Do you want to chisel your pecs? Instead of lifting those barbells and dumbbells, you need a more powerful machine: a cable crossover. Aside from buffing up your pecs, you can also use a cable crossover to train just about any muscle group. Instead of signing up to a gym membership to access this equipment, you can now purchase it for yourself.
Here, we reviewed 5 of the best cable crossover machines out of the 50+ units we’ve scouted. Also, we created a brief buying guide so you can choose the right unit for your workout.
Table of Post Contents
- 1 Benefits of using a cable crossover machine
- 2 Cable Crossover Buying Guide
- 3 Around $2,000+
- 4 Below $1,000
- 5 Best cable crossover brands
- 6 MY TOP PICK: XMark Fitness XM-7626 Functional Trainer Cable Machine
- 7 RUNNERS-UP
- 8 Body-Solid Powerline Cable Crossover Machine
- 9 HulkFit 1000-Pound Capacity Multi-Function Cable Crossover
- 10 Body-Solid GDCC200Functional Training Crossover Machine
- 11 Bodycraft HFT Functional Trainer
- 12 Frequently Asked Questions
- 13 Conclusion
Benefits of using a cable crossover machine
Cable crossovers are powerful machines when it comes to toning your muscles. Here are some of the key benefits you’ll reap from getting one:
Weightlifting injuries have increased to 50% between the year 1990 and 2007. Also, training with dumbbells and barbells require you to balance the weight manually.
With cable crossovers, the pulleys and cables will balance the weight for a more uniform exercise. Also, it cuts the risk of accidents related to falling weights. Aside from that, you no longer need someone to watch over your lifts every time.
Unlike free weights, cable crossovers expose your muscles to constant tension. This way, you’re less likely to experience plateaus. Cable crossovers increase the ‘time under tension’ during your workouts.
Cable crossovers might look intimidating, but it only takes a short time to wrap your workout around it. Its massive size actually helps in toning your muscles better. Aside from pulling weights, you can perform other exercise drills in the same equipment with just a little creativity.
If you’re into weight-resistance workouts, cable crossovers are definitely for you.
Cable Crossover Buying Guide
With such large equipment like a cable crossover, it can be challenging to determine which one is the best pick. To help you find the right unit for your workouts, here are some of the criteria you should use:
Let’s start with the biggest buying factor: construction. Since a cable crossover will handle heavy weights, it is essential that the frame can endure such force.
Always look for heavy-gauge bars and thick steel. The heavier the frame is, the better it is for your workout. You wouldn’t want the machine to fall apart in the middle of an intense drill.
Also, look for powder-coated frames since this is less prone to rusting.
Always check the maximum weight that the cable crossover can deliver. Most models nowadays have 10 to 20 pounds on each side. Depending on the build of the machine, this can be higher.
The rule of thumb is to purchase a cable crossover with a weight that’s more than the maximum you can lift. Through this, you’ll have something to work on while preventing plateaus on your workout.
Before you purchase the heaviest possible limit, make sure that your assembly location can carry such weight. If you’re storing this on the second floor of your house, it’s best to check the integrity of the structure first. Cable crossovers can weigh as much as 800 pounds.
Weight upgrades are the allowance the machine gives you to add more plates. This way, you can train beyond your initial, maximum weight limit. Make sure that you check this part, especially if you’re planning to train hard. Chances are you’re going to surpass the current weight of the machine.
If you’re not yet sure, it’s best to purchase a cable crossover with a higher weight limit.
The ratio is the specific weight that you select versus the actual resistance that your muscles experience. A cable crossover with more pulleys will have a higher ratio. This means that your muscles feel less of the actual weight.
The most common ratio is 2:1 and 1:1. For the 2:1 ratio, you will load 50 pounds and your muscles feel the resistance of 25 pounds. For a 1:1 ratio, you will load 50 pounds and your muscles experience 50 pounds of resistance.
To our surprise, most of the cable crossovers on gyms have the highest ratios.
If you want to get the most out of your weights, choose a machine that has a lower ratio.
-Cables and pulleys
The cable and pulley system of the machine is the most critical parts. It should be well-built to ensure that the equipment will work for long.
Always test the smoothness of the cables and pulleys. Each brand will have its own technology and you can compare which one works best.
Check the bushings and ball bearings and make sure that it can take the beating of various weights. Also, opt for aircraft-grade cables with a strength that can endure the maximum weight you have in mind. Generally, you’d want one that’s tested for 2,000 pounds, more or less.
Cable crossovers will consume a larger footprint than a simple bench press. Make sure that you have enough room in your home gym to cater to this type of equipment. Aside from the floor area, check the overhead clearance too. You wouldn’t want surprises during the assembly.
Many muscle buffs often overlook this part, which makes the equipment dysfunctional. Removing some parts might solve the space issue, but it will impact the efficiency and safety of the equipment.
Cable crossovers are big equipment that may require a lot of assembly work. Always consider the possibility that you’ll need an extra pair of hands to lift and screw all the parts.
Some cable crossovers can weigh as much as 800 pounds. This will take at least 3 to 4 people to handle the unboxing and assembly.
Some people prefer a cable crossover with lots of bells and whistles. Aside from the weights and pulleys, you can find units with dip bars, pull-ups, and other workout equipment.
Many cable crossover units are assembled with multiple accessories for a powerhouse workout equipment. This will cost more, but it’s definitely worth the splurge if you want to bulk up. Here are some of the accessories you can look for when shopping for a cable crossover:
- Ankle-wrist strap
- Lat bar
- Ankle bar
- Straight/curl bar
- Single-grip handle
Cable crossovers aren’t the cheapest workout equipment. So if you’re purchasing one, make sure that the pulleys are smooth to use and it can endure regular use.
Usability is about durability and consistency. You’d want a cable crossover that will keep its quality after years of use.
Safety should always be the priority whenever you’re working out. This is especially true when using the likes of cable crossovers. Again, opt for sturdy construction with strong cables and pulleys. You never want an overhead beam to snap and give you a concussion.
Given its size and intricate build, cable crossovers will require regular maintenance. This is especially true for new units since the cables will stretch after the first months. It will make the cable too long for stretching. Adjusting this should fix the problem.
Also, it’s best to check the tightness of the screws after a few months. While lifting heavy weights, some of these can become loose.
If you got an older model, the one that doesn’t have a vinyl coating on the cable, you’d need to grease the cables to prevent corrosion.
Over the years, some moving parts of a cable crossover may stick. Applying penetrating oil like WD-40 from time to time should loosen these parts.
Since cable crossovers cost a lot of money, it’s essential to look for decent warranty terms. This way, you can protect your investment for a certain period. Although warranty coverage may cost a little bit more, it will save you more money in the long run.
Cable crossovers can get expensive, especially if you want quality and durability. As much as possible, try to invest in a high-quality machine. In the long run, this will save you more money from repairs and maintenance of buying a cheaper version.
A lot of factors will determine the price of the cable crossover. It includes the brand, additional attachments, warranty, materials, features, and so on. By determining what you want to get from your machine, you can set an ideal price range before scouting for options.
To give you an idea, here’s a preview of what you’ll possibly get based on the amount you’re willing to spend:
These are the high-end cable crossovers equipped with multiple attachments like triceps rope, long bar, pull-up bars, multi-grip chin-up bars, and more. These are rugged units that will be bad boys on your home gym. It’s made to last a lifetime and bears commercial quality.
These are the typical cable crossovers used for home gyms and by workout buffs on a budget. Most of the units will do, but it doesn’t bear the same quality as more expensive types. Also, cable crossovers that cost less than a thousand bucks have minimal to no additional attachments. It’s a straightforward machine for those that are not looking for additional functionality.
Best cable crossover brands
XMark Fitness offers various fitness equipment products for home use. They often use 11-gauge steel and bolted-on feet construction for their products. This is way better than most 14-gauge steel used by other brands. XMark Fitness also offers lavish warranty terms for their products.
Body-Solid was founded in 1987 and is home to the most durable fitness equipment you can find in the market. Also, they are known for their long warranty coverage for their cable crossovers. Units like the PCC90X and PFT100 have 10 years of warranty terms.
HulkFit produces a wide range of fitness equipment products including their multi-function cable crossovers. Also, this brand is on the lower side of the price spectrum, making it the top choice of many newbie workout buffs.
MY TOP PICK: XMark Fitness XM-7626 Functional Trainer Cable Machine
The XMark Fitness Cable Machine has dual 200-lb. weight stacks and quick-adjust pulleys with 19 settings. Each one is spaced at 3.5 inches each together with interchangeable accessories.
This cable crossover comes with an 8” hand strap, 23” tricep rope, a pair of 17” long strap handles, leg extension curl strap, 42” long bar, ankle strap, and a workout poster. The cables are 81” long as it extends from the pulleys.
This powerhouse equipment is made with 11-gauge steel with 2” x 3” mainframe construction. This can endure even the heaviest and toughest workouts. Overall, the XM-7626 is a commercial-grade rig with a super smooth pulley function.
On this equipment, you can perform isolateral-based movements including split grips, chin-ups, pull-ups, and more.
The pulleys have a 60” space in between while the weight stacks are separated 48 inches away. Each one-inch plate weighs 10 pounds.
If you’re new to cable crossovers, you can utilize the workout poster that comes with 36 various exercises. Just make sure that you can fit this bad boy on your home gym. This has assembled dimensions of 65” (W) x 43.5” (L) x 83” (H). Also, take note that this weighs 800 pounds, which will add a freight delivery process.
- 200 pounds of weight stacks
- Made from 11-gauge steel
- Comes with multiple attachments
- Commercial-grade equipment
- The assembly instructions are quite confusing
Body-Solid Powerline Cable Crossover Machine
If you don’t need the bells and whistles of XM-7626, you can consider a much simpler unit like the Body-Solid PCCO90X Powerline Cable Crossover. It has a patented nylon bushing technology and 8 sealed ball bearings to provide a smooth pulley movement.
This Body-Solid equipment has large-diameter, high resin pulleys that extend cable life while producing a smooth operation. You can use this to over 180 degrees of movement. It also accepts standard plates and Olympic-sized versions which allows you to use what you already have. Aside from that, it comes with an ankle strap as a bonus item.
The Body-Solid cable crossover has a smaller footprint than other machines. Its assembled dimensions are 112” (L) x 39” (W) x 82” (H). Also, it weighs 108 pounds which you can assemble on your own.
The best part here is that the frame comes with a 1-year warranty. The other parts are covered with a 1-year warranty, which is more than what you can ask for considering its price.
As for the weight, we’ve tried loading it up to 400 pounds and it seems to hold well. Also, we like that the package comes with oil so you can lubricate the rails for consistent and smooth operation.
- Patented nylon bushing technology
- Fits Olympic and standard size plates
- Smaller footprint than other machines
- Very easy to assemble
- No mid-pulley option
HulkFit 1000-Pound Capacity Multi-Function Cable Crossover
If you’re looking for a multi-function and affordable cable crossover, you can consider the HulkFit 1000-Pound Cable Crossover. It has a heavy-duty square steel frame and a broad open base for utmost stability.
This machine has extra-long 2” diameter weight posts that can fit weight plates that also have 2” diameter openings. We loaded this with 500 pounds of weights and it proved to be rugged and tough even during our workout session. You can push it to 1,000 pounds if you’re really into ripping those chest muscles.
What we like the most here is it has wide-open wings that won’t block you when using a 7 ft. barbell. Overall, the cable crossover machine weighs 140 pounds, which is already lightweight for single-person assembly.
If you want, you can order the lat pull-down and power cage to set up your home gym. You also have the option to add a weight bench for a complete workout experience.
If you’re on a budget, we can say that this is the best bang for the buck. It’s very solid and you have the option to purchase it with additions.
- Heavy-duty frame with 2” diameter steel bars
- Can endure up to 1,000 pounds of weights
- Easy to assemble
- Wide base for stability
- The paint on the bars won’t last
Body-Solid GDCC200Functional Training Crossover Machine
If you have the money to splurge, you shouldn’t miss the Body-Solid Functional Training Crossover Machine. It has a vertical carriage system made from fiberglass and reinforced pulleys. This machine also sports universal attachment connections.
This Body-Solid cable crossover is made with 11-gauge steel with 2” x 4” oval tubing with a powder coat finish. Also, it has precision-fitted frame components to ensure stability and to extend the lifespan of the machine.
What we like the most about the GDCC200 is its 4.8 mm diameter aircraft-grade spun steel cable rated for up to 2,500 pounds. For the serious workout buff, this has 20 independent height adjustments and 180-degree cable positioning. If you want a break from flexing your pecs, you can use the overhead bar for some pull-ups.
This machine has high-density foam rubber handles and grips for guaranteed comfort. Aside from that, the whole equipment is made to last a lifetime.
We just wish that they label each piece so the assembly would be more worthwhile. Other than that, the hassle is worth it. This machine is a monster when it comes to chest workouts.
- Precision-fitted frame components
- Vertical carriage system
- Aircraft-grade spun steel cable
- Made from 11-gauge steel
- Assembly is challenging (but worth it!)
Bodycraft HFT Functional Trainer
Do you want a compact beast for your home gym? If so, you shouldn’t miss the HFT Functional Trainer. It’s made from 11-gauge steel tubing with platinum and textured black finish. It also comes with a dual independent adjustable cable that can rotate in 180 degrees to allow you to train on various angles.
Although it has dimensions of 56″ (W) X 40″ (D) x 82″ (H), it’s a beast during workout sessions. It comes with a short bar, long bar, assisted pull-up, tricep rope, 2 chains, push-up strap, and a multi-grip chin-up bar.
This Bodycraft machine is also equipped with 7 x 19 aircraft grade 3.5 mm cable. This is rated for 2,000 pounds and guaranteed to work seamlessly on the fiberglass nylon pulleys. To add, this has precision sealed ball bearings.
For the weight stack, this can accommodate 150 pounds each with a ratio of 2:1 and increments of 5 pounds.
Although the shipping took a little longer than what we expected, we’re more than satisfied after assembling this machine. Just take note that this cumbersome at 710 pounds. We suggest that you ask some friends to help you put everything to place. Still, it’s a great investment, especially for serious buffs.
- Aircraft-grade 3.5 mm cable (rated for 2,000 pounds)
- Fiberglass nylon pulleys
- 11-gauge steel tubing
- Precision sealed ball bearings.
- It takes hours to unpack and assemble (worth it in the end!)
Frequently Asked Questions
Cable crossover machines target to work your pectoralis major muscles. These are the muscles at the bottom of your chest responsible for your shoulder and scapula movements on both sides of the body.
Since it stretches your pecs in a standing position, there’s no doubt that cable crossovers are great for your chest.
Cable machines help strengthen your muscles while burning calories. This makes it an excellent core trainer without the need to go to the gym.
The weight of the cable crossover depends on what you want to achieve on your workout. If you’re going to bulk up with muscles, choose a weight that’s ideal for around 8 reps. However, if you want to build lean muscles, go for weights that are best for up to 18 reps.
The best cable crossover should give the best bang for every buck. It costs a lot of money, but it’s a great investment if you want to tone your body. What do you think of our 5 picks here? Do you have something to share? Let us know below!