The cable cross-over is one of the most effective single-joint movement for chest development yet so many novice bodybuilders fail to adopt its proper form and technique to their detriment. Keep in mind that the risk for injuries increases with improper form and technique, not to mention that the desired results cannot be achieved.
If you are guilty of these mistakes in performing the cable cross-over, then it’s time to remedy the situation.
Opening and Closing Your Arms
When performing single-joint movements for your chest, including the cable cross-over, your elbows should be locked in a slightly bent position for the entire movement. Your elbow’s degree of bend shouldn’t open and close during the repetition such that it remains relatively the same throughout the movement’s duration. You have to maintain a big arc-like motion – think of it as if you are hugging a tree or a barrel and you get the general idea for the right technique.
If you are pressing your flyes – closing up your elbows during the stretched position and extending your arms in the contraction part – then you are using a too heavy weight. You are, in effect, turning a single-joint movement into a multi-joint exercise such that your chest is not doing the work – your shoulders are triceps are now doing it.
The solutions: Choose a lighter weight to avoid pressing your flyes. You should also rehearse the proper motion on a pec-deck machine.
Keeping Your Feet Together
You should be mindful of your center of gravity when doing strength training exercises like cable cross-overs because it contributes to proper form and technique. When doing cross-overs with your feet together, your body cannot effectively absorb the changes in your center of gravity with each change of movement. You may think that the added difficulty means better movement but this is not so – a cable cross-over is a detail, not a full-body, exercise such that when the movement becomes a struggle, its effectiveness is reduced.
The solution: Keep your feet fairly wide so that you stagger your stance. Your knees should also be unlocked so that your feet remains stable and you can experience the stress on your chest, not in your shoulders and arms.
If you are beginner, you should ask a personal trainer at Gold’s Gym for more inputs about the proper form and technique for every new exercise you are adding to your repertoire. With sufficient practice and positive results, you should master the movement and gain more benefits from it.