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Cable Crossovers (CHEST)

We've all been in that situation: You come into the gym, excited about the prospect of a fantastic exercise, only to be met with machines that are everything but obvious in terms of how to operate them. Take, for example, cable machines. People sometimes assume that they can only use one cable at a time because of their movable nature (the cable can be positioned up top for motions like tricep pull-downs or bicep cable curls from underneath) and a wide-set display. In actuality, the cables on either side of the machine are there so that users can stand in the middle and do the cable crossover, one of the most effective standing chest workouts.

1. Set the cable height to the highest setting and then secure an appropriate lifting weight. Grab the cable handles one at a time and place them in the center of the cable rack, immediately ahead of the rack line and pulley lever.

2. Your arms should be outstretched, your waist should be bent slightly forward, and your core should be taut. You can have a symmetrical or asymmetrical stance with your feet just outside shoulder width, whichever makes you feel more balanced. This is where you'll begin.

3. As you exhale, compress your chest and bring your outstretched arms together in front of your body (angled downwards) with a slight bend at the elbow. As your arms make a big arc from the shoulder joint, your body remains immobile. At the end of the action, where the cable handles meet in the middle, pause and squeeze for a brief second.

4. Now, inhale while you reverse the movement, bringing the chest back to full expansion with arms outstretched. The chest muscle should be stretched and opened up completely.