Reverse Cable Crossover

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Reverse Cable Crossover Exercise Guide

To really get that muscularity and shape into your shoulders, you need to make sure that you train all sides. Quite often people focus on the both the side and front delts, forgetting the rear (posterior) delt. Well developed rear delts will help to keep your shoulders balanced. Furthermore, they will help to prevent a lot of shoulder injuries and rotator cuff problems as well. Very often the front delts are strong from lots of pressing movements (bench presses, overhead presses, etc.) so they over power the rear delts. Since this is a small muscle group you should train with fairly light weights and do higher reps, between 10-20 reps per set. Focus on feeling the muscles working with each rep. This is where reverse cable crossover exercise can be very useful weapon.

Other names for this exercise:

  • High-pulley lateral extension
  • Standing cable reverse fly
  • Reverse cable fly
  • Rear deltoid cable fly
  • Cable reverse fly

Exercise Instructions

Follow this detailed exercise instructions in order to perform reverse cable crossover using perfect form. This is the only way you can obtain maximal results from this valuable rear deltoid exercise.

STARTING POSITION (SETUP): Adjust the pulleys to the appropriate height and adjust the weight. The pulleys should be above your head. Attach the stirrup handles to the highest points of the crossover machine. Stand in the centre of a cable crossover apparatus (between two high cables) with your arms extended to the front. Start with hands crossed in front of you at shoulder height (or just little above) with the left high cable in your right hand, the right in your left hand.

Rear Deltoid Cable Fly

Rear Deltoid Cable Fly

EXERCISE EXECUTION (ACTION): Using your rear delts, pull your elbows out (to the side) and back as far as possible (until your arms are in line with your back). Return to the initial position (where your right hand is directly in front of the left shoulder and your left hand in front of the right shoulder) with a controlled movement and begin again. Repeat for prescribed number of repetitions.

Cable Reverse Fly Tips & Key Points

  • Try to keep your torso upright, not leaning too far forward or back.
  • To target the posterior (rear) deltoid, your arms should move directly back (and downward slightly) almost parallel to the floor. If the hands are raised through a higher arc to a point above shoulder level, the lateral deltoid and trapezius make a bigger contribution to the movement.
  • Keep arms slightly flexed throughout motion.
  • Movement path: your torso, hips, and legs remain stationary while your arms move in a horizontal, 90 degree arc from the front of your body out to both sides.
  • Avoid bending your elbows, shrugging your shoulders, and changing the plane of your arm movement.

Exercise Variations

  • Perform this exercise one arm at a time by standing closer to one side and holding on to the machine with your nonworking hand. Begin with the arm farther away from the stack in front of your chest.
  • Supported reverse cable crossover. You can perform this variant seated or standing. Support your chest on the backrest of an incline exercise bench or against the pad of a preacher bench. The bench is positioned centrally between two cable pulleys. Whether you sit on the bench or stand over it is optional, but you must be positioned high enough to allow the arms to perform the exercise without obstruction, with the pulleys level or just higher than your head.

Muscles Engaged in Reverse Cable Crossover

This exercise mainly contracts the posterior deltoid, infraspinatus, teres minor, and, at the end of the movement as the shoulder blades come together, the trapezius and deeper in, the rhomboids.

Reverse Cable Crossover

Reverse Cable Crossover

Replacement Exercises for the Reverse Cable Crossover

You can replace (combine) reverse cable exercise with lots of other exercises you can find in our big exercise database. There are plenty of other posterior deltoid exercises you can perform using cables, machines, and dumbbells.

Analyze the advantages and disadvantages of each exercise and then choose the one that suits you best.

Closing Thoughts

This exercise develops the rear deltoids—the rear muscles of your shoulders—and helps to give your shoulders a three-dimensional appearance.

Finally, and beyond any doubt, concentrate on technique and form, rather than using very heavy weights. This is the best way to benefit from this rear deltoid exercise.

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