Cable Machine Exercises: Side Cable Cross Over

A cable machine is a very simple device that consists of a handle attached to a cable which is fed through a pulley system and then attached to a weight or other form of mechanical resistance. One of the many different exercises possible with a cable machine is called the side cable crossover.

The Side Cable Crossover

The side cable crossover is a very easy exercise to perform. Simply broken down, the exercise consists of you pulling a pair of weighted cables attached to grips across your body. This can be done using a weight bench, flat or inclined, laying on the floor or standing. Each of these will work different muscle groups. Here are instructions on how to safely perform this exercise in the standing position.

Step 1: Set the Machine Up

Follow the directions that came with your particular exercise machine to position the pulleys as far to the sides as possible and at approximately shoulder height. Set the weight you’ll be working with to between thirty and forty pounds to start. You can always increase it if the weight is insufficient.

Step 2: Starting Position

The starting position will have you centered on the machine with the cable handles in your hands. Your hands should be straight out at your sides so that you form a ‘T.’ You should have the machine set so that you’re supporting the weight in this position.

Step 3: Perform the Crossover Maneuver

Keeping your arms straight with your elbows slightly bent, bring your hands together and then across your body until your right hand is on the left side of your body and vice versa.

Step 4: Return to Starting Position

Slowly bring your hands back to the starting position, keeping your arms straight, but not locking your elbows. This is one rep. A complete set will be 10 reps. A normal workout will consist of 10 sets, with a short break between sets.

The Benefits

This exercise will work all of the muscles in your arms and hands. Additionally, you will be working your abdominals and obliques as well as the muscles of your upper and middle back, such as the erector spinae and lats. With repetition comes toning. With weight will come added muscle mass.

Feel More Burn

Adding to the intensity of this exercise can be accomplished a few ways. One way is to increase the number of reps you do per set and in the whole workout. Bump it up to 15 reps and 15 sets. Decrease the resting period between sets. Once you’ve been working out for a little while, you can add weight.

Avoiding Injury

To decrease the chances of muscle or joint injury, rule number one is to start small and increase over time. Rule number two is to perform a proper warm up and stretching routing prior to working out, as well as a good cool down and stretch after the workout. This will maintain the elasticity and flexibility of your muscles and joints. Check with your doctor prior to beginning this exercise routine.


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