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Cable Chest Press: What Is It, How To Do It & Mistakes To Avoid

Cable Chest Press What Is It, How To Do It & Mistakes To Avoid

Cable chest press is a compound exercise that works the chest, shoulders, and serratus anterior muscles. It is a great alternative to the barbell bench press, especially for those who have joint pain or want to challenge their core stability. Unlike the bench press, the cable chest press allows the shoulder blades to move freely, which can prevent shoulder impingement and improve scapular health.
  1. Position the dual pulleys of a functional trainer to chest height and select an appropriate weight.
  2. Stand a foot or two in front of the cables, holding one d-handle in each hand. You can stagger your stance for better stability.
  3. Position the upper arm at a 90-degree angle with the shoulder blades together. This will be your starting position.
  4. Push the handles forward until they meet in front of your body, squeezing your chest muscles.
  5. With control, let the handles return to the starting position, feeling a stretch in your chest.
  6. Repeat for the desired number of reps.
Optional: You can also perform this exercise while seated on an adjustable weight bench, so the back pad can be raised to an inclined position to support your back.Here are the muscles worked by the cable chest press.

Pectoralis Major

The main chest muscle performs horizontal flexion, adduction, and medial rotation of the shoulder joint. You can target different parts of this muscle by changing the angle of your arms. Press upwards for the upper chest, downwards for the lower chest, and horizontally for the mid-chest.


The primary shoulder muscle has three heads: anterior (front), medial (middle), and posterior (rear). All three heads work during a cable chest press, but the anterior head is the most active. The medial and posterior heads act as stabilizers.

Serratus Anterior

The muscle to the side of your lower pecs looks like a serrated knife blade. It stabilizes the scapulae (shoulder blades) and prevents them from moving during the exercise.Here are the most common mistakes to avoid on the cable chest press.
  • Using too much weight: This can compromise your form and increase the risk of injury. Use a weight that allows you to perform the exercise with a full range of motion and proper technique.
  • Flaring your elbows: This can put excessive stress on your shoulder joints and reduce the activation of your chest muscles. Keep your elbows at a 45-degree angle from your body throughout the movement.
  • Arching your back: This can cause lower back pain and remove the core stability challenge. Keep your spine neutral and brace your abs during the exercise.
The cable chest press is a great exercise to strengthen your chest, shoulders, and triceps. It also helps to improve your posture, stability, and coordination. Whether a beginner or an advanced lifter, the cable chest press can be a valuable addition to your chest workout routine. Try it out and see the results for yourself!