Upper Chest Cable Exercises for Bigger & Stronger Chest

You may think that using free weights like dumbbells and barbells is enough to tone your chest. But don’t ignore the importance of cable exercises.

Exercises like bench presses and push-ups work the entire chest area, but it can be challenging to isolate the upper chest.

Today, we will explore the often-overlooked cable machine and how it can improve your upper chest workouts.

Cable exercises give your chest muscles a unique challenge that free weights can’t match. They can target your chest muscles from multiple angles and maintain consistent tension throughout the movement.

Let’s get to know upper chest cable exercises, how to do them, and pro tips.

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7 Best Upper Chest Exercises With Cable

Having a well-developed upper chest helps add fullness to the upper body and also has functional benefits.

Here is the list of the 7 best upper chest cable exercises. These exercises help train the chest at various angles, strengthen it, and build a well-developed chest.

1. Incline Cable Bench Press

If you’re looking for straightforward cable machine upper chest exercises to add to your routine, the incline cable bench press is a great staple exercise to start with.

In barbell and incline dumbbell bench presses, the resistance is directly downward, and your triceps brachii take over much of the force than your chest at the top of the press. However, the cable provides more stimulation to the chest.

In contrast, the incline cable bench press focuses more on the upper pectoralis major. The resistance comes from an angle, so you must push the stirrups upward and pull them inward at the top of the movement.

The study found that the most activity for the upper part of the pectoralis major muscle occurred when the bench was angled at 30 degrees.

Incline Cable Bench Press

How To Do Incline Cable Bench Press

  1. Set an incline bench at a 30-to-45-degree angle.
  2. Attach stirrup handles to the low pulleys and lie down on the bench with your feet flat on the floor.
  3. Exhale as you extend your elbows up to move your arms up and inwards until your hands meet.
  4. Squeeze your upper chest at the top of the movement and then inhale as you slowly release back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat as many repetitions as are desired.


  • Vary the position of the bench to hit different angles of the upper chest.
  • Hold and contract the chest muscles when hands are together. This exercise creates more tension in the upper chest.
  • Set the bench at about 30–45 degrees inclined. Do not go more upright as the stress shifts more to the shoulders rather than the chest area.

2. Low Cable Fly (Low to High Cable Fly)

Standing low to high cable fly is a variation of the cable chest fly and an exercise used to strengthen the pushing muscles of the chest, biceps, and shoulders.

The cable provides constant tension, helping build upper pecs. It is another great cable exercise for your upper chest workout.

Low- to high cable fly helps develop and define upper and inner pectoral muscles.

The cable provides constant resistance, helping develop central chest muscles and providing the much-needed stress and inner pecs that bodybuilders crave.

Low Pulley Cable Crossovers

How To Do Low Cable Fly

  1. Set both pulleys as low as possible and select the desired weight.
  2. Then, in a standing position, grab and hold the handles of the overhead pulleys on both sides.
  3. Bend slightly forward and extend your arms, feeling a good stretch in your chest muscles.
  4. Bend your elbows slightly. Pull your hands toward each other in wide arcs in front of you.
  5. Pause when your hands touch. Feel your upper chest working.
  6. Slowly lower back to the starting position.
  7. Do 8–12 reps and 3–4 sets.
Low to High Cable Fly


  • To keep your balance, stand in a staggered stance.
  • Breathe out as you lift the handles up and together.
  • Control the weight as you bring your arms back down.

3. Incline Cable Fly

The incline cable fly is an isolation exercise primarily targeting the upper chest muscles. It uses a cable machine with an adjustable pulley system and a bench set at an incline angle of around 30–45 degrees.

Unlike Incline dumbbell fly, cables provide constant tension throughout the entire movement. This allows you to keep the upper chest muscles engaged and contracted the entire time and leads to greater muscle growth.

For people who experience discomfort in their joints during the Incline bench press, Incline cable chest fly exercises are a great alternative.

Incline Cable Fly

How To Do Incline Cable Fly

  1. Set an incline bench at a 30-to-45-degree angle.
  2. Attach stirrup handles to the low pulleys and lie down on the bench with your feet flat on the floor.
  3. Lift your arms straight up from your shoulders and hold the cable directly over your upper chest.
  4. Slowly lower the cable attachments outward to your sides.
  5. Remember to keep your arms slightly bent until they parallel the ground horizontally.
  6. Bring your arms back toward the midline of your body, focusing on using your pec muscles to draw them back together.
Incline Cable Fly


  • Use a weight that challenges you but allows you to maintain proper form.
  • Vary the position of the bench to hit different angles of the upper chest.
  • Hold and contract the chest muscles when hands are together.
  • Exhale as you bring the handles together, and inhale as you lower them back down.

4. Standing Cable Chest Press

The Standing cable chest press is another great exercise for your upper cable chest workout. Compared to the conventional bench press, it can increase the range of motion to where your hands meet.

The standing bench press engages your core and stabilizer muscles far more, as you must control every angle at which the weight can potentially move.

Standing Cable Chest Press

How To Do Standing Cable Chest Press

  1. Stand with your feet in the center of the two pulleys, and grip the stirrup one handles on both sides.
  2. Step forward a couple of feet in front of the cable machine with one leg in front of the other to form a staggered stance or as comfortable as you like.
  3. Move the handles forward through, extending via your elbows, until your hands meet in the center.
  4. Briefly squeeze before slowly bringing it back to the starting position.
Cable Chest Press


  • Ensure your head is up, your core is engaged, and the rest of your body is stable and stationary.
  • Breathe in on the relaxation phase and breathe out when contracting.
  • Squeeze your chest at the end of the movement.

5. Cable Incline Fly On Stability Ball

If you’re looking for a way to get more creative with your upper pec cable workout, why not try a Cable-Incline Fly on a Stability Ball?

It can be performed by lying on the stability ball with cable handles in both hands. This is an advanced exercise but extremely important.

Cable Incline Fly On Stability Ball

How To Do Cable Incline Fly On Stability Ball

  1. Start off by sitting on an exercise ball, gripping cable handles in each hand.
  2. Slowly roll down on the exercise ball, keeping your head and neck on the ball and your feet planted on the floor ahead of you.
  3. Lift with the cables and bring them straight up above your chest, squeezing throughout the entire motion.
  4. Hold on to this position for a few seconds, then return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for as many reps and sets as desired.


  • Perform the exercise properly and ensure they don’t lose their balance and fall.
  • Do the exercise slowly, and do not use momentum.

6. Pronated Cable Fly

The standard cable fly is a fantastic chest builder but can also stress your biceps. The pronated cable fly tackles this with a simple tweak: a palms-down grip.

This subtle shift in hand position shifts the focus from your biceps to your triceps and also puts more focus on your upper chest muscles.

Pronated Cable Fly

How To Do Pronated Cable Fly

  1. Adjust the cable pulleys to shoulder height.
  2. Stand tall in the middle of the machine and step forward a little to make it more stable.
  3. Grab the rope end with a pronated grip (palms facing down).
  4. Extend your arms out to the sides with a slight bend in your elbows.
  5. Keep your elbow bent and bring your hands together in an arc in front of you.
  6. Focus on squeezing your upper pec muscles as you do this.
  7. Slowly reverse the movement, returning to the starting position with control.
Pronated Cable Fly


  • Don’t fully straighten your arms at the sides.
  • Go heavy enough to properly challenge the upper pecs in that 8-12 rep range sweet spot.

7. Standing Incline Chest Press

The standing Incline chest press is a variation of the standard chest press that works the upper chest muscles. This is done by adjusting the pulley to a lower position and pressing up.

Standing Incline Chest Press

How To Do Standing Incline Chest Press

  1. Stand upright and pulley below chest level to a secure object. You can adjust the angle by adjusting the pulley.
  2. Grab the handle with both hands.
  3. Exhale and press both hands upward. Straighten your arms completely.
  4. Squeeze your chest muscles at the top of the movement. Hold for 1 second.
  5. Inhale and slowly return to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for 10–12 reps.
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How do you work your upper chest on cable?

Several excellent cable exercises for the upper chest are the Cable-Inclined Bench Press, Low Cable Fly, Inclined Cable Fly, Standing Cable Chest Press, and Cable-Inclined fly on a stability ball. You should add one or two of these exercises to your chest workout.

Do chest flys work upper chest?

The standing low to high cable fly is one of the best variations of the chest fly and an exercise used to strengthen and build the upper chest.

What part of the chest does high to low-cable work?

High to low cable fly work on the lower chest.

Does low cable fly work on the upper or lower chest?

Low cable fly work on the lower chest. This exercise provides constant tension, helping build upper pecs. It is a great exercise for your upper chest.

Is cable crossover good for the chest?

The cable crossover is a great chest exercise because it stretches the pecs from the start position, hitting the outer pec muscle fibers. It is an isolation move, which targets one specific group of muscles instead of a group of different muscles.

What cable fly is best for the upper chest?

All cable flyes work the upper chest to some degree, but the low to high cable fly and incline cable fly are the best cable exercises to target the upper chest.


Doing the exercises provided in this article will give your upper chest a complete workout.

These cable exercises are highly recommended for anyone interested in building body strength and gaining muscle in the upper pec.

Please let us know your favorite cable exercise in the comment section below.

Thanks for reading.

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