Is a cable chest workout for you?
We are all familiar with the traditional chest exercises: the bench press, push-up, dumbbell fly, and dip. But did you know that cable machines allow you to perform multiple fantastic movements for your pectorals?
Interestingly, you can have a fantastic cable chest workout, train the muscle group from multiple angles, and utilize several loading ranges.
What Is a Cable Chest Workout?
A cable chest workout is exactly as it sounds:
You perform an entire training session with nothing but a cable machine as your workout equipment. The great thing is that you can use a variety of movements without having to restrict yourself to the popular cable fly.
Six Fantastic Exercises You Can Include In a Cable Chest Workout
1. Cable Crossover Chest Fly
The cable crossover chest fly is a variation you perform on a pair of cable machines. You have to position both pulleys high, attach a handle on each, and grab them. Step forward and bring both arms in from your sides. But, instead of touching your hands, get one over the other to squeeze your chest extra hard.
2. Standing Close-Grip Cable Chest Press
Grab a pair of handles, bring them in front of your torso and put your hands together. From there, press forward with both hands, engaging your chest and triceps.
3. Cable Incline Bench Press
The cable incline bench press is a great accessory movement for chest growth. Like a regular incline press, the objective is to set the incline at 30 to 45 degrees. You must position the bench between a pair of cable machines, set the pulleys in a low position, grab both handles, and lie down. From there, begin to do reps as you usually would. (1)
4. High-to-Low Cable Fly
High-to-low cable flyes are an excellent movement for emphasizing your middle and lower chest. The objective is to position the pulley high, grab the handle, step forward, and bring your arm in and down in a diagonal path.
5. Low-to-High Cable Fly
In contrast to the previous exercise, the low-to-high cable fly trains and strengthens the upper chest. You must position the pulley in a low position, grab the handle attachment, step forward, and bring your arm in and up in a diagonal path.
6. Single-Arm Bent-Over Cable Chest Press
The objective is to bend forward while holding a handle attached to a high pulley. From there, press the handle down and in the opposite direction. Once finished, rotate 180 degrees, and perform the same number of reps for your other side.
What Benefits Does a Cable Chest Workout Offer?
A notable benefit of cable chest training is that you train your chest from multiple angles and cause more balanced development. For example, the high-to-low fly emphasizes your lower chest, whereas the low-to-high fly develops the upper pecs.
Another benefit of cable training is the constant tension. Unlike free weights (such as dumbbells), cables offer constant tension, leading to better muscle activation and more growth.
The third benefit of cable training is that you can overload your chest with as much weight as you can safely handle. Most cable machines come with heavy stacks, and you can use a variety of loads, light and heavy, to perform different movements.
Safety Considerations for Cable Chest Training
The most important safety consideration for cable chest training is to pick loads you can control safely. Cable machines are mostly safe, but there is still a risk of injury if you’re not careful. Always start very light on the weight you choose, and slowly progress to higher resistance.
Another thing to remember for cable training is to engage your midsection at the start of each set and maintain your rigidity until you’re done. Cables offer consistent tension on each rep, so you must counteract the external forces by remaining in a solid position.
The third safety consideration for safe cable training is to avoid training through an excessively long range of motion. For example, as you bring cables back from the top position, do so until your elbows are to your sides and avoid getting them too far back.
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- Study yields optimal bench press angle. CTVNews. (2015, April 18).