The cable crunch is a rarely performed but extremely effective exercise to build functional core strength.
I personally found the cable crunch to be a fantastic way to build up the core strength required to begin the harder abdominal exercises such as the dragon flag and toes to bar.
Although you can essentially perform the cable crunch with any attachment on your cable machine I recommend using a long rope attachment (as other grips cause premature grip fatigue).
Required: Cable Machine + Rope Attachment
Optional: Yoga Mat
Cable Crunch Form:
Kneel below a cable machine with a rope attachment.
Maintain a strong grip on the rope while lowering it to your head height while kneeling.
Flex your hips.
While tightening your abs flex your waist in order to drive the rope down to the middle of your thighs.
Hold and contract this bottom position for 1 second.
Slowly release tension to allow the rope to return to the top (head height) before contracting the abs and flexing the waist to perform the next repetition.
Note: Excessive weight on the cable crunch places your lower back at a higher risk of injury, proceed with a conservative weight.
Cable Crunch Variations
Oblique Twist Cable Crunch
In order to emphasise the obliques when performing your cable crunches utilize a handle attachment, crunching down between alternating sides.
Common Cable Crunch Mistakes
Training Abs Too Frequently
Abdominal training is a lot easier than many make it out to be.
You do not need to train abs every single day, in fact if you’re training them hard it’s detrimental to progress.
You do not need to dedicate entire workouts to your abs.
Like all other muscle groups, the abs require time to recover after they’ve been hit hard.
I recommend throwing in a 15 minute ab workout 2 – 3 times per week at the end of your regular workout… do not train abs first before you go into heavy squats or deadlifts as your core will be fatigued and will become the weak link in your exercises.
Not Venturing Beyond The Sit-Up
The sit-up is without a doubt the most common ab exercise, chances are when you think of abs you instantly think of sit-ups, and lots of them.
I personally find 2 issues with the sit-up and cannot remember the last time I incorporated sit-ups into my ab workout regime.
The sit-up places the lower back in a compromised position when performed with bad form.
The sit-up does not work the entire abdominal region, i.e. it neglects the lower abdominals.
Thinking Ab Exercises Will Get You Abs
The cliche saying, ‘abs are made in the kitchen’ is correct.
Six pack abs are the result of low body fat, for men the abs start popping around 10% body fat and continue to get more defined as you delve down into the single digit body fat range. For women, abs are visible around 15% body fat.
In order to burn fat and get down into this low body fat range we need to subject our body to a calorie deficit (i.e. be consuming less calories per 24 hour basis than our body needs to maintain its current weight). Without a caloric deficit fat loss is literally impossible.
A caloric deficit is induced via a combination of diet and exercise, ab exercises can assist you in burning calories to place you in a deficit to lose fat… but if you’re eating too much there’s no colossal number of sit-ups, leg raises or planks that’ll get you the six pack abs you desire.
Similar & Substitute Exercises
- Hanging Leg Raises
- Side Planks
- Reverse Crunch
- Ab Roller