Cable crossovers are an effective way to work your pectoral muscles. Whether you are just getting started in the gym or have quite a bit of experience, you'll benefit from doing this exercise.
How to Do Cable Crossovers
All you need to do this exercise is a crossover machine. Before you start, be sure to choose the right amount of weight on each side of the crossover machine. If you're doing this exercise for the first time, start with a small amount of weight. Even if you decide to increase the weight during your next session, using a small amount at first will ensure you get a feel for this exercise while using good form. Once you've selected the amount of weight you want to use, move to the middle of the machine. You want to stand with one foot slightly in front of the other. It can be either foot, so try both to see which feels most comfortable to you. After you grab both handles, pull them down until they meet in front of your body.
Now that you're in the starting position, begin your first rep by gradually allowing the cables to go back towards the top of the crossover machine. As you do this, make sure it's a controlled movement. Simply allowing them to snap back to the top will decrease the results you get from this exercise. Additionally, make sure you stop before they go all the way to the top and allow the weight you're using to be set back down on the stack. Once you reach the top of the movement, bring the cables back down in front of you. While some people do choose to actually cross the cables in front of their bodies, many simply bring the handles together. The best thing is to experiment and see which method creates the most tension in your chest.
What to Avoid While Doing Cable Crossovers
If you want to get the most out of doing cable crossovers, there are several mistakes you need to avoid. One is using too much weight. Trying to use more weight than you can handle will result in you using poor form. Not only will this decrease the effectiveness of the cable crossovers you do, but it can also lead to injury. The ideal amount of weight is an amount that allows you to complete two full sets of 8 reps, but only 5 to 7 reps during the last set. Another common mistake you want to avoid is going through reps too quickly. If you're simply jerking the cables through reps as quickly as possible, you're not fully exerting your pectoral muscles. You also want to make sure you stay focused during each set of cable crossovers. Allowing yourself to be distracted means you won't fully isolate your chest muscles. By focusing on only using your chest to pull the cables, you will be able to build a better chest in a shorter amount of time.