T Nation

Exercise substitutes

What is a good substitute for the standing cable crossover if you dont have access to a cable crossover machine?

I’d suggest Dumbbell Flies. As it is, even with access to a crossover tower, I try to avoid 'em.

Another thing that might work for you (works much better with cables), is to take a dumbell in each hand, palms up and raise the dumbells up towards your chest and contract your pecs at the top of the movement. You need to hold the angle of your arms the same and just kind of bring them up from your waist to chest level and contract. I’m sure my description is of absolutely no help, but this will hit the lower and mid pecs.

Why do you avoid cable crossovers?

If you’re looking for a profound answer, you’re not going to find it, Sorry :wink:

It just happens that I associate cable crossovers with skinny jackasses in Wife beaters(The tower is in front of the mirrors, etc). So in my mind they’ve become a “weenie” excercise. Maybe it’s an unfounded bias, maybe it’s complete bullshit, but it’s gone next to the PecDeck in the list of excercises i try to avoid. They both have places in some routines, but I prefer to stick to Bench and Fly variations along with dips.

I presume then, somewhere in your prescribed workout there are cable crossovers, so you feel obliged to do them? Dude, I have nightmares about not having access to a cable crossover machine- can you imagine? you poor b*****d.
Just kidding- seriously I may get lambasted for this, but I think the cable crossover exercise is something that belongs in the pages of Muscle and Fitness (no malice intended, indeed I am a subscriber, even though it was a Christmas gift subscription from a well-meaning girlfriend. I’ll let you guys read it when I’m finished if you like!:-)).

OK, I guess I’m being a bit harsh- However I class it as a “cutting” exercise vs a bulk-builder.It DOES stimulate a large proportion of the pec muscle (pectoralis major) both externally and internally through it’s range of motion. But IMO I feel that the weight I can handle in strict form is too piddly to build any significant mass, as the range of the movement is so extreme (complete extension to complete contraction) that I feel intimidated I will initiate muscle/tendon damage with any significant weight.

If you are really sorry to see it go from your routine, there are plenty of other pec- movements that can substitute quite nicely (if you want to isolate the pecs). One option would be the incline DB flye (I purposefully cheat in this movement, so as not to jeopardise a tear, by keeping a slight bend in the elbow at full extension- allows me to handle more weight too.). The other that I thought of is the one I would go for- I’m all for speed and efficiency of workout- get in, get it done, and get home to eat. In this respect the DB INCLINE PRESS is perfect! As long as you bring the DB’s down fairly low, and slightly to the side of your chest, you’ll feel the contraction in the pecs before the tri’s kick in. PLUS you can handle more weight, PLUS you kill 2 birds with 1 stone, as you won’t need to do a bench press exercise- its already included!(I presume that you were benching first anyway in this routine, not just going straight for cable crossovers).

Am I a genius or what?!
All defamations now gratefully accepted. SRS