In a series of abs and core exercises, I’m going to share a list of the best abs workout that you can do on a cable machine (with step-by-step instructions on how to perform them). The cable machine is one of the best workout tools that can be used to develop stronger abs and obliques.
Getting six-pack abs isn’t difficult. If you or I do workout consistently and follow a proper diet, we’ll surely see the result in a shorter amount of time. But if we fail to do that we’ll have to struggle.
Well, there are multiple body-weight and weighted ab exercises are available that you can do to thicken your abs. But doing the same exercises, again and again, may bore you. That’s why you need to include different workout variations like cable machine ab exercises. Because the cable machine gives you an option to perform plenty of exercises that work on the entire core.
- Four Reasons Why Cable Machine May Work Well For You
- List of cable machine abs workout (for upper and lower abs, and obliques)
- The how-to guide for each cable ab workout
- Combining cables exercises with free weights and bodyweight.
Before directly moving onto the exercises, you may need to know why cable machine may work well for you. Below are the Four reasons that will help you understand
- The cable machine allows a greater range of motions and helps you target the working muscles more efficiently and from different angles.
- The cable machine put constant tension on the muscles when you lift or pull the weight. And the studies say your muscles growth and strength depends on how much tension is placed on your muscle during the exercise. So, this trait makes the cable machine is one of the best workout tools.
- The cable machine alone gives you the option to perform a plethora of exercises. For example, if you’re training abs on a cable machine, you have at least 10 exercises tp perform like cable crunches, woodchop, cable twisting and more.
- One of the important quality of cable training that it is safer than free weight exercises. Cables protect you from injuries that can be caused by dumbbells and barbells. A study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine revealed that 80-90 per cent of injuries occurred because of free weights exercises.
Cable Crunches (Cable Machine Abs Exercises)
1. Kneeling Cable Crunches
Step-by-step instructions to do Kneeling Cable Crunches
- Put the rope in the cable machine and set it at a higher point.
- Sit down on your knees (in front of the cable machine) and keep hip-width apart distance between your knees as well as maintain one step distance between you and the cable machine.
- Stand on your knees to grab the rope firmly with both hands while keeping your back straight.
- Keep your abdominal muscles tight and pull the rope toward your body until your core muscle contracted.
- Squeeze your abs at the bottom of the pull and then slowly reverse the movement to complete one rep.
- Repeat these steps for the effective number of times.
2. Lying Cable Crunches (Cable upper abs workout)
Steps to perform lying crunches on the cable machine
- Set the rope at the bottom of the cable machine along with the load you want to do.
- Lie on the floor on your back and bend your knees at 90-degree and keep 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. Reverse Cable Crunches (Cable lower abs workout)
How to do reverse cable crunches
- Put the D handles in the cable machine set it at the bottom with the weight you want to crunch.
- Lie on the mat with your knees are bent (and the feet should be facing the cable machine). And put your both 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.
4. Kneeling One-arm Cable Oblique crunch
Here are the steps to perform single-arm oblique crunch on cable machine
- Put the rope in the cable machine and set it in the high section.
- Get on your knees and 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.
5. Standing Cable Crunches
Step-by-step instructions to perform 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 with standing straight close the cable machine in the 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.
- Now, keeping your core tight, pull the rope toward your stomach (like crunches).
- Hold for a moment then return in the standing position and repeat for the effective number of reps and sets.
6. Cable Tuck Crunch
Step-by-step instructions to perform Cable Tuck Crunch
- Connect a rope in the lower section to the cable machine. Sit down and also 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 are behind your head and legs are spread straight.
- Grab the rope by your ears and then simultaneously lift 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 the starting position.
- Do as many sets and reps as you can.
7. Lying Cable Leg Raise (Intermediate cable abs workout)
Steps to perform leg raise on the cable machines
- Set the D handles at the lower section of the cable machine, 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 you can, and 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.
8. Russian twist (Cable Machine Oblique Workout)
To perform the Russian twist ab workout on the cable machine you need one gym ball, where you can lay upon. Alternatively, you can do cable standing twist.
Here are the steps you can follow to perform the Cable Russian 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.
- Now, keeping 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.
9. Cable woodchop (High To Low)
Step-by-step instructions to perform 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 then slowly return to the starting position.
- Try to perform as many sets and reps as you can.
10. Reverse Cable Woodchops or Low Cable Woodchop
Here are the steps you can follow to perform the Reverse Cable Woodchops
- Place the D handle at the lower section of the cable machine.
- Stand upright with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Slightly bend your inside knee and twist your torso to the side to grab the handle with both hands (hold the handle over the top of your inside knee). This is your starting position.
- Keeping your arms straight, pull the cable across your body while twisting your torso to the opposite side.
- Make sure your core is fully engaged. Then reverse the movement to return to the beginning. Try to perform two sets of 10 reps each.
11. One-arm Cable Press
Step-by-step instructions to do Single-arm cable machine press
- Set the rope at the high section of the cable machine.
- Stand in the split stance (where one foot one step forward) with your back facing the machine (it means your face facing away from the machine).
- Grab the cable with your right hand (it is the opposite hand to your front leg), bend your elbow and hold it by your shoulder. While keeping your left arm straight in front of you. This is your starting position.
- Twisting your torso, press the cable forward (and slightly down) until your right arm is straight in front of you. And as you press the cable pull your left arm to the side.
- Hold for a moment then reverse the move. Try to do two sets of 10 reps on each side.
How to perform one-arm rowing on cable machine
- Set the Love handle at the bottom of the cable machine
- Stand in the split stance, bend your knees and grab the handle with the opposite hand of your front leg while keeping your other arm straight in front of you.
- Now row to the side until your hand reaches your chest level.
- And then return and repeat for the desired number of times.
What are The benefits of Combining cable machine Exercises with Free-weights and Bodyweight?
A study published in 2008 by the Journal Strength and Conditioning Research revealed that combining elastic resistance like cable with free weight exercises produce a better result than training with free weights only in terms of developing power and strength in the upper and lower body. So, combining cable machine abs workout with dumbbell and weight plate ab exercises will accelerate your journey for getting thick and shaped six-pack abs.
You can add resistance (cable machine) to the bodyweight ab exercises that you can easily do like crunches, reverse crunches etc. While some cable machine ab workouts such as cable Russian twists, lying cable leg raise etc are difficult to perform so you can do them without weights. In that way, you can design a workout plan for building six-pack abs. And combining both exercises will surely help you achieve the desired result faster.