Cable Machine Exercises: Single Arm Chest Press

The chest press is not only one of the most diverse and adaptable exercises, but also one of the most beneficial. Because the muscles in your chest are responsible for a great number of different functions in your body, it’s important that you treat them carefully and exercise them in isolation. The chest press is a great way of doing that.

If you’re looking for a great way of exercising using a chest press exercise that doesn’t involve dumbbells, barbells or other weights, consider using a cable machine. A cable machine provides an even bit of resistance which is safer and easier to use for many people than dumbbells. One of the many cable machine variations on the standard chest press is the single arm chest press.

Exercise Basics

The first thing that you’ll need to do in order to complete this exercise is to set the weight on the cable machine appropriately. You can do this by setting the weight at the base of the machine; begin with a low level weight and then work your way up from there as you feel more and more comfortable with the level of weight.

Next, position yourself so that you’re ready to complete the exercise. First, stand with your legs in a split stance. This means that your right leg should be in front of your left by about one foot or a foot and a half. Your legs can be parallel and facing forward, away from the machine. Orient your torso so that you’re facing away from the machine at about a 45 degree angle and hold the cable handle in your left hand. Keep your right hand at your side or extended out in front of you. This is the basic resting position for this exercise.

To execute the exercise, twist your torso around and bring your left arm forward to an extended position slowly. When you’re facing forward and your arm is fully extended, slowly return to the resting position to complete one repetition.

Safety and Injury Prevention

It might help to brace yourself by holding on to a sturdy object with your free hand. Additionally, it’s important that you not put too much weight on the cable machine to begin with so that you don’t overload yourself. Stretch your obliques, your back muscles, your core and your chest before you workout, as all of these muscles have the potential to be strained through this exercise.


It’s a good idea to flip around and face the other direction so that you can complete the same number of repetitions for the exercise with your right hand as well. For another modification, try holding on to two handles from the cable machine and facing forward away from it. Do the same pulling motion to extend both hands forward for a full chest press. This works a slightly different group of muscles and is a good addition.


About Author

Posts By Sequoia