Cable Exercises a la Carte


Unilateral Chest Press
Attach a handle to the cable on the lowest setting. Place a flat bench next to the cable, so that the cable's point of attachment is a couple of feet away on the left side of the bench, with the bench perpendicular to the direction of the cable. Lie on your back on the bench with your feet on the floor and your head and neck supported by the bench. With the handle in your left hand, bend your elbow at 90 degrees with your upper arm straight out to the side, parallel to the floor, and your forearm pointing toward the ceiling. Your palm should face your feet. In a single fluid motion, open your elbow and press your hand straight toward the ceiling, until your arm is extended directly upward, then bend your elbow to bring your arm back to the starting position. Repeat for a set of 10 presses, then turn around on the bench (or, if necessary, turn the bench around) and do the same set on the right side.

Cable Cross
On a double arm cable machine, or standing between two facing cable machines, attach a handle to each cable on the high setting. Stand directly between the two cables' pulleys and grasp one handle in each hand, with palms facing toward your body. Sit back slightly through your hips to stabilize your lower body, and incline your chest forward at 45 degrees, keeping your back flat and your abs tight. Keeping your eyes forward and your arms straight, let your arms come up and back until they almost leave your peripheral vision—if you can no longer see them in your peripheral vision, you've gone too far. Engage your chest as you simultaneously bring both arms down in a wide press, letting them cross in front of you at the bottom of your motion. With a controlled motion, let your arms rise back to the starting position, being careful not to let your arms go behind your back (peripheral vision check). Repeat for a set of 10 crosses, alternating the top hand on each crossing motion.

Cable a la Carte Quick Links
  1. Program overview
  2. Chest Exercises
  3. Tricep Exercises
  4. Back Exercises
  5. Bicep Exercises
  6. Shoulder Exercises
  7. Leg Exercises


Photo Credit: Nicolas Smith