Cable crunch

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Cable crunches (also called: ab pulldowns or rope crunch pulldowns) are one of the best exercises for a six pack, but unfortunately this abdominal exercise is often performed incorrectly, so that the hip flexors do most of the work. Avoid this mistake and make the exercise more effective.


Kneeling cable crunches are performed while kneeling in front of a pulley station, with a (double) triceps rope attached to the cable. In principle, it doesn’t matter much whether your face points towards the station or away from it.

For a correct execution, it is important that your hips remain in the same position during the execution and do not take over the work of your abs. Also, keep your hips elevated for maximum range of motion.

It is also important not to pull the rope with your arms and let your shoulders or triceps do some of the work; the position of your hands in relation to your head remains unchanged.

Furthermore, it is recommended that you do not keep your hands at the level of your neck, but next to your ears. This increases the load arm and makes the exercise more difficult and effective. Press your chin against your chest to fix your neck.

For many exercises, it is good advice to keep your spine in a neutral position. With (cable) crunches, however, you aim for as much flexion in your spine as possible, for maximum contraction of the abdominal muscles.

Bodybuilding coach Eric Bach recommends stretching your abs in the upper part of the movement, and squeezing them together as hard as you can in the lower part.


Powerlifting guru Louie Simmons (Westside Barbell) recommends doing the exercise standing instead of kneeling and with your back to the cable station.

The big advantage of cable crunches is that you can easily adjust the resistance. You just need to adjust the pin. This makes it easy to apply an intensity technique such as dropsets in this exercise .

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