Iron Cross

The exercise “Iron Cross” is used in gymnastics at the performances of the rings. In amateur fitness movement going through the appliance portal pulley. While it is one joint and seemingly easy to implement, proper motion required control over many supportive and stabilizing muscle groups. It is important to note that unlike crossover, much like the Iron Cross, the latter has no pronounced accent.

Major muscle groups:

  • Latissimus dorsi
  • Pectoralis major, Sternal
  • Serratus anterior

Supporting muscle groups:

  • Rhomboids
  • Trapezius, lower
  • Levator scapuale
  • Pectoralis minor


  • Rectus abdominis
  • Obeliques, Transverse abdominis
  • Erector spinae
  • Biceps
  • Triceps
  • Wrist flexors


According instrument used

  • Portal pulley
  • Bilateral horizontal pulley with a removable bench (Total Gym)
  • Elastics tied lever
  • Dumbbell lever in position upside down
  • Machine iron cross

According focus

  • Without accent – after lower point palms are perpendicular to each other.
  • Focusing breasts and seratouse – after lower point palms are exported slightly forward and thumbs point to the inside.
  • Focusing broad chest and rhomboid muscle – after a lower point palms are exported back a little and the thumbs point out.

According to technique

  • Bringing bilateral (bilateral) – a classic option removes the participation of a large part of synergists.
  • Sided (unilateral) – includes all described synergists
  • Bent at the elbows hands fulcrum is the elbow or near the shoulders – allows training for strength and muscle mass in lowered risk for wrists, elbows and tendons.

According amplitude

  • Elongated amplitude – the upper end point is above the position of the shoulders, i.e. behind the critical point. It is suitable for loads with a low intensity and a larger volume;
  • Standard amplitude – the upper end point is above the position of the shoulders, is before the critical point. Suitable for training with high intensity and low volume.

Method of exercise

Bilateral implementation of portal pulley

(Without accent, High Intensity)


1. Take a left and then a right upper handle reels of portal pulley.
2. Gather folded hands to the body, over her breasts.
3. Bend down and stretch your hands to the body.
4. Slowly straighten by moving outstretched hands in a neutral position away.


1. Carefully lift the outstretched arms sideways.
2. Stop just before your hands reach shoulder level, ie before the critical point.
3. Return them back in the same amplitude in the starting position as you strive to stretch hands after lower point.
4. Repeat.



not bend his arms at the elbows during alignment.
if you are tired or work with greater intensity and advance the critical line of the shoulders, necessarily return to the starting position by reducing arms, bending and stretching with standing. To try to overcome the critical point by bringing carries many risks.


The exercise is functional and complementary. You can plug it into practice for back or chest. I recommend it to people who want to go up muscle strength training in basic movements such as barbell bench press and dial.