only a few know how to exercise the right way. Several groups of people only tend to train specific muscle groups, which can sometimes disrupt your body aesthetics.
For a summer body, you must focus on working all your muscles located in your upper body, lower body, arms, and legs. You can decide whether to use free weights or exercise machines to make your body look aesthetic.
If you want to have a broader chest and train your pectoral muscles via cable chest workouts, this guide is all you need.
Top 8 Cable Chest Exercises
Targeting a specific muscle group such as the pectoralis major requires strength training and exercises that work those muscles. Cable chest exercises are designed to target and train your chest muscles, including your upper chest, lower chest, and inner chest.
Fitness experts believe that you can train your pectoral muscles more effectively by combining numerous cable chest workouts.
To make things easier for you, we have compiled some of the best cable chest exercises that you can perform.
1. Cable Standing Chest Press
The cable standing chest press is one of the most popular cable exercises for the chest. Whether you are a beginner or a professional fitness expert, this exercise offers you a lot of flexibility.
It's a win-win for you because the cable standing chest press targets your pectoralis major and secondary muscles such as the triceps and anterior deltoid. Not to mention, it is an excellent alternative to bench press and cable crossover.
Let’s look at how to perform the cable standing chest press correctly. Before starting, make sure you have a cable chest press or crossover machine.
- To perform a cable standing chest press, stand in the middle of the cable pulleys of the chest press machine and grab the stirrups. Adjust the pulleys to your shoulder height and hold the stirrups, one hand at a time.
- Stand a couple of feet ahead of the chest press machine with one leg in front of the other to make a staggered stance. Ensure that you put your front foot on the floor.
- While performing multiple sets of this chest exercise, feel free to alternatively change your forward leg.
- Rescind your shoulder blades together and ensure your arms make a 90-degree angle. Also, raise your elbows such that they point outwards to the sides to shift resistance from your shoulder joint.
- Keeping your body upright and arms horizontal, exhale and extend your arms to move the stirrups forward and inward. Keep your arms straight and your shoulders stretched forward.
- Hold this position and maintain tension for a count of two and then put pressure on your chest.
- Now inhale and perform the reverse motion until you feel a slight stretch in your chest.
- Repeat the entire movement multiple times.
Cable standing chest exercise is an excellent way to develop your pectoral muscles. Unlike a typical bench press, it connects your core and stabilizer muscles while promising you an increased range of motion.
Cable Seated Chest Press
The cable seated chest press is yet another ideal exercise for a cable chest workout. In this exercise, you remain seated and perform using a cable chest press or cable crossover machine.
You should perform a cable seated chest press by placing a bench between the two pulleys and adjusting the stirrups at chest height. Cable seated chest press particularly targets your pectoralis major, anterior deltoid, and triceps.
Here's how you can adequately perform the cable seated chest press.
- Place an adjustable bench in the middle of the cable chest press machine and hold the handles. Adjust the pulleys such that they are in line with your chest level while sitting on the bench.
- Grab the handles with your knuckles facing the direction you want to push.
- Now, lean backward so that your back sits firmly against the bench.
- Position your arms such that they line up with your wrists. You want to ensure that you can move your arms forward and backward while keeping your elbows pointed sideways.
- To perform the cable seated chest press, ensure that your body remains stationary. Now, extend your elbows such that you are pressing from the mid-section of your chest.
- Extend your arms forward until the hands meet at the end of the entire movement. Make sure you do not lock your elbows.
- Control the cables gradually while releasing and ensure that you do not allow the weight load to rest.
- Inhale and exhale as you perform the contracting and expanding motion.
Cable Single Arm Rotational Chest Press
The cable single-arm rotational chest press is one of the best cable exercises for the chest that most fitness experts recommend. This exercise is renowned for eradicating any muscular imbalances that you may have in your pectoral muscles.
Moreover, the cable single-arm rotational chest press also improves your posture while promising an increased range of motion. As a result, you can engage your core more successfully while executing this movement. Secondary muscles such as the anterior deltoid and triceps can also benefit from this exercise.
Here is how you can perform a cable single-arm rotational chest press effectively.
- Stand in the middle of the cable pulley machine with your feet wide apart. Your left foot must be in front of your right foot such that it points away from the machine. Meanwhile, you should plant your right foot parallel to the cable pulley machine.
- Ensure that your hips are straight, your back upright, and your knees marginally bent.
- Hold one of the stirrups with your palms facing downwards on the floor. Do not forget to keep the stirrup close to your chest.
- Bring your other arm in front of you to chest height if you want to counter the weight.
- While ensuring your back and head stays upright, extend just one arm forward from the chest through your elbows.
- Allow your shoulders to turn as you extend forward while contracting your other arm such that your body rotates into the movement.
- As you bring the weight load back to the initial position, your other arm should extend out in front.
- Repeat the motion simultaneously on both sides.
One thing to note is that you should avoid holding both handles while performing a cable single-arm rotational chest press. Also, keep your core tight and your back upright during the exercise. If you lean too far ahead without engaging the core, you might end up with a back injury.
Cable Flat Bench Press
If you want to train your pectoral muscles for an aesthetic body, the cable flat bench press is an excellent cable chest exercise. It effectively works your inner pectoral muscles while targeting your shoulders and arms (triceps).
The cable flat bench press is an excellent choice if you lack a spotter while ensuring better control and user safety. Unlike a typical dumbbell press, this exercise also offers a higher resistance and increased range of motion.
Let’s see how we can effectively perform this cable chest exercise using a cable crossover machine.
- Position an adjustable bench in the middle of the cable crossover machine.
- Lie down on the bench with your face facing upwards and your feet planted on the floor. Make sure the bench is flat, parallel to the floor.
- Hold the stirrups and position them on either side of your chest with your palms facing forward. Make sure you have chosen a medium to low weight stack on both sides if you are new to this exercise.
- Shrink your abdomen inwards and bend your chin towards the chest.
- Force the stirrups upwards such that your arms extend completely above your chest. Make sure you don’t lock your elbows.
- Inhale and exhale as you contract and extend your arms.
- Perform multiple reps of this cable machine set.
Before performing this cable chest workout, ensure that your shoulders do not rise off the bench. In addition, your palms must face directly upwards while your arms should be placed at a 90-degree angle.
Besides, do not set the crossover machine too high as it can cause your back to arch and disrupt your body form.
Cable Incline Bench Press
Although there are many cable exercises for the chest, the cable incline bench press is worth a shot. It effectively works your chest muscles including your two pectoral muscles: the Upper and inner pectorals. Unlike a flat bench, the incline bench press requires you to perform a cable chest workout with the bench in an inclined position.
The following steps highlight how you should perform a cable incline bench press.
- Place an adjustable bench between two low pulleys of a cable crossover machine such that it creates a 45-degree angle with the pulleys.
- Grip the handles and ensure that the resistance lines up with your chest.
- Position your back against the bench with your feet on the floor while making sure they are wide apart.
- Slightly bend your arms and position the handles on either side of your chest at a 90-degree angle.
- Gradually extend your arms overhead and inwards till your hands join. Make sure you exhale during this movement.
- Now squeeze your chest and inhale air while slowly moving the arms back to their initial stance.
- Repeat the process several times.
While performing a cable incline bench press, always ensure that you position the bench correctly. It should neither be too far back nor ahead of the pulleys as it can drive the resistance away from your chest muscles. Also, make sure your elbows do not drop from the 90-degree angle throughout the entire exercise.
Cable Middle Fly
The cable middle fly is a superb chest workout that fitness experts recommend for inner chest and lower chest workouts. Although most cable chest exercises target your upper body, this chest workout engages your entire core.
Unlike push-ups or any other cable chest exercises, the cable fly requires you to keep your elbows extended throughout the exercise. As a result, it moves your biceps out of the equation while shifting the resistance on your chest muscles.
Here's how you do a cable fly.
- Position yourself in the center of the cable pulley machine.
- Grip both stirrups and raise the arms to your chest height. Keep your hands open with your palms facing each other. Also, adjust the pulleys at shoulder height.
- Adopt a split stance by standing a few steps ahead of the cable pulley machine and planting one foot forward on the floor. Now, your arms will be on either side of your back.
- You can alternatively change your forward leg for each set.
- Ensuring that your back is slanted and elbows extended, push the stirrups forward and inward until your palms meet.
- Increase your arm movement through the contraction phase and adopt a gradual motion as you extend your arms.
- As you let the arms return to their initial position, inhale, and stretch your chest.
- Repeat this chest workout several times.
Cable Standing Fly (High to Low)
Despite being one of the most challenging chest exercises, the cable standing fly is among the favorite cable chest exercises for beginners. It is one of the best chest exercises to strengthen your upper chest.
With a bit of variation, it can also train your lower chest muscles and muscle fibers of numerous other muscles, including shoulders and triceps. Unlike the inner cable chest workout, the high cable fly requires you to keep your elbows slightly bent.
Here is the correct way of performing a cable standing fly.
- Adjust the cable machine pulleys high above your shoulder joints and choose an appropriate weight stack on both ends.
- Hold the stirrups with a firm grip, position yourself in the center of the cable pulley machine and move several steps forward in a split stance.
- Keep your elbows bent slightly. Also, make sure your back does not arch.
- As you hold the stirrups, your knuckles should be facing in front of you.
- While maintaining a split stance, pull the stirrups downwards and inwards in front of your core.
- Make sure that your elbows are slightly bent as you go through the entire motion of pulling the stirrups downwards. Keep your chest muscles squeezed.
- Return to the initial position by relaxing your chest as the stirrups move backward and upwards.
- Repeat the process until you fulfill the desired number of repetitions.
The cable standing fly is considered among some of the best chest exercises that you can perform without a workout routine. However, you must be mindful of choosing the proper weights, keeping your elbows slightly bent, and ensuring a neutral grip on the stirrups to avoid injury.
Performing cable scoops is arguably the best way to work your upper chest muscles. Although there are countless cable chest exercises, this one has its own charm. You can perform a cable scoop using a cable crossover machine by lowering the pulleys.
Cable scoop is one of those chest exercises that most fitness gurus recommend to professionals for an upper chest workout. Cable exercises such as cable scoops are not uncommon, and knowing how to perform them correctly can work wonders.
This is how you perform a cable scoop.
Stand in the middle of the cable machine with one foot in front of the other in a split stance.
Grab the handles in both hands and position yourself a few feet ahead of the cable machine.
Make sure that there is a slight bend in your back. Your front foot should be planted on the floor while the toes of your back foot provide you with stability.
Keep your head straight while your palms should be facing upwards.
While keeping your elbows slightly bent in the initial position, lift the handles upwards and inwards above your chest height.
Provide constant tension for a second or two when your arms are fully extended above the chest level.
Inhale and gradually drop your arms back to their initial position.
Perform this movement repeatedly in each set.
One thing to note is that you should not stand too far from the cable machine as it can injure your shoulder blades.
Cable chest workouts are an excellent way of achieving strong chest muscles while toning your upper body. They are more convenient than lifting free weights and ensure your safety and convenience. By performing cable chest exercises in the right fashion, you can attain a broader chest. We hope that our list of cable chest exercises helps you accomplish your fitness goals. Good luck!