Cable Bench Press (How To Do, Muscles Worked, Variations)

If you want to build a strong chest, the Cable Bench Press is a workout you shouldn’t overlook.

This compound exercise targets your pectoral muscles, helping you achieve a well-defined upper body.

In this guide, we’ll dive into the details of Cable Bench Press, covering proper form, muscles worked, variations, and its benefits.

What Is Cable Bench Press?

The Cable Bench Press, a variation of the traditional bench press, involves using a cable machine for resistance instead of free weights.

This exercise engages your chest muscles while also working your triceps and shoulders. The constant tension provided by the cable ensures that your muscles work throughout the entire range of motion.

Muscles Worked During Bench Cable Press

The Cable Bench Press primarily targets the following muscle groups:

  • Pectoralis Major: This is the primary muscle worked during the Cable Bench Press. It’s responsible for the powerful pressing motion and contributes to the rounded appearance of the chest.
  • Anterior Deltoid: The front portion of your shoulder muscles is engaged as you push the cables away, assisting in the pressing movement.
  • Triceps Brachii: The muscles at the back of your upper arms play a vital role in extending your elbows and completing the press.

Cable Bench Press Benefits

  • Muscle Activation: The Cable Bench Press engages your chest muscles more effectively than traditional bench presses due to the constant tension.
  • Stabilization: Since you’re working against the resistance provided by the cable, your stabilizing muscles are also engaged, leading to better overall muscle development.
  • Variety: The various cable attachments and angles allow you to target different parts of your chest, adding variety to your workout routine.
  • Reduced Joint Strain: The cable’s smooth motion reduces stress on your joints compared to lifting heavy free weights.

How To Do Cable Bench Press With A Proper Form

To perform the Cable Bench Press correctly, follow these steps:

  1. Set Up: Attach a straight bar or D-handle to the high pulley of the cable machine. Adjust the weight stack according to your strength level.
  2. Positioning: Sit on the bench beneath the cable machine. Plant your feet firmly on the ground and maintain a stable body posture.
  3. Grip: Grasp the bar or handle with a slightly wider than shoulder-width grip. Your palms should face forward.
  4. Execution: Exhale as you push the bar or handle forward, extending your arms fully. Your hands should meet above your chest without locking your elbows.
  5. Return: Inhale as you slowly bring the bar back to the starting position, allowing your elbows to bend naturally.
  6. Repeat for 8-12 reps, 2-4 sets.

Exercise Tips:

  • Ensure both sides of the cables have the same length to maintain balanced resistance.
  • Contract your chest muscles as you push upward.
  • Avoid letting the cables pull too forcefully.
  • Breathe in as you lower your hands and exhale as you push them back up to maintain proper breathing rhythm.
  • For an added challenge, consider working one side of your body at a time.

Variations of Cable Bench Press

While the Cable Bench Press itself is an effective cable chest-building exercise, you can further enhance your workout by doing different variations that target specific areas of your chest muscles:

1. Incline Cable Bench Press:

Man Doing Incline Cable Bench Press

Adjust the bench to an inclined position, typically at a 30-45 degree angle. This variation shifts the focus to your upper chest muscles, helping you achieve a well-rounded chest development.

Alternative: Incline Smith Machine Press Using a Bench

2. Decline Cable Bench Press:

A Man Doing Decline Cable Press Using a Bench

Conversely, use a decline bench at a similar angle to target your lower chest muscles. This variation not only sculpts your lower chest but also engages your shoulders and triceps.

Related Workout: How To Do A Decline Smith Machine Press?

3. Single-Arm Cable Bench Press:

Employing a single-arm approach provides a unique challenge that hones in on each side of your chest individually. This is particularly beneficial for addressing muscle imbalances.

Best Alternatives

  1. Barbell Bench Press
  2. Dumbbell Bench Press
  3. Push-Ups
  4. Smith Machine Bench Press
  5. Dips
  6. Floor Press
  7. Resistance Band Press
  8. Machine Chest Press


Can beginners perform the Cable Bench Press?

Absolutely! Start with a light weight to practice proper form and gradually increase the resistance as you become more comfortable.

How often should I include Cable Bench Press in my workout routine?

Aim for 2-3 times a week, giving your muscles ample time to recover.

Can the Cable Bench Press help with muscle imbalances?

Yes, by using single-arm variations, you can target and correct muscle imbalances.

Is the Cable Bench Press suitable for women?

Yes, this exercise is beneficial for both men and women aiming to strengthen their chest muscles.


The Cable Bench Press is a versatile and effective exercise that can take your chest workout to the next level.

By incorporating this chest workout into your routine, you’ll be on your way to building a well-defined and strong chest.


  1. Tiwana MS, Sinkler MA, Bordoni B. Anatomy, Shoulder and Upper Limb, Triceps Muscle. [Updated 2022 Aug 30]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from:
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