How To Do Reverse Cable Crossovers

Reverse Cable Crossover (How To, Benefits, Muscles Worked)

Reverse Cable Crossovers are a great exercise that targets your rear delts and upper back, helping you work an area of the body that can often be overlooked.

This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need to master this exercise, understand its benefits, and incorporate it into your workout routine effectively. I even give you a few alternative exercises in case you don’t have access to a cable machine.

How To Do Reverse Cable Crossovers

Equipment Needed

  • Cable Pulley Machine

Muscles Worked

  • Rear Deltoids
  • Rhomboids
  • Trapezius
  • Infraspinatus & Teres Minor

Step-by-Step Instructions

  • Start by setting up the cable machine: Position the pulleys at shoulder height or slightly below and attach a single handle to each side.
  • Stand in the center of the cable machine with your feet shoulder-width apart and a slight bend in your knees. Grab a handle in each hand with an overhand grip.
  • Take a step forward with one foot to create a stable base. This will help maintain balance and control throughout the exercise.
  • Extend your arms out to the sides, keeping them slightly bent. Your palms should be facing forward, and your elbows should be slightly below shoulder level. This is your starting position.
  • Engage your core muscles and maintain an upright posture throughout the exercise.
  • Keeping your arms slightly bent, exhale and pull the handles in front of your body, crossing them over each other. Focus on squeezing your chest muscles as you bring your hands together.
  • Pause briefly at the fully contracted position, feeling the tension in your chest and shoulders.
  • Inhale and slowly return your arms back to the starting position in a controlled manner.
  • Repeat the movement for the desired number of repetitions.

Coaching Points

Avoid using excessive momentum or swinging your body during the exercise. Focus on controlled movements to fully engage your muscles.

Keep your shoulders relaxed and down, avoiding any shrugging or tension.

Benefits of Reverse Cable Crossovers

Reverse Cable Crossovers come with a variety of benefits. Here are just a few:

Upper Body Strength

Reverse cable crossovers mainly target your deltoids (shoulders), but they also work your trapezius, rhomboids, and other muscles in your upper back.

Muscular Balance

Many people overemphasize chest and front shoulder workouts (aka too much Bench Pressing), which can create a muscular imbalance that contributes to poor posture and increases the risk of injury.

Reverse Cable Crossovers can help restore balance by targeting the often neglected rear deltoids and upper back muscles.

Core Stability

While the main focus of the Reverse Cable Crossover is the upper body, maintaining stability during the exercise also works your core muscles.

These muscles are crucial for overall stability and can help improve performance in many other exercises and physical activities.

Reverse Cable Crossover Alternatives

Need an alternative movement for Reverse Cable Crossovers? Here are a couple of exercises that you may be able to use as a replacement.

Dumbbell Rear Delt Fly

Dumbbell Rear Delt Raise

Dumbbell Rear Delt Flys primarily target the rear deltoids and upper back muscles, similar to the Reverse Cable Crossover.

To do this exercise, bend over at the hips so your torso is nearly parallel to the floor, then raise your arms out to your sides, keeping your elbows slightly bent. One of the key benefits is that it can be done with basic equipment, which makes it more accessible if a cable machine is not available.

Cable Face Pulls

Cable Face Pulls with Rope

Cable Face Pulls are an excellent exercise for your rear deltoids, trapezius, and rhomboids. This exercise requires a cable machine with a rope attachment. Stand in front of the cable machine, grab the rope with both hands and pull the rope towards your face while keeping your elbows high.

Face Pulls are beneficial because they can effectively isolate and target the rear deltoids, while also involving the muscles of the upper back.

Don’t have a cable machine? Try Face Pulls with a Resistance Band.

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