Cable crossover is one of the finest exercises for developing a powerful and ripped chest. This makes it a good part of most upper body workout routines.
But, what if you don’t have access to a gym or a cable machine? Is your chest development bound to fail? Absolutely not!
There are several options for getting over the lack of a cable machine and remaining on track for getting the chest muscles you always wanted.
We will explore the 10 best cable crossover alternative workouts that target the exact muscles as cable crossovers. Moreover, they offer most of the same advantages without requiring a costly and space-consuming cable machine.
Try these whenever you want to get away from cable crossovers, but also wish for a solid pec exercise. So, let’s get started!
Why Do Crossover Exercises Work So Well?
Hang on, first, we will go over what makes crossover exercise so effective. These exercises essentially work by targeting several muscle groups simultaneously.
Since they target various chest parts at the same time, they allow for additional muscular development in your upper body.
Moreover, they have an extra benefit to working out your core as well. If you utilize your abdominal muscles regularly, you will be able to develop a stronger core.
Thus, they will serve as the basis for the majority of your exercises.
The Best Cable Crossover Alternatives to Consider
For these, you will need dumbbells, resistance bands, and a flat bench for some of the workouts but the price of buying these few items is far lower as compared to cable crossover equipment.
1. TRX Cable Chest Fly
The TRX cable chest fly is an excellent alternative to the cable crossovers. It essentially provides several advantages to the upper body and structural strength.
It builds the chest, shapes the arms, flexes the shoulders, strengthens the elbows, and toughens the entire torso. How’s that for a complete upper body workout?
If you wish to make your workout more difficult, lower the grips to further put stress on your arms, shoulders, and chest.
However, during this workout, your body should constantly remain in a straight line. This is because you can hurt yourself if you bend your back or stress your neck too much.
2. Wide Grip Dips
Many people think of dips as a triceps workout, however, they’re also a great chest exercise that matches up well with the bench press.
When you see the upper arm motion throughout dips, and even more so when using a wide grip, you can feel how wide grip dips are so similar to the cable crossovers.
As wide grip dips are a bodyweight workout as well, they don’t require much equipment. However, these can be stressful on your shoulders, specifically if you go down too much.
3. Standing One-Arm Landmine Press
The standing one-arm landmine press is an excellent workout for developing chest bulk and practical power in the shoulders.
It decreases tightness in your shoulder muscles and promotes agility as a result. Furthermore, this extends your lats and strengthens your back to a certain degree.
But, this workout is more suitable for experienced lifters. This is because it needs precision and a basic degree of endurance which you gain with time. You have to be extra careful in maintaining proper position and form. Even when you’re tilting a bit forward, your body needs to remain in a straight line.
4. Dumbbell Flyes
Dumbbell flyes are also an excellent cable crossover alternative for home exercisers. This is because they employ the exact motion as the cable crossovers.
Considering that your body weight is held by a bench, this workout helps you to press more weight. This, in turn, emphasizes your chest muscles far more.
You also do not worry if you don’t have a bench. This is because you can also perform dumbbell flyes on the floor. However, your degree of movement is reduced as your upper arms will come into contact with the floor.
Overall, dumbbell flyes are a great workout. They, depending on the angle of your bench, can target all sections of your chest muscles.
5. Dumbbell Squeeze Press
The dumbbell squeeze press stimulates the inner pecs. They are ideally performed using hex-shaped dumbbells, although round ones can also be enough for this exercise.
The more force you apply to press the dumbbells together, the more impactful this workout gets.
You don’t require huge weights to do this which makes it a suitable workout for home exercisers. This is especially great for people who consider that hard pressing induces shoulder pain.
You can perform this workout on an incline, decline, on a flat bench, as well as while lying on the ground.
6. Resistance Band Crossover
Resistance band crossover is a highly beneficial workout. It is perfect for increasing muscular agility and developing anything from your chest to your shoulders and back muscles as a complete workout.
It’s also a fantastic solution for at-home exercisers but you will need to have two resistance bands and a place to lock them.
And the best part is that you can get the exact result of a cable machine with workout resistance bands. You can alternatively utilize one band for one arm at a time as well to perform these exercises.
7. Diamond Push-Ups
Since push-ups are a compound workout, this alternative focuses on the inner chest, and that’s why it’s included in the list of our top cable crossover alternatives.
You perform diamond push-ups by putting your hands together with such that your thumbs and first fingers make a diamond pattern.
While diamond push-ups are more of an exercise to strengthen and develop larger triceps, it’s also highly beneficial as an inner chest workout.
8. Single-Arm Dumbbell Bench Press
It’s among the most challenging shoulder exercises because it directs all the strain on a single arm.
It includes lying down in a flat posture, carrying a dumbbell in front of your chest, extending your arm, and lifting it over your head. This enhances your shoulders’ strength and stability.
Furthermore, it works on your elbow joints and maintains their mobility. Moreover, the chest also gets developed by this as it sustains a portion of the sheer heavyweight.
9. Decline Dumbbell Bench Press
Decline dumbbell bench press is a brilliant way to begin any chest exercise. This is because it enables you to develop a strong chest without relying on a cable crossover machine.
It’s one of the essential workouts in which you can concentrate on increasing actual weight and gradually improving it.
Doing all types of benching will build your chest but the decline dumbbell bench press is by far the most similar to a cable crossover. This is because it can reach greater ranges and targets your shoulder stabilizer muscles to perform harder and maintain the unstable weight.
10. Medicine Ball Push-Ups
Medicine ball push-ups require you to press inside, which boosts the activation of your inner pecs.
This workout is identical to diamond push-ups, but this time, your hands are on a medicine ball.
The difference is that you will need to put extra effort to maintain balance when the ball wobbles. This further increases the difficulty of this workout.
If you want to make this exercise a bit easier, you can lower your legs and place your knees on the ground.
Which Muscles Will Be Targeted By Crossovers?
One of the most effective and substantial aspects of crossover exercises is that they produce precise chest stimulation.
This not solely works on your chest, but it also focuses on the entire range of the chest’s activity.
It’s basically about extending your chest muscles to their limit and then isolating it with prolonged action.
As your chest will be performing nearly all of the strain in this workout, you can have a fantastic pec exercise by just using a low weight for it.
Not just this, it also aids in the management of the movement’s weaker points such as the end range.
In addition, the crossover exercises can be highly beneficial for your shoulders’ condition – but only if you implement them properly.
Is it Effective to Perform Crossovers Without a Machine?
Free weights and resistance bands can be a brilliant alternative to pricier cable crossover machines if used appropriately.
The most essential point is to do the actions correctly. This in turn will mean that you replicate the same moves when you do the standard cable crossovers.
Keep it a steady, high-grade workout that burns your muscles upon 8 to 10 reps, and you’ll get the equivalent benefits without needing a cable machine.
Maintain your chest routine basic until you reach a considerable pro standard of muscle mass.
There’s no doubt that cable crossovers are a terrific workout to complete your pec exercise but it’s not a good idea to solely rely on them.
And not all can afford a fully prepared home gym that costs thousands of dollars. Plus, you will achieve greater benefits from your workout if you don’t entirely depend on it and regularly switch to different exercises in your routine.
Get a decent-grade TRX and resistance bands, with a couple of dumbbells, and you can have equally impressive exercises with them as you would get from a cable machine.
Each of these cable crossover alternative exercises targets the exact muscles. Moreover, these alternatives will keep your workouts interesting, effective, and affordable but with a little variation. So try and find out which one works best for you!