Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Forget sit-ups, the cable machine is a great sidekick in the quest for a six-pack. Our guide to cable machine exercises is packed with tips on how to utilise the constant resistance of a cable and is split into three sections:

  1. Beginner: Firstly you’ll explore the benefits of crunching with cable tension overhead, followed by two torso-twisting exercises that are assisted by controlled arm movements to target both the abs and the obliques (possibly hidden by those love handles).
  2. Intermediate: Now it’s time to hit different parts of the abs to maximise results. These exercises include an upgraded cable crunch while lying on your back, a reverse crunch targeting the lower abs and a one-arm cable crunch for maximal contraction.
  3. Advanced: This is where winners are made. Starting with a tried and trusted method, the judo throw, you’ll then move onto a double-tension cable tuck crunch to target the entire abdominal area. Adding a gym ball to proceedings maximises core strength and stability with the cable leg raise, before putting the torso under constant tension with the high cable woodchop. Then it’s back to the gym ball to finish off with some Russian twists and you’ve mastered the art of abdominal training.

Now you can incorporate them into your workouts. Either use them as a finisher, picking two or three moves and cycling between them with minimal rest inbetween, or throughout a session by using them in a superset between sets of bigger full-body compound moves. The result will be a stronger, more stable core ready for action in and out of the gym.

Beginner Cable Machine Exercises

High cable crunch

High cable crunch
  • Kneel in front of a high cable and hold handle in front of face
  • Tense abs and curl shoulders down, keeping hands in same place
  • Pause at bottom and rise slowly to start

One arm row

One arm row
  • Stand in split stance and hold low cable
  • Twist torso away from machine and draw the cable in to your side
  • Flex at the knees to initiate each rep

One arm press

One arm press
  • Face away from machine and hold high cable in split stance
  • Twist torso and press the cable away from your body
  • Flex at the knees to initiate each move

Intermediate Cable Machine Exercises

Low cable crunch

Low cable crunch
  • Lie in front of a low cable and hold handle in front of face
  • Curl shoulders off floor
  • Pause at top and lower slowly to start

Cable reverse crunch

Cable reverse crunch
  • Lie with feet towards low cable and attach cable to ankles
  • Hold thighs vertical and bend knees at 90°
  • Curl your hips off the floor and return slowly to start

One arm cross crunch

One arm cross crunch
  • Kneel in front of cable and hold handle in one hand in front of face
  • Curl shoulders towards knees without letting body twist to side
  • Pause at bottom and rise slowly to start

Advanced Cable Machine Exercises

Judo throw

Judo throw
  • Stand side-on to high cable with wide stance
  • Twist body away from stack and pull cable over shoulder
  • Crunch forward pulling cable down

Cable tuck crunch

Cable tuck crunch
  • Lie between twin cables attached to both hands and feet
  • Hold knees and elbows at 90°
  • Raise shoulders and hips off the floor at same time, hold and return

Gym ball cable leg raise

Gym ball cable leg raise
  • Lie back on gym ball with cable attached to feet
  • Grab a support for stability and hold legs out in front of you
  • Draw legs up while maintaining stability on ball

High cable woodchop

High cable woodchop
  • Stand side-on to high cable, turn torso towards it
  • Draw cable down and across your body, turning torso
  • Keep back straight and core tensed throughout

Cable Russian twist

Cable Russian twist
  • Lie on Swiss ball side-on to cable machine
  • Turn torso towards stack, keeping body flat from head to knees
  • With straight arms, draw low cable across body to other side