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11 Best Cable Crossover Alternatives

cable crossover alternatives

What Is A Cable Crossover, And What Muscles Does It Work?

Cable crossover is the ultimate chest exercise for strength and mass. With a cable in each hand, you must stand squarely in the center of a cable machine and bring the hands straight around to the middle of your chest. The goal of cable crossovers is to create a well-defined pectoral area by moving slowly and steadily. 

Cable crossovers isolate the pectoral muscles of the chest, working both the inner and outer rims. The movement primarily works chest muscles. What to do if you don’t have a cable machine or just want to try something new? Luckily, there are many cable crossover alternatives you can try.

11 Cable Crossover Alternatives 

Don’t forget to do warm-ups before any of the exercises mentioned below. This way, you will significantly reduce the risk of injury. Start with a lightweight, gradually increasing the load. Heavy training should be the last one in your workout plan.

Dumbbell Fly

Athletes and bodybuilders who wish to improve their endurance, strength, and power might benefit from the DB fly exercise. 

How to do a dumbbell fly:

  • Lay flat on the bench with your feet firmly planted on the ground.
  • Maintain a straight spine and a stronghold on the bench with both hands.
  • Obtain two dumbbells and grip one in each hand.
  • Slowly stretch your arms out in front of you. Make sure to keep your elbows bent and your hands facing each other.
  • When the dumbbells are in line with the chest, gently lower them.
  • As you exhale, raise the dumbbells in a sweeping arc motion.

It’s good to choose a weight that enables you to complete 8 to 10 repetitions.

Incline Dumbbell Fly

The exercise is excellent for isolating and loading chest muscles. Other muscles worked are anterior deltoids and biceps.

How to do incline dumbbell fly:

  • Lie down on an incline bench. Keep your knees bent and feet on the floor.
  • Grab dumbbells using a neutral grip. Keep the weight in extended hands in front of you.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbells, maintaining a slight bend in your elbows. Go down as far as you can until you feel the stretch in your chest and shoulders.
  • Go back to the starting position.

Maintain a slight arch in your back throughout the whole movement. Make sure the dumbbells are always staying over your chest. Don’t let them drift towards your neck and face.

Resistance Band Crossover

The exercise primarily targets the chest and, to a lesser degree, also loads the shoulders and biceps. Athletes praise resistance band crossover for its convenience. 

How to do a resistance band crossover:

  • Take a resistance band and wrap it around a straight pole. Keep the band at or around the chest level.
  • Face away from the bar and grab handles in each hand, spreading them out to the sides.
  • Slowly allow your hands to come in towards each other.
  • Keep your arms extended in front of you until you feel a stretch in your chest.
  • Hold this position for a while, and come back to the start. 

One-Arm Dumbbell Bench Press

This exercise improves stability, enhances flat-pressing skills, and helps to build strong triceps, chest, and shoulder muscles. A secondary goal of this exercise is preparing the athlete for more difficult bilateral exercises.

How to do one-arm dumbbell bench press:

  • Lie down on the bench. Bend knees and keep the feet on the floor.
  • Grab the dumbbell and hold it in front of you.
  • Create tension on the free side of your body to prevent rotating. The best way to do that is to make a fist. 
  • Lower the dumbbell just above the shoulder. This keeps your shoulder in a safe position.
  • Come back to the start and do reps.

Inner Peck Pushups

While regular pushups are great, there is a variation that can make them even better, especially when you’re trying to build a bigger chest. It’s called the inner peck pushup. The reason why it’s a great cable crossover alternative is that you get the adduction that is present in cable crossovers but isn’t in a regular pushup.

How to do inner peck pushups:

  • Assume a pushup position with your hands about shoulder-width apart
  • Lower yourself down just like you would with a regular pushup
  • Pause for a second
  • Start pushing yourself up and rotate your torso towards one arm. This will also make you shift your weight towards the opposite hand more.
  • Alternate sides with each rep that you do

TRX Chest Fly

Practicing TRX Chest Fly is one of the best ways to maintain body coordination, stimulate muscles, and improve your core.

How to do TRX Chest Fly:

  • Take a step back and place your hands on your hips on each side of your torso. It’s essential to pay attention to how far your body is positioned forward when encountering resistance.
  • Open your hands to the sides.
  • Bend your arms slightly. Pause.
  • Squeeze and make your hands contact.
  • Make reps.

Don’t move too quickly. If you don’t have complete control over the procedure and go too quickly, it might be hazardous. The internal rotation of the shoulders is another thing to avoid.

Band Resisted Push-Ups

The exercise’s technique equals ordinary push-ups. The only difference is using a band. Thanks to it, you create more resistance at the top of the movement, making the movement more intense. 

How to do a band resisted push-ups:

  • There are several ways to set up the band for practicing band resisted push-ups. The simplest one is to loop the band around your back and press it to the floor with your hands. Make sure the band is secure and doesn’t impede your arm movement.
  • Perform the exercise as you do regular push-ups. Keep your feet together, your body in a straight line, and your spine in a neutral position as you begin. Set a comfortable distance between your hands and your shoulders.
  • Push your body down to the floor, bending your elbows.
  • Return to the starting position.

Start with the lighter band to get the technique down. Is it too challenging for you to perform such a movement? Try to do it standing on your knees and keeping your legs together.

Hindu Push-Ups

Multiple muscle groups are worked concurrently in these push-ups. Hindu push-ups emphasize the delts, triceps, serratus anterior, subscapularis, erector spine, and hips, whereas regular push-ups focus primarily on the chest muscles.

How to do Hindu push-ups:

  • Get down on your knees. Shoulder-width apart hands. Look down at your feet with your buttocks dangling in the air.
  • Dip your head between your shoulders and drive your body through with your chest as you lower your head—Tuck your elbows in as you lower yourself using your lats.
  • Make a wave. Stretch your arms to their greatest length as you rise to your feet. Maintain a straight spine and a strong core when doing this exercise.
  • Return to the starting position.

This is a challenging exercise to do correctly. In the long run, it will be worth it. Performing Hindu push-ups improves your flexibility, strengthens your joints, and improves your overall health.

TRX Push Up

This exercise is great for building functional strength. It requires full-body activation and provides endless space for progression.

How to do a TRX Push-Up:

  • Get your hands in the handles and come forward. The more upright your body is, the easier the exercise is going to be. Choose the starting position according to your fitness level. The most challenging stance is when the straps are underneath the attachment point.
  • Put your hands shoulder-width apart and imagine you have a bar between your hands. “Touch” your chest to that imaginary bar. 
  • Come back up. 

Note that straps should stay off your arms and let you move free enough.

Chest Dips

A chest dip is a great compound movement that targets all three heads of your triceps. There are a few exercise variations you can utilize. No matter what variation you choose, you need parallel bars. 

How to do a chest dip:

  • Hold yourself in the air, keeping your feet together and hands straight. Hold the dip bars with your hands close to your body.
  • Focus on keeping your head and chest up. Keep your elbows close to the torso throughout the movement.
  • Lower yourself as far as your shoulder flexibility will allow. Remember that your core and glutes should stay contracted as you go down.
  • Return to the starting position. Do reps.

Svend Press

The svend press is the final cable crossover option, but it is far from the least important. You’ll only need two weight plates to grasp and push together with your hands on either side.

How to do a svend press:

The starting stance implies standing straight with your shoulders back and feet hip-width apart.

  • Press a pair of lightweight plates against each other, and hold it with both hands in front of you. 
  • Choose a grip with palms in and fingers forward.
  • As you slowly extend your arms in front of you, keep the plates in front of your chest.
  • Set your weights on your chest and pull them back down once again.

Keep your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle to prevent overworking yourself. Your whole upper body, particularly your shoulders and chest, will feel the burn.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can you do instead of a cable crossover?

There are plenty of options. You can try resistance band rows, resistance band pull-apart, and resisted push-ups if you have an elastic band. Do you want some alternative without any equipment? Hindu push-ups might be helpful.

Are cable crossovers practical?

With the cable crossover, you may target the outside pec muscle fibers from the start position, making it an excellent chest workout. The part of your chest defines the pulley position that you wish to work on.

Can you do cable crossovers with resistance bands?

Resistance bands are a great alternative to the gym’s cable machine. Resistance bands will help you perform similar exercises and achieve desired workout goals at home.


It’s not a secret that a cable crossover machine is the best equipment for professionals and those who want to reach maximum chest gains. It allows performing many exercises for upper body muscles and saves your time. However, there are plenty of alternatives for those who don’t have such equipment and prefer to train at home. You can use dumbbells, plates, or resistance bands to achieve your upper body workout goals. Check out our list of cable crossover alternatives and pick the exercise that suits you most.