Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredCable
  • MechanicsIsolation
  • Force TypePush (Bilateral)
  • Experience LevelBeginner
  • Secondary Muscles
    Shoulders, Triceps
Target Muscle Group


Chest Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Cable Iron Cross Overview

The cable iron cross is a variation of the cable chest fly and an exercise used to strengthen the pushing muscles of the body including the chest, triceps, and shoulders.

The cable iron cross can be tough to overload as it requires a great deal of core stability, so it is probably best used as an accessory movement for those looking to increase their chest muscle mass.

This movement can be included into your chest workouts, push workouts, upper body workouts, or full body workouts.

Cable Iron Cross Instructions

  1. Set both pulleys as high as possible and select the desired weight.
  2. Grasp both handles with a neutral grip and keep your feet in line with the pulleys..
  3. Remain upright, keep a slight bend in the elbows, move entirely at the shoulder joint, and pull both handles together in front of your body.
  4. Slowly lower back to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Cable Iron Cross Tips

  1. Don’t squeeze the handles excessively tight as this can over recruit the forearms and biceps thereby reducing activation of the pecs.
  2. Avoid touching or banging the handles together at peak contraction to keep constant tension on the intended muscle groups.
  3. Always keep a slight bend in the elbows and never lower the weight to the point where you get any sort of pain and pressure at the front of the shoulder joint.
  4. Ensure you maintain some tension in your abs and don’t allow your lower back to arch excessively.
Posted on: Tue, 02/17/2015 - 18:54

Everytime I do this exercise at the gym I am told that I should be doing it leaning forward with one leg slightly forward and switch after each set.

Derek Wood
Posted on: Tue, 01/13/2015 - 22:01

I only have one cable as opposed to two. Is this exercise as effective doing half of one set left hand then the second of the set right handed as it would be doing both arms at the same time?

Gaurav chauhan
Posted on: Sat, 02/22/2014 - 07:56

you already told about incline flyes so are you telling about simple flyes on a straight bench as a substitues for this as next exercise is itself a incline flyes

Posted on: Mon, 06/03/2013 - 05:27

Can I do cable cross overs, with low weights, 12 weeks post open heart surgery (CABG)

Posted on: Mon, 03/25/2013 - 09:18

I'm having trouble getting the middle of my chest to fill in. Do you recommend anything in particular?

Bryce Fredrick
Posted on: Wed, 01/06/2016 - 12:44

Pec Deck, single arm at a time. Really extend across the front of your body.

Posted on: Sat, 03/09/2013 - 05:08

Hi steav can you workout your shouler and chest together, or on seperate days

chetan bhatt
Posted on: Wed, 03/06/2013 - 01:07

Steve, good morning, you replied naftal instead of cable cross, you apply dumble fly. means on laying on bench and dumble fly? is it so. pl. reply.

chetan bhatt
Posted on: Wed, 03/06/2013 - 01:06

Steve, good morning, you replied naftal instead of cable cross, you apply dumble fly. means on laying on bench and dumble fly? is it so. pl. reply.

Bob Petitte
Posted on: Tue, 08/21/2012 - 10:24

What is the best cable exercise for lower chest?

Mohd yaseen khan
Posted on: Wed, 06/06/2012 - 03:47

I am doing exercise but i want my chest to be up and my chest muscle should be hard and strong ,please recommend workout...Thanks

Posted on: Mon, 04/02/2012 - 16:52


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Posted on: Tue, 04/03/2012 - 16:08

Try dumbbell flyes.