Cable Crossovers Vs Dumbbell Fly: Which Builds A Bigger Chest?

Scott Herman
Written By: Scott Herman
March 1st, 2018
Updated: March 30th, 2021
Categories: Articles Training
Tags: Video
BSN athlete Scott Herman (from the Youtube channel Scott Herman Fitness) breaks down the differences between the cable crossover and the dumbbell fly.

Earlier this month, BSN athlete Scott Herman stopped by the M&S gym to share some of his training knowledge with us and our loyal M&S fans.

Together, we pitted several similar exercises against each other to determine which exercise is best for building its target muscle group.

In this episode, Scott breaks down the cable crossover and the dumbbell fly to determine which exercise is better at isolating your chest.

Cable Crossover Vs Dumbbell Fly

Before Scott begins to break down each exercise, he explains the flex and stretch portion of each movement. Both exercises follow the same movement pattern.

For those who struggle with establishing a mind-muscle connection, focusing on the concentric portion of these exercises will allow you to really engage your chest muscles. This has a positive carry over into any other chest exercise you decide to perform.

During the negative (or lowering) portion of the movement, you get the most muscle damage for regrowth.

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When you apply this knowledge to the two exercises we’re comparing in this episode, you’ll be able to determine which exercise is the better selection for your individual goals.

If you’re someone who struggles with your mind muscle connection, performing cable crossovers will allow you to get a solid squeeze at the top of the movement, while also providing constant tension throughout the whole range of motion.

If you’re someone who has control of their mind-muscle connection and your goal is to maximize muscle growth, utilizing the dumbbell fly will be the better choice. The reasoning behind this is that you’ll be able to utilize heavier weight to challenge the eccentric portion of the lift creating more muscle damage to regrow from over the longer term.

The dumbbell fly may also be a more beneficial selection for those looking to keep their shoulders out of the movement. So long as you keep your shoulders packed, your shoulders will not be in a compromised position during the dumbbell fly.

So, which is better? It depends on where you are with your workouts. For those needing to work on mind-muscle connection, go with the cable crossover. For those looking to overload the muscle, go for the dumbbell fly.