Kneeling Cable Crunch

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Kneeling Cable Crunch Exercise Guide

Kneeling cable crunch is a good exercise that works all the abdominal muscles – the upper, lower, and oblique (side) abs. This abdominal exercise requires you to kneel in front of the cable (preferably set at the height for triceps extensions). Using a cable pulley machine allows you to increase the resistance as your training permits. This excellent abdominal exercise is highly recommended for intermediate and advanced athletes.

Perfect Kneeling Cable Crunch Technique

Kneel in front of the machine (facing either away from or toward the weight stack) and pull both ends of the rope toward the floor to make an inverted V. Grab the big knots at each end. Position your arms so that the ends of the rope are just in front of your forehead (or on either side of your head close to your ears) and your elbows are close to your side. Lean forward.

Kneeling Cable Crunch

Kneeling Cable Crunch

Now contract your abdominal muscles and slowly pull down on the rope with your torso, keeping your elbows close to your side and your lower body stationary. Pull downward until your head is close to the floor, your elbows are close to your knees, and your torso is parallel to the floor. Hold, then return to the starting point.

Exercise Key Points to Remember

  • Don’t pull down on the cable with your arms. You want your abs to pull the weight down as you lower your torso (keep in mind that this is an ab exercise).
  • Your hands and the bend in your elbows when holding the rope should remain the same from beginning to end. Don’t let the rope up on the way up; keep it near your head. Don’t pull it either. You want your abs to pull the rope, not your arms.
  • If you position yourself a short distance away from the pulley, you will benefit from a greater range of motion when you crunch.
  • Your buttocks should be up all the time. Do not sit on your legs. You want to keep constant stress on your abs. Sitting on your legs will take stress away from your abs.
  • When you start, arch your lower back. When you are crunching, round your back. This will ensure that you are contracting your abs. After you crunch and begin to raise your torso to the original position, slowly and gradually arch your back again.

Muscles Engaged

Main muscles: rectus abdominis
Secondary muscles: external and internal oblique muscles, transverse abdominal
Antagonists: spinal erectors, longissimus dorsi and other muscles along the spinal column, and lower back muscles

Kneeling Cable Crunch Variations (Replacement Exercises)

A variety of machines replicate the rope crunch. Some machines provide a lumbar pad to support the lower back during torso motion, with resistance provided by an overhead cable pulley.

You can also perform twisting kneeling cable crunch. Same movement, but twist at the waist and bring your non-dominant shoulder toward the opposite knee. Pause, straighten, then lower your other shoulder toward its opposite knee.

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