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How to Do Cable Crunches

This Is the 1 Ab Exercise You Absolutely Must Do If You Want Your Abs to Pop

Doing hundreds of crunches and planks can be great if you're looking to strengthen your core, but if a defined mid-section is what you're after, the cable crunch is the one move you need to add to your repertoire of ab exercises. The cable crunch will define and strengthen your core at the same time since your abs are under constant tension throughout the entire movement. Similar to getting more defined arms, the tension from the weight is what makes the muscle pop. If your goal is defined, solid abs, this is the move for you.


Here's how to do it:

  • Attach a tricep rope handle to the pulley on the carriage of a cable station. Adjust the carriage so that it's near the top third of the machine. The exact position will vary based on your height.
  • Next, select the amount of resistance you want — 22.5 pounds is a great starting point. As you begin to become more comfortable with the movement feel free to increase the weight.
  • Facing the pulley, come into a kneeling position approximately one and a half feet away from the machine.
  • Grab the tricep rope handles and brace your core. You should feel a light stretch in your abs, if not increase the weight. Make sure your weight is in your shins.
  • Simultaneously pull both handles with bent arms and perform a crunch. Your elbows should be parallel to your thighs.
  • With control return to the starting position as you maintain tension on the pulley. That completes one repetition.
  • Repeat for three sets of 10 repetitions.
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Tamara Pridgett
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