Crossovers are an amazing chest
sculpting exercise. It gives your chest muscles a fuller and more
sculpted look. I also like it because since you use your legs, glutes
and core muscles for balance and support, it becomes an excellent full
body exercise as well. I recommend that it be done in the
middle of your chest workout or towards the end.
There are many ways to do this exercise including standing up more or
less straight, bent-over or in a position somewhere in-between. When
you do this
exercise standing up you are focusing primarily on your upper
pectoral muscles. When you are doing them completely bent-over you are
entire chest muscle group including your upper pectoral muscles. By
changing the angle at which you are bent forward will affect which
chest muscles you will be working out and how you will work them out.
It's a good idea to try different different positions for added
In my video, I first start with the crossovers in the standing or
more upright position and then I do it in the completely bent-over
movement and the way to do both variations of this exercise are the
Method of Performance - Bent-Over Crossovers:
Attach a couple of
handles to the opposite sides of the cable pulley machines. There are
many different types of cable pulley machines or workstations that you
can use for this exercise. I prefer the workstation with the pulleys
directly opposite to me and further away as the one in the video made
Adjust the height for
the handles, should be a notch or two above your shoulders depending
how you want to perform this exercise.
Grab the handles with
the palms facing inwards towards each other.
Decide upon the
position you are going to assume. For the bent over position, bend
completely over at the same time bringing the handles inwards towards
each other as you do so. Stand with knees bent over your feet and about
shoulder width apart. This is your starting position.
From this starting
position release back the handles by moving your arms backwards as far
as they can comfortably go approximately where your upper arms are
horizontal with your shoulders while the time maintaining a
bed in the elbows as you do this.
Bring the handles
inwards maintaining the bend in the elbows until the two handles are
together and repeat.
Do about 12
repetitions of 4 to 5 sets.
In this exercise, the
bend in the elbows acts as a lever, it will allow you use more weight
without putting undue stress on your arms because the arms are not
doing all the work. The bend in the elbows transfers the energy
required to do this movement to this “lever in the
arms” and consequently works the chest more effectively.
When you are doing this exercise properly, you do not need to clasp
your hand fully around the handle, just wrapping your palms around the
handles is enough to do the movement as I have shown in the second set
of this video to demonstrate this point.
Remember to breathe.
Exhale as you bring the handles inwards and Inhale as you bring the
handles out or release.
For the upright
standing position of the
method of performance is the same, just bring the handles in front of
you following a plane that is horizontal to the floor, legs slightly
apart with a very slight bend in the knees. You can also use a slightly
bent forward lunge position for more support and stability with 1 foot
bent out front and the other straight back. The handles should be set
at around your shoulder or chest height based on machine slot
It's a good idea to do short stretches in between sets to keep your
muscles flexible and to prevent future injuries and muscle soreness the