Crossover Alternatives
  • How to Choose the Best Alternatives for Cable Crossover: The Ultimate Guide to Finding

    31 Mar 2021

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    Editor-in-Chief of the Approved By Coach

    For a year now, many if not all aspects of our lives are disrupted. Like many of you, we hoped that we will be able to return to normalcy once the vaccines are out. Nonetheless, it seems that things aren’t going at the pace we had hoped, doesn’t it? Still, we are trying to handle the situation the best we can, don’t we?

    The most challenging for us was to deal with the inability to go to the gym. Before the pandemic, we used to go at least three times a week. Hence most of our workouts depended on machines and equipment in the gym. When gyms closed at the beginning of the pandemic, we found ourselves in a rather unpleasant situation. Apart from few dumbbells and a jumping rope we didn’t have any equipment to workout at home. It was still cold so we didn’t feel drawn by the idea to go out and train. Honestly, it took us a while to figure out what to do.

    Our apartment is small, so cramming it with all the home gym equipment was out of the question!

    Thus, we started thinking about the necessities and concluded that we can only get the treadmill. So the question was, how are we going to do some other exercises that require pieces of equipment we cant buy. So we’ve decided that the best idea would be to find a cable crossover alternative. After all, this is an important chest and generally upper body workout and we didn’t want to put it on hold, but we couldn’t think of a solution.

    So we’ve decided to consult with our trainer, about what would be the best course of action. And she told us that we don’t really have to rely solely on machines, and there is an alternative to cable crossover. Thus, we’ve decided to investigate and learn more about which cable crossover replacement exercises we could do, and also share them with you!

    What Muscles Work in The Cable Crossover Exercise?

    What Muscles Work in The Cable Crossover Exercise

    As we mentioned, cable crossover is a type of workout designed to strengthen the upper body, particularly the chest. It is done on the machine which involves pulleys. This exercise mostly trains:

    Benefits of Cable Crossover

    • It has everything: It is one of the best exercises for everyone engaged in bodybuilding or strength training. The great thing about it is that your shoulder blades are free to move because you perform the cable crossover exercise while standing.
    • It is a unilateral workout: It means that you are working one side of the body at a time. Basically, with this exercise, you get balanced muscular development.

    How to Replace Cable Crossover

    How to Replace Cable Crossover

    As you can see in some situations it can be challenging to work on a cable crossover machine. Fortunately, there are plenty of exercises that can perform as a replacement for cable crossover.

    So let’s take a look at a few:

    Resistance Band Crossover

    Resistance bands are phenomenal and versatile strength training tools. They are lightweight, portable, and inexpensive. So you can afford them regardless of your budget. Working out with them you will get the best alternative exercise to cable crossover.

    How to Perform

    1. Take a band in each hand and hold them at the height of your shoulders
    2. Walk forward until you feel there is enough tension in the bands
    3. Stand in a split position.
    4. Slightly bend forward with hips. Make sure to have a straight back.
    5. Keep arms a bit bent in elbows as you cross over the hands in front of you
    6. Return to starting position


    When you perform this substitute for cable crossover, do the reps slowly. That will ensure that you’ll spend as much time as possible under resistance.

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    Incline Dumbbell Fly

    This is an excellent cable crossover alternative with dumbbells. You need to have an incline bench or something that can play the role of it. Moreover, these dumbbell chest exercises require resistance bands.

    How to Perform

    1. Lie on the bench, and hold the dumbbells in both hands.
    2. Keep the body aligned with your chest
    3. Arms should be extended on your sides.
    4. Bend the elbows and lift arms above the chest while holding the dumbbells.


    When you’re performing this cable crossover substitute, make sure to bring back the arms slowly. Then repeat the move.

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    Yes, you’ve probably heard so much about push-ups, and how effective of an exercise they are. Indeed, experts often recommend it, because they are a marvelous full-body workout and an amazing cable crossover alternative at home.

    How to Perform

    1. Get down on all fours
    2. Keep the hands a bit wider than shoulder apart.
    3. Strengthen arms and legs
    4. Lower your body as much as possible, aiming that your chest nearly touches the floor.
    5. Pause and return to the starting position
    6. Repeat


    When you perform this cable crossover alternative, make sure to avoid rounding your spine, since that will make push-up less effective.

    Chest Dips

    Chest dips are considered as the best calisthenics chest workout and a convenient strength exercises to do at home. And the good thing is – there are plenty of ways to perform them.

    How to Perform

    1. Place your palms on the elevated parallel platform (kitchen counter, chairs, nightstands, etc).
    2. Make sure that the bars (chairs, etc) are shoulder-width apart.
    3. Lift your body making sure that your elbows are not locked in an upright position. You can bend your legs.
    4. Dip the body lower and lean slightly forward.


    When you come to the point of doing 50 dips start using weights for an added challenge.

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    Resistance Band Side Raise

    Another fantastic alternative exercise for cable crossover.

    How to Perform

    1. Stand with one foot in the middle of the band. Step forward with another.
    2. Tighten the abs and avoid bending the back.
    3. Raise your arms, while keeping the elbows slightly bent.
    4. Slowly return to the starting position.


    When you perform this cable crossover alternative, make sure to feel the muscles contracting before lowering your arms.

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    cable crossover

    All and all, cable crossover is a truly fantastic exercise. It offers a lot of benefits, and not just for professional bodybuilders but also people like us, who just want to be stronger.

    However, as you could see it is not always possible to use the necessary equipment. Fortunately, there are plenty of phenomenal cable crossover alternative exercises that we can do at home or any other place.

    Thus, we sincerely hope that we’ve helped you pick the alternative to cable crossover that will be just perfect for you! So best of luck on your fitness journey and don’t let anything stop you from achieving your goals!

    P.S. So which substitute for cable crossover you think is the best? Have you tried some of these before? feel free to share your thoughts and experience with us in the comments!

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