11 Best Cable Abdominal Exercises for Massive Core and Abs

cable abs exercises

If you want to try something new and efficient to train your midsection, cable abdominal exercises can be an excellent option for you.

Cable crossover machines provide endless possibilities to strengthen and tone your core muscles and even burn stubborn belly fats.

The advantage of using the cable machine is that you can quickly switch from one exercise to another and adjust the weight you use for resistance.

With a cable machine’s pulley system, you can focus on a particular muscle group better.

Meanwhile, cable abdominal exercises shape your core from every angle.

Here, I put together a list of the top standing, twisting, and kneeling exercises that you can add to your core workouts.

This collection might be more beneficial for beginners, but gym-goers would also find something new.

Keep in mind that to get the optimal results, always perform the moves and follow instructions carefully.


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Cable Abdominal Exercises that Targets Your Core

1. Kneeling Cable Ab Crunch

Pulley crunch is the most well-known exercise that targets your upper and lower abs efficiently.

The best would be using a rope attachment, but the bar will do if it’s not available.

How to: Arch your back, keep your hip stationary and pull the handle until your elbows touch your knees. Keep the handle behind your neck during the entire motion. You can do kneeling cable crunch by facing towards the machine or the opposite.

2. Standing Cable Crunch

The high cable crunch is the standing version of the kneeling cable crunch, one of the effective cable abdominal exercises on the list.

How to: Keep your hips stationary and pull the weight down until the bar or rope reaches the middle of your thighs.

It’s maybe more complicated than the previous one since you are in a standing position, making it more challenging to keep the form and your balance.

3. Standing Cable Wood Chop (Oblique Cable Twist)

The cable woodchop for abs and oblique is very beneficial training, but moving correctly requires practice.

How to: The pulley handles should be at about your hip level. While moving, you should keep your back and arms straight and then let the weight going back slowly.

If you do it well, you will feel the engagement in your oblique. If you use a heavy load, you can pivot.

4. Bosu Ball Cable Crunch With Side Bends

It’s an excellent compound core exercise that trains both your abdomen and obliques, thanks to the side bends incorporated.

Meanwhile, the Bosu ball keeps your core engaged while doing the cable abdominal exercises.

How to: Make the motion slowly by focusing on your midsection.

5. Kneeling Pallof Press

Though it might be the easiest among the cable abdominal exercises, it requires proper body formation to get maximum results.

Nevertheless, it works your core since it should not allow your body’s rotation. This cable ab workout is beneficial for those who have lower back problems.

How to: Grab the cable handle with both hands at the level of your chest and push it in front of you with straight arms. Keep that position for 3-5 seconds, and slowly let the handle back to the starting position.

6. Plank Cable Row

The plank itself is an excellent abs exercise, but you can add an extra boost to it by using a crossover machine. It also trains your back and shoulders.

Because you should keep your balance with only one arm, plus you pull the handle, it works your entire abdomen well.

How to: Always keep the proper plank position, so do not let your hips down or raise them. Keep your back straight while performing the plank cable row.

7. Cable Reverse Crunch

Cable reverse crunch is also known as cable tuck crunch, an effective cable exercise for the lower abs.

It’s an enhanced version of the knee raise on the floor, but it works the abs better because of the extra resistance.

How to: When you pull your legs in, keep that position for a few seconds for maximum muscle contraction.

8. Standing Cable Lift

This dynamic compound exercise is similar to the oblique twist. Still, instead of rotating your torso to the side, you pull the cable handle above your head.

The move itself requires the entire body, but it’s especially beneficial for the core.

9. Cable Russian Twists

The Russian twist itself is a great exercise to strengthen your obliques, lower abs, and back. Still, you can maximize its benefits by using the cable machine.

Also, since you have to sit on a fitness ball, keeping the torso’s stability will be more challenging, and as a result, those core muscles should work hard.

If you find it troublesome to do, do woodchoppers first and follow with additional cable abdominal exercises.

10. Cable Push-Pull

It’s among my favorite cable abs exercises. You will need to use two handles. One is required for pulling the other is for pushing.

The standing position is similar to when you have a punching workout; the stance is the same.

How to: Twist your hips to feel the resistance in your obliques. I usually do 15-20 reps per side since I want to burn more belly fat.

11. One-Arm High-Pulley Cable Side Bends

Standing oblique cable crunch is an excellent alternative to the dumbbell side bends that works your obliques from different angles.

How to Create a Cable Ab Workout Plan

Now that you know the most beneficial cable abdominal exercises create a workout program that targets your fitness needs and levels.

A good plan contains activities that strengthen your core parts (your lower and upper abs, obliques, and lower back).

If you want to focus on burning belly fat, do more reps, about 15-25 with lighter weights.

However, pay attention to your diet. If you aim to make your core stronger, make fewer reps and use a heavy load.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What is an alternative to a cable machine?

A piece of good alternative gym equipment is the suspension trainer (TRX). The exercises you can do with them are very similar to the ones with the cable machines.

However, your body weight is the resistance, so depending on the range of motion, the suspension trainer movements are maybe more difficult.

You can find the best suspension trainers here.

When do you work your abdomen with cables?

Newbies should stick to the traditional stomach exercises first (such as crunches, planks, leg lifts, etc.) to build core strength.

Once they can do high reps, they can switch to cable abdominal exercises.

For professionals, these are excellent cable abdominal exercises for the core to get progressive overload.

The abdominal muscles get a new impact, so they have to adapt, which leads to muscle growth.

Is it enough to do only cable exercises for abdominals?

A good ab workout targets each part of the core, and you can reach that with the mentioned ab exercises above.

So, yes, it might be enough. However, it is worth switching to different activities (with and without equipment) to force muscle change.

How to pick the right amount of weight?

There is no need to use too heavy a load since you cannot perform the movement correctly and have enough reps and sets.

Pick a resistance that you are comfortable with but gives enough challenge to your body workouts.


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James Wright

James (36) has been working out since he was 15 years old. He has a home gym where he pumps iron, does bodyweight workouts and boxing. He likes sharing his experiences with others who want to build a better physique.

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