The 4 Best Chest Exercises On The Cables

The cable machine is often underutilized in some gyms, with many people opting for the simplicity and familiarity of the barbell or the free weights over the cables. While this is by no means a bad thing, the cables offer the opportunity to work your muscles in a slightly different way, hitting them from new angles and potentially promoting new growth.

One of the areas that can be worked effectively using the cable machine is the chest. If you’ve trained regularly at a gym, you’ll know that getting a bench and a bar on a Monday (which was preordained as chest day by the gods thousands of years ago) can be close to impossible. Why not mix things up every once in a while and try some new movements?

Here we’ll look at the 4 best chest exercises on the cables and explain how best to perform them, including some awesome retro instructional images!

Cable Crossover

  1. Set up with the cable pulley at shoulder height
  2. Grab a handle in each hand and stand just in front of the towers, with one foot a little in front of the other
  3. Maintaining a slight bend in your elbows, bring your hands downwards in front of your chest
  4. Pause briefly as your hands come together in front of the middle of your chest
  5. Return to the starting position in a controlled manner, focusing on the pectorals


Front Cable Raises

  1. Set up with the pulley close to the floor
  2. The starting position in standing upright, with your core tight and a slight bend in your knees
  3. Take the pulley in your left hand and begin the movement around waist height, with an overhand grip
  4. Keeping your arm straight, raise your arm up until it’s at shoulder height
  5. Pause briefly at the top of the movement before lowering your arm to the starting position in a controlled manner
  6. Complete your target reps before repeating the movement with your right arm


Flat Bench Cable Flys

  1. Set up a flat bench between the cable towers and set the pulley height just above the floor
  2. Grab a handle with each hand using an underhand grip
  3. Pull the cables together while maintaining a slight bend in the elbow, squeezing the chest until the hands meet in the middle
  4. Pause briefly before lowering the handles to bench height in a controlled manner


Incline Cable Flys

  1. Place an incline bench set at a 45-degree angle between two cable towers.
  2. Set up a bench between the towers at a 45-degree angle, with the pulleys set just above floor height
  3. Grasp a pulley in each hand with your palms facing up
  4. Pull the cables together while maintaining a slight bend in the elbow, squeezing the chest until the hands meet in the middle
  5. Hold for a moment and then slowly lower your hands back to starting position at along the same arc


If you’re looking to work on your chest a little more, check out our best chest exercises for mass article for plenty more workout ideas!


  • Updated July 15, 2020
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