Abdominal cable crunches are one of the best exercises for building strong abs as fast as possible. They are very effective for targeting the abdominal muscles which are both strengthened and stimulated by this exercise. What makes this exercise unique is the ability to adjust the resistance with the weight stack and generate variable resistance to build up your abs. The resistance and instability of the cable pulley system challenges the abdominal muscles and boosts their growth. This exercise requires a cable station which can be found in many gyms.
Exercise Instructions: Using a cable station, attach a rope attachment and grab it with both hands. Kneel down on the ground and position your hands against your head. While kneeling on the ground, keep your hips stable and lower your upper body down to the floor. Remember to crunch down and place maximum tension on your abs. Pause for a moment at the bottom and then return back to the starting position and repeat.
Muscles Targeted: Abdominal muscles are part of core muscles which are primarily responsible for bending and twisting movements. Core muscles include: abdominals, obliques, serratus, lower back muscles and other stabilizing muscles. These muscles are intended to be targeted while performing abdominal cable crunches.
Why This Exercise is Important: It not only helps in building six pack abs but it also improves your core strength. Building core strength has the following benefits:
- It improves your physique since a tight and strong core will make your waist look small which in turn makes your shoulders appear broad and your chest bigger.
- It improves posture as it builds up abdominal strength which in turn stabilizes the rest of the body. A stable body means a stronger body.
- It reduces the risk of injury since strong core muscles help with lower back issues.
Things To Avoid: There are various things that need to be kept in mind while performing this exercise which includes the correct amount of weight being used, keeping the hips stationary throughout the movement and keeping constant tension on the abs throughout this movement. One should not perform this exercise if he/she has lower back problems. Moreover, other things which should be avoided while performing this exercise include:
- Do not swing the hips around for support as it can nullify the effect of the exercise.
- Do not perform this exercise too quickly or with jerky movements.
- Do not work only in the limited range of movement.
Reps and Sets: Most fitness experts recommend higher repetition sets mixed with lower reps sets for getting the best results. The amount of weight is also an important factor to be kept in mind while performing this exercise. If there is too much weight then one may not be able to perform the exercise with strict form and proper technique. For best results, your repetition range should be between 20-35 reps for a total of 3-4 sets. To get the best results one can perform drop sets which means to mix this ab exercise with a certain amount of reps and then drop the weight on the cable machine and do another set immediately after. Rest between sets for about a minute and then perform 2-3 more sets. Train your abs 2-3 times per week for the best results.
Other Exercises To Use: There are other exercises which add additional benefits to the abdominal cable crunch exercise. Abdominal crunches can be performed using an exercise ball instead of a cable by laying your lower back on the exercise ball with your feet placed on floor firmly or you can lie on your back onto a floor with your legs resting on an exercise ball with your knees bent at a 90 degree angle. AB crunches can also be performed using an abdominal crunch machine. Along with these exercises, there are various other ways to perform abdominal crunches. View our extensive database of exercise guides for a comprehensive list of all the exercises that target the abs.