Last updated: December 10, 2020

Not everyone has the space for a smith machine in their home gym, but you can still find a suitable crossover station to better target your upper body workout.

The problem we have seen with a lot of these machines is that they tend to make two mistakes.

Either they aren’t adjustable enough to give you a full range of motion or aren’t sturdy enough to pile on some more weights as you get stronger.

It took us about 3 months and 37 different cable crossover machines to come up with this list of the best cable crossover machines.

So, let’s dive right in.

Our Top Cable Crossover Machines

1 - Inspire Fitness FTX (Editor's Choice)

Inspire Fitness FTX

This is the ideal cable crossover machine for any home gym as it provides the widest range of accessories and a flexible training routine.

The pull-up bar is a great bonus that allows you to focus more on your back and shoulder muscle groups.

  • Weight: 2 x 165 pounds
  • Dimensions: 40D x 54W x 85H inches
Pros
  • Easy to use piece of equipment with plenty of adjustments
  • Comes with different handles and bars for more training options
  • Has a solid chin-up bar to work on your back and shoulders
  • Comes with two loaded 165-pound weight stacks
Cons
  • No option to increase weights

The only thing I’d point out is that it’s a fixed maximum weight limit, which might not suit some bodybuilders.

2 - XMark Functional Trainer Cable Machine

XMark Functional trainer cable machine

The XMark Functional Trainer is a cable pulley machine with a wider frame. Many athletes prefer this setup even if it takes up more space to allow for more flexible exercises.

The weight stacks also allow for a slightly heavier load than the above one, and you get some good bars and handles to switch around exercises.

  • Weight: 2 x 200 pounds
  • Dimensions: 43.5D x 65W x 83H inches
Pros
  • Great pull up bar for multiple different hand positions
  • Wider frame gives you much more space for exercise movements
  • Comes with a good selection of handles and bars
Cons
  • It could be a bit higher for tall people

If you’re taller than average, then you might find that the pull-up bar isn’t quite high enough.

3 - Body-Solid Powerline PFT100 cable Machine

Body-Solid Powerline PFT100 cable Machine

Unlike other cable pulley machines, this one allows you to expand the weight range, which provides more flexibility as you grow stronger.

I really liked the mechanism for changing the height setting, as it only takes a few seconds to get it securely in place.

  • Weight: 2 x 160 pounds
  • Dimensions: 42D x 63W x 83H inches
Pros
  • Fast and secure height adjustment to quickly adjust your workouts
  • Possible to upgrade to 210 lbs weight stack
  • Smooth cable cross machine even when fully loaded
Cons
  • Some additional handles and bars are missing

We just think that this Body Solid functional trainer could be improved with a few different types of handles and an ankle strap.

4 - Powerline PCCO90X

Powerline PCCO90X

The Powerline PCCO90X is ideally suited for serious bodybuilders who don’t want to run into weight capacity issues.

Each of the weight stacks can handle up to 400 pounds, and you can use your standard or Olympic plates [1] to maximize your exercises.

  • Weight: 2 x 400 pounds (weights not included)
  • Dimensions: 39D x 112W x 82H inches
Pros
  • Suitable for serious bodybuilders with very high weight limits on each side
  • Heavy-duty frame eliminates wobbles and vibrations
  • Allows for Olympic and standard plates
Cons
  • You’ll need quite a lot of space

As you can see from the image and dimensions, this will require more space, and keep in mind that you should leave some distance from other equipment.

5 - Valor Fitness BD-33

Valor Fitness BD-33

The Valor Fitness BD-33 is another more advanced option that includes a powerlifting cage for deadlifts and squats.

You can simply use your existing free weights from your barbell to load it up. And the footplates for a seated rowing position are a great touch as well.

  • Weight: 2 x 200 pounds (weights not included)
  • Dimensions: 88D x 117W x 86H inches
Pros
  • Includes a power cage for deadlifts and squats
  • Footplates included to use it as a rower
  • Smooth cable cross movement from heavy-duty bearings
Cons
  • You’ll need a lot of garage space to get this set up

Make sure you measure off the dimensions exactly, as you’ll need quite a bit of space for this commercial cable machine.

6 - Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym

Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym

What’s unique about the Bowflex is that it doesn’t have weight stacks. Instead, you have resistance rods that you can engage for different intensity levels.

You can also use it for lower body workouts like leg curls, which gives you a lot more flexibility.

  • Weight: 2 x 210 pounds (power rod resistance)
  • Dimensions: 53D x 49W x 82H inches
Pros
  • Unique design with built-in workout bench
  • Configurable for lower body exercises as well
  • Compact set up makes this suitable if you have limited space
Cons
  • Prepare yourself for a long assembly process

Just keep in mind that you might want someone to help you out with the assembly, as parts of it can be tricky.

7 - Valor Fitness BD62

Valor Fitness BD62

This is the only one of the cable machines we liked in the wall-mounted category. It’s nice and compact and still gives you great flexibility with the types of moves you can do.

You’ll also get a triceps rope, which most other cable machines don’t include.

  • Weight: 1 x 200 pounds
  • Dimensions: 28D x 25W x 80H inches
Pros
  • Wall mounted design means it won’t require a lot of space
  • Triceps rope included to diversify your workouts
  • Comes with a 3-year frame warranty for added peace of mind
Cons
  • Assembly instructions are a bit difficult to follow

Not sure if it was just me, but I struggled with the instructions and had to get someone to help out.

8 - Marcy Smith cage workout

Marcy Smith cage workout

Yes, this is a lot more than just a cable crossover machine, but if you’re serious about bulking up at home, then you won’t find a better value than this.

You can load the pulley system up to 300 lbs on each side, which is particularly useful for lat pulldown exercises.

  • Weight: 2 x 300 pounds (weights not included)
  • Dimensions: 70D x 79W x 85H inches
Pros
  • Full power cage set up for the ultimate home gym
  • Heavy-duty frame and pulley system will suit serious bodybuilders
  • Fully adjustable bench included as well
Cons
  • The included bar seems to be a bit lighter than standard Olympic bars

There is a barbell included, but we weren't too impressed with the weight and knurl.

9 - Freemotion Dual Cable EXT Crossover

Freemotion Dual Cable EXT Crossover

The Freemotion EXT has a unique design with two arms that are height adjustable. You can also change the distance for a wider range of motion with your cable crossovers.

  • Weight: 2 x 210 pounds
  • Dimensions: 60D x 113W x 84H inches
Pros
  • Designed with rotating arms to adjust the distance between pulleys
  • Changing from pull down to pull up is fast enough to not disrupt training
  • Highly adjustable weights allow for more precise workouts
Cons
  • Assembly is complicated and requires more than one person

You will need quite a bit of help with this model and prepare yourself for several hours of assembly.

10 - Body Solid Best Fitness bfft10r

Body Solid Best Fitness bfft10r

This Body Solid option is the final one of our recommended crossover machines, and we liked the simple design and easy assembly. It really didn’t take much DIY skills.

I also like the extra-wide pull-up bar as it gives you more flexibility in your exercises.

  • Weight: 1 x 190 pounds
  • Dimensions: 55D x 61W x 84H inches
Pros
  • Sturdy and highly adjustable machine
  • Wide pull-up bar offers you some extra workouts
  • Assembly is easy enough with good instructions
Cons
  • Weight limit probably won’t suit most bodybuilders

Just keep in mind that there’s only one stack for weights, and the total is a bit limited.

Buyer’s Guide

Here are the 4 main areas you should focus on for your buying decision.

1. Maximum Weight Capacity

working out

For a lot of athletes, this is going to be one of the most important features of crossover machines.

At the very least, you’ll need about 160 or more pounds on the weight stacks. But if you’re a serious bodybuilder, then you could have requirements that well exceed 200 pounds.

The heavier the maximum capacity is, the more you’ll need to make sure that the nylon pulleys and bearings are strong enough to still provide a smooth motion.

Unfortunately, our research found quite a few products that felt like they vibrated and stuttered under heavy loads.

2. Height Adjustments

A lot of people just look at the maximum height setting for cross cable machines. While that is important if you’re taller than average, you also need to look at how easy it is to adjust the height of the pulley system itself.

We saw quite a few cable crossover machine reviews where people were disappointed because they had a limited choice of settings.

“The major advantage of the cable crossover is that you don’t perform it on a bench. The shoulder blades—scapulae—are free to move in a natural manner without being pinned to a bench.”

- Joseph M. Horrigan, Contributor at IronmanMagazine.com. 

You’ll need to look at the machines’ images and check for the number of holes on the part of the frame where the pulley handles are attached.

The more you see, the better your training flexibility will be.

3. Dimensions

workout equipment

I know I keep saying this on these home gym equipment reviews, but you have to make sure you measure out your available space at home.

And don’t just focus on the dimensions of the exercise machines.

You have to imagine yourself using the machine and where you will stand.

Then add your expected range of motion to make sure that you won’t be bumping into other equipment or furniture in your home gym space.

It’s happened to me enough times that I spent hours putting together a new exercise machine, only to find that I can’t take advantage of the full feature range because it was too big.

4. Additional Accessories

While a cable machine with enough height adjustments (see above) will give you plenty of workout flexibility, you’ll also want to look for some accessories like different handles, bars, and ropes.

These will help you to target a specific muscle group with a lot more precision.

Also, keep in mind that some crossover machine types require weight plates that are sold separately.

If you have a bench press rack in your home gym, this could be a great way for you to make more use of the weight plates you have.

FAQs

Are Cable Crossovers Effective?

Yes, cable crossovers are effective as they allow for highly targeted upper body muscle training. With the right range of motion, they can be a lot more beneficial than just training with dumbbells and bars.

What Muscles Does a Cable Crossover Machine Exercise?

A cable crossover machine exercises your arms, chest, shoulders, and back muscles. By adding more to the weight stack, you can achieve some significant muscle gains in precise areas you want to bulk up.

What Is The Best Cable Crossover Machine?

Between value for money and the most flexibility for cable machine workouts, we came to the conclusion that the Inspire Fitness model is suitable for most people.

It’s also one of the best cable crossover machine options when it comes to included accessories in the form of additional bars and ropes to help you better refine your workouts.

From a size perspective, it should suit most home gyms, so order yours today and let us know how much it has changed your training.

Inspire Fitness FTX

Inspire Fitness FTX

Our #1 Recommendation

  • Easy to use piece of equipment with plenty of adjustments
  • Comes with different handles and bars for more training options
  • Has a solid chin-up bar to work on your back and shoulders
  • Comes with two loaded 165-pound weight stacks
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