It’s time to update your workout sessions! Cable crunches are the new mantra for those jaw-dropping six pack abs! From kneeling crunches to weighted ab crunches to rope crunches, here are different forms of cable ab exercises and their benefits!
But how about adding some extra benefits to the regular crunches. Cable crunches are in the limelight. And every gym goer wants to ace them to reach their six-pack abs goal asap! From knowing how exactly to perform them to benefits to different types, we’ve compiled everything about cable crunches! Read on to know more!
What is a Cable Crunch?
A cable crunch is wherein you crunch with the help of a cable station that allows you to add weight with the pull of a pin. Basically, the aim of cable crunches is to work on your abs, especially the upper and middle area or to get those drooling six-pack abs. This is achieved by maintaining tension, making sure your abs bear the effects of the weight. You need to grip the cables unless you use a body harness. Also, choose a weight that you’re comfortable with!
Benefits of Cable Crunches
If you’re wondering, why exactly cable crunches? Here are the advantages of cable crunches:
1. Good resistance is obtained for the body.
2. Instead of normal crunches, it’s easier to control your postures and gain the maximum result with cable crunches.
3. Cable crunches are a good low-impact way to exercise the abdominal muscles and to strengthen the core. It’s also a great way to get the midsection that most people dream about – the six-pack abs!
4. While performing cable crunches, if you use a gym ball, it supports the lower back, allowing you to have full extension in the mid-section and the abdominal area with having complete support. So, you’re working on that core well!
How to Do Cable Ab Workouts?
To make sure that your abs take the weight, you will need to focus on keeping other parts of your body still so that the tension is not spread. Also, cable attachment can make a huge difference to your workout. Usually, a rope is used as an attachment to the cable. This is the most popular and common type of attachment but a good alternative is a handle in each hand and a cable splitter.
That’s the basics of cable crunches, now, let’s see how to perform, what equipment is required and more!
Cable Crunch Machine
A cable crunch machine is the most basic requirement to perform cable crunches. So, that makes them a mainstay exercise to be done in the gym. An advantage of using cables is that they are constantly providing tension because they can be pulled in different directions. Also, one can add weights easily to perform the exercises safely.
You may invest in a machine if you want to workout at home. Or use dumbells and perform the crunches the same way. But always get help from an instructor before trying at home.
Cable Machine Abs Workout
Cable machines make your abs work harder with constant resistance. So, there are different forms of exercises to try in cable crunches. There are three stages of cable crunches namely beginner, intermediate and advanced. Now let’s know about each level and the cable crunch exercise!
Beginner Cable Crunches
In this phase, you’ll explore the benefits of crunching with cable overhead. This will be followed by two-torso twisting exercises. These exercises target both abs and the obliques.
1. High Cable Crunches
High cable crunches are the most basic form of cable abs exercises. Start by kneeling in front of a high cable by holding the handle of the cable. Curl the shoulders down, keeping the hands in the same place and bend halfway to the ground. Pause for 5 seconds and raise slowly to start position.
2. One Arm Cable Row
Standby keeping one foot in front of the other, almost like performing lunges. Hold the lower cable in one hand. Twist the torso away from the machine and draw the cable to your side. Repeat on the other side, too!
3. One Arm Cable Press
This type of cable crunch is similar to one arm cable row. The only difference is you’ll face your back to the machine.
Intermediate Cable Crunches
This phase involves working on different parts of the abs for maximum results. The cable crunch includes upgraded exercises like cable crunch while lying on your back, a reverse crunch targeting the lower abs and a one arm cable crunch for maximum contraction.
1. Lying Cable Crunches
Lie down in front of a cable machine facing your head to the machine. Fold your knees and hold the handle in front of your face. Lift up without straining your neck muscles and repeat.
2. Cable Reverse Crunch
This exercise is almost a leg lift. Lie down with your feet towards the cable crunch machine by attaching cables to ankles. Lift your legs so the thighs are vertical to the ground and bend knees at 90 degrees. Lift your hips off the floor and repeat.
3. One Arm Kneeling Crossover Crunch Bodybuilding
Kneel in front of the cable machine for abs and hold the handle in one hand in front of your face. Curl shoulders towards knees and raise back to start position. Make sure you maintain your form well and don’t twist sideways while performing the exercise.
Advanced Cable Crunches
This is the ultimate level of exercise. From adding gym balls to Russian twists to double-cable tuck crunch to target the entire abdominal area.
1. Pulley Crunch
Stand with your legs apart next to the ab exercises cable machine. Pull the cable with both the hands over your shoulder and twist to the other side. Repeat on the other side, too.
2. Double Weighted Cable Ab Crunch
Lie between twin cables attached to both hands and feet. Hold both knees and elbows at 90 degrees. Raise both shoulders and hips off the floor at the same time and repeat.
3. Bosu Ball Cable Crunch with Side Bends
Lie on a Bosu ball with the cables attached to feet and grab a pole for support. Bend your knees 90 degrees and draw it towards your chest while maintaining stability. And you can also lift your upper body and reach the alternate side of your foot.
4. High Pulley Ab Crunch
Stand next to ab crunch cable machine and hold the cable in both the hands. Twist your torso by drawing the cable down and across your body. Make sure to keep your back straight.
5. Twisting Cable Crunch or Russian Twists
Lie on the gym ball side on to ab workout pulley machine by resting your foot on the ground. Pull cable down across the body and repeat.
Alternative to Cable Crunches
Can you do cable crunches at home? Of course, you can!! If you can’t go to the gym or get a cable machine for yourself, that’s okay! You can get similar benefits of cable crunches by using a pair of dumbbells. But you need to work on your form and recreate the constant resistance on your abs that a cable machine provides for an equally challenging six pack abs workout. So, here’s how to work on those abs using dumbbells!
Hold a dumbbell in each hand of required weights and lie down on a bench. It’s recommended to lie on a bench as your arms will go lower than the rest of the body.
Raise your legs with knees bent at 90-degree angle and your thighs are perpendicular to the ground.
Move your arms so that they are over your head and your elbows are next to your ears. And bend your elbows slightly over the head so that the dumbbell is below the bench.
Curl your head, shoulders, and neck off the bench and rolling up towards your knees performing crunches. Curl up until your head and upper back is off the bench. Make sure your arms are in the same overhead position. They should move in sync with your head, neck and body during this exercise.
Perform at least ten reps to learn the movement. Two or three sets are enough, especially if you’re doing this for the first time. And choose the dumbbells weight according to your caliber. It’s also advised to perform this exercise with the help of an instructor if you’re doing it for the first time.
Standing Cable Crunch or Kneeling Cable Crunch
The most common types of cable crunches performed in the gym are the standing cable crunches and the kneeling cable crunches. Both are great to work on abs but standing or high cable crunches are good at beginner level.
You don’t need to work on your form that much as you have to in the case of kneeling cable crunches. Also, there won’t be enough movement compared to standing. But you can try as a variety when you advance in your six-pack journey. 😉
So, are you all set to get those sexy six-pack abs? I hope you found our guide to cable crunches helpful! Share your thoughts by tweeting @shilpa1ahuja!
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Sahana is a Senior Staff Writer at ShilpaAhuja.com. With an experience in fashion and lifestyle writing, Sahana is responsible for Indian and international fashion week coverage every year, and is developing an expertise in apparel trend forecasting. She also writes about health and fitness, having pursued yoga for 6 years now. She’s not a gym person at all but is all for “running in the park” and is an amateur cyclist. Books and coffee are her other passions. She’s also an amateur photographer. She’s a hardcore Bollywood fan and she loves to cover the nostalgic topics on the same. From fashion trends to famous characters, she can make anyone love Bollywood! Her best article has been 90s Bollywood fashion, a readers’ favorite so far! Prior to her experience with ShilpaAhuja.com, Sahana has written as a freelance author for online magazine, Mashup Corner, and interned at EventsHigh as a content writer. Her blogs on basic fashion, makeup, fitness and city’s food joints that gave her a chance to experiment with her writing. She also has voiced her opinions about feminism and equal rights for men and women at PolkaCafe journals and after quitting her job, she decided to take up writing as her full time career.
Sahana is an engineering graduate and has worked in an MNC, Tesco, for more than a year as an Operations Support. It was her sheer love for fashion that made her quit the monotonous 9 to 5 job to pursue a career in the fashion industry. She’s originally from Bangalore and is currently settled in Chennai (she’s loving the city)! For any queries and discussions, contact her at [email protected] You can also tweet her at https://twitter.com/Sahana_17