Abdominal Cable Crunch

Abdominal Cable Crunch

In this lesson you will learn how to train your upper and outer abdominal muscles with the cable crunch. This is one of my favorite exercises, because it is easy to add extra weight and make it a lot harder than the average ab-exercise. But before you go too crazy on this exercise, work on your form. You can do this with a rope attachment, a straight grip, a triceps pushdown EZ-grip, a V-grip or 2 pulleys put together. In my opinion, 2 pulleys are the best way to do the cable crunch. Find more abdominal exercises on the weight training main page.


  • Lock your forearms on your head. Actually push them against your head. Keep your back round. Don't even hollow your back at the highest point! Your abs are contracted throughout the entire exercise. Look down, not forward, and make sure the plates don't touch each other at the lowest point.
  • Crunch down until your elbows touch the ground, keep your back round and exhale slowly.
  • Then move back up and inhale. At the highest point your back should still be slightly rounded. The up-movement is a bit slower than the down-movement.
  • You can push your hips forward a little at the end, but make sure you keep your back round and your abdominals contracted. If you can't avoid hollowing your back and relaxing your abs, you are moving up too far.


  • To add an isometric contraction, push your elbows down as hard as you can. Here is what I like doing after the last repetition: Push your elbows down and lift your knees. Actually imagine lifting your entire lower body for a moment. Of course that's impossible in this position, but it will give you a great isometric abdominal contraction. Hold for about 6 seconds or 3 breaths and then relax. Don't do this after every repetition.
  • Use enough weight so that you reach muscle failure after about 25 repetitions.
    And remember !!! Never hollow your back !!!
  • To protect your knees, kneel down on a mat.
  • Some people bend to the side in order to emphasize on the outer abdominals. In my opinion this is useless, because the cable crunch already trains the outer abs. Bending to the side just makes this exercise uncomfortable for the arms/shoulders/wrists.