If you want to challenge your core strength and make it sturdy, you can do the best cable machine ab workouts. The cable machine is convenient, versatile, and easy to use gym equipment that strengthens the entire body, including abs and oblique.
I’ve shared as many as fifteen cable machine workouts for abs in this article. Some exercises will be easy and some challenging, so you can do a few of them depending on your fitness level.
Although, you can do various bodyweight and weighted ab exercises to beef up your core muscles. But doing the same exercises, again and again, may bore you. And that’s when you can use the cable pulleys. The cable machine allows you to perform plenty of ab exercises to forge your entire core.
Is The Cable Machine Good for Abs?
Here are some of the crucial benefits of doing the ab workout with a cable machine.
- The cable machine allows a greater range of motions and helps you target the working muscles more efficiently from different angles.
- The cable puts constant tension on the muscles when you lift or pull the weight. And the studies say the growth depends on how much tension is placed on your muscle during the exercises. So, this trait makes the cable machine one of the best workout tools.
- The cable machine alone gives you the option to perform many exercises. For example, if you’re training abs on a cable machine, you can do more than ten exercises, such as crunches, wood chop, and twisting.
- The cable is safer than free weight exercises. Cables protect you from injuries that dumbbells and barbells can cause. A study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine revealed that 80-90 percent of injuries occurred because of free weights exercises.
Summary of Cable Machine Ab Workouts
You can do as many as fifteen ab workouts using the cable machine to forge your core muscles and build six-pack abs.
|Upper Ab||Lower Ab||Oblique|
|Kneeling Cable Crunches||Reverse Cable Crunches||Russian Twist|
|Lying Cable Crunches||Cable Tuck Crunch||High to Low Woodchop|
|Standing Cable Crunches||Lying Cable Leg Raise||Low to High Woodchop|
|Decline Cable Crunches||Single-Leg Cable Crunch||Low-Pulley Cable Side Bend|
|Modified Cable Crunches||Cable Leg Lift Hold||High Pulley Cable Side Bend|
|–||–||One-arm Cable Oblique crunch|
Upper Ab Cable Workouts
1. Kneeling Cable Crunches
- Put the rope in the cable machine and set it to a higher section.
- Sit down on your knees (in front of the cable machine) and maintain one step distance between you and the cable machine.
- Stand on your knees to grab the rope firmly while keeping your back straight.
- Keep your abdominal muscles tight and pull the rope toward your body until your core muscle is contracted.
- Squeeze your abs at the bottom of the pull and then slowly reverse the movement to complete one rep.
- Repeat these steps the effective number of times.
2. Lying Cable Crunches
- Set the rope at the bottom of the cable machine and select the desired weight.
- Lie on the floor and bend your knees at 90-degree with your feet properly on the ground.
- Grab the rope with both hands (just above or beside your forehead), keep your core tight, and raise your upper body off the floor until your abs are fully engaged.
- Hold for a couple of seconds, then return the upper body to the ground. That is one crunch. Do as many crunches as you should or can.
3. Standing Cable Crunches
- First of all, set the rope in the higher section of the cable machine (use weight according to your strength).
- Then, start by standing straight close to the cable machine in a shoulder-width stance.
- Grab the rope with your hands, and hold your hands beside your ears.
- Bend your torso down and use your butt to take the support of the machine. This is your starting position.
- Keep your core tight, and pull the rope toward your stomach (like crunches).
- Hold for a moment, then return to the standing position and repeat for the adequate number of reps and sets.
4. Decline Cable Crunches
- Place the abdominal crunch bench in front of the cable machine.
- Attach the rope or D handles to the cable and set it at an appropriate height.
- Lie on the bench and keep your feet locked under the pad.
- Grab the handles with a neutral grip and hold them firmly behind your head. That’s the start.
- Pulling the cable, lift your back off the bench until you feel the contraction in your abs.
- Squeezing your core, pause for a couple of seconds, and then return to the start.
5. Modified Cable Crunches
- Attach the rope to the cable machine and set it at an appropriate height.
- Lie on the floor and grab the rope firmly with your hands just above your face.
- Lift your feet off the floor and bend your knees to 90-degree. That’s the start.
- Perform as many crunches as possible.
Cable Lower Ab Workouts
6. Reverse Cable Crunches
- Put the D handles in the cable machine and set it at the bottom with the weight you want to crunch.
- Lie on the mat with your knees bent (and the feet should be facing the cable machine). And put both your feet in the D handles.
- Raise your legs and hold them high so your thighs are vertical and your knees are slightly bent.
- Keep your abdominal muscles tight and curl your hips off the floor until your abs muscles are engaged. Then reverse the move to complete one rep. Try to perform as many crunches as you can.
7. Cable Tuck Crunch
- Connect a rope in the lower section to the cable machine. Sit down and tie your feet with the band to the bottom of the other side of the machine.
- Lie on your back between the machine with your arms behind your head and legs straight.
- Grab the rope by your ears and lift your shoulders off the ground while pulling your knees toward your chest.
- Hold for a second and make sure your core is fully engaged. And then reverse the move to return to the starting position.
- Do as many sets and reps as you can.
8. Lying Cable Leg Raise
- Set the D handles at the lower section of the cable machine, and lie on your back on the mat with your feet facing the machine.
- Keep your arms at your side on the ground and put your feet in the D handles.
- Keeping your core tight, raise your leg as high as possible, hold for a moment at the top, then lower it down.
- And without landing your feet on the floor, raise your leg for the second rep and do as many as you want.
9. Single-Leg Cable Crunch
- Anchor the D handle to the cable and sit on all fours against the pulley.
- Put your right foot in the handle and drive your knee inside your torso until your core is entirely engaged.
- Shoot for two sets of ten to 12 reps on each side.
10. Cable Leg Lift Hold
- Attach the D handles to the pulley in the lower section.
- Place your feet in the handle and lie on the floor with your legs straight.
- Lift your upper back and legs off the floor, brace your core, and hold in that position for as long as possible.
Related: Best Lower Ab Workouts For Men & Women
Cable Machine Ab Exercises for Oblique
11. Kneeling One-arm Cable Oblique crunch
- Put the rope in the cable machine and set it in the high section.
- Get on your knees, hold the cable with your right hand, and put your left hand on the hips.
- Keeping your abdominal muscles tight, pull the rope down across your body toward your side. Make sure your abdominal muscles are contracted.
- Hold for a couple of seconds, then return to the higher position. Repeat for the maximum number of repetitions.
12. Russian twist
To perform the Russian twist ab workout on the cable machine, you need one gym ball, which you can lay upon. Alternatively, you can do a cable standing twist.
- Place the gym ball on the floor one big step away from the cable machine (besides the machine).
- Lie on the ball on your back with your feet firmly on the ground.
- Turn your torso toward the cable machine and grab the rope with both hands (keep your arms straight) in front of your chest. This is your starting position.
- Keep your core tight, twist your torso and pull the cable across to the other side of your body (keep your arms straight throughout).
- Then re-twist your torso and return your arms to the starting position. That is one rep. Twist both sides alternatively and perform as many reps as required.
13. High To Low Cable wood Chop
- Put the D handle in the cable machine and set it at a high point.
- Stand straight beside the cable machine, and twist your torso toward the machine.
- Keeping your arms straight, grab the D handle with both hands.
- Pull the cable down across the body until it crosses your thigh.
- Squeeze your core muscles, hold for a couple of seconds, and slowly return to the starting position.
- Try to perform as many sets and reps as you can.
14. Reverse Cable Wood Chop
- Attach the D handle to the cable and set the pulley to the lowest section.
- Stand upright with your left shoulder facing the machine.
- Keeping your arms straight, pull the cable across your body while twisting your torso toward your right shoulder. Make sure your core is fully engaged.
- Reverse the movement to return to the beginning. Try to perform two sets of 10 reps each.
15. Low-Pulley Cable Side Bend
- Attach the D handle to the cable and set the pulley in the lowest section.
- Stand to the left side, so your shoulder is facing the machine.
- Grab the handle and bend your torso to the side until you feel the contraction in your oblique.
- Do the same number of sets and reps on each side.
16. High Pulley Cable Side Bend
- Set the pulley at a higher section of the machine, grab the ball of cable, and stand to its side.
- Keeping your elbow bent, bend your torso to the left side until your oblique is engaged.
- Complete the suggested reps and then perform the same on your right side.
Cable Machine Ab Workout Routine
Here are a couple of cable machine abs workout routines you can do to strengthen the entire muscles of the core, such as abs and obliques. Following these schedules consistently will thicken your rectus abdominish muscle and help you build six-pack abs.
Perform three sets of 10 reps with 30 second break after each exercise one minute after each round.
- Kneeling Cable Crunches
- Reverse Cable Crunches
- High to Low Woodchop
- Decline Cable Crunches
- Single-Leg Cable Crunch
- Low-Pulley Cable Side Bend
Do each exercise for thirty seconds with 30-sec rest for three circuits with 60 seconds of a break after each.
- Modified Cable Crunches
- Cable Tuck Crunch
- Low to High Woodchop
- Decline Cable Crunches
- Lying Cable Leg Raise
- High Pulley Cable Side Bend
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How often should you do these exercises?
Depending on what you’re trying to achieve, you can do the cable machine abs workout once to twice a week. Doing it once a week is enough if you only want to build core strength but to thicken your abs, you need to work out two times a week.
Do these Ab Exercises reduce belly fat?
Whether you train your abs with the cable machine or any other equipment, you won’t lose belly fat unless you cut your calories from your diet. These exercises build up your core to help you perform various compound movements efficiently, such as the deadlifts and bench press. However, they don’t directly reduce weight1The effect of abdominal exercise on abdominal fat – PubMed.
Related Ab Exercises