Good Ab Workouts For Great Results Guaranteed!

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good ab workouts

Sculpt Superhero Abs With These Good Ab Workouts

Sitting around on the couch watching TV is the main reason for so many bloated stomachs since the arrival of McDonald’s. Just think about all the time you can spend flicking through channels with the remote watching Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad and other wonderful shows on NetFlix.

You know what I’m talking about. Going to bed late because you just wanted to watch “one more episode”. We’ve all been there. Well have no fear.

With this extensive list of cable-based ab exercises you’ll easily be able to undo all the hard work you put into gaining that gut because on the concept of constant tension throughout every rep.

You see, the nature of cables is that they do a really good job of isolating the abs and making them do all the work. This allows you to get abs that pop out nicely without machines that might lead to overdeveloped oblique muscles.

That can ruin a V-taper upper body and no one wants that.

If that wasn’t a good enough reason to start using cables, there’s also the added benefit of being able to do an almost endless variety of ab moves with cables.

Now before your imagination runs away with you, let’s start small and build up from there. If you’re willing to incorporate the following 10 cable ab exercises into your routine you’ll see amazing results in no time at all. Trust me on this.

Good Ab Workouts Exercise 1 – Bosu Ball Cable Crunch With Side Bends

You’ll develop a love-hate relationship with this exercise because you’ll hate the difficulty and burning sensation but you’ll love the results.

This complex movement targets the upper and lower abdominal areas and as your abs burn from the crunches you hit the obliques right after that. Without taking a break you will keep the tension on your abs in the side bend position.

How To Do This Exercise

  • Place a Bosu Ball in front of a FreeMotion machine or a regular pulley station if you don’t have one.
  • Lie down on the Bosu Ball so that your lower back is arched back over the ball. Your feet should be in a wide stance and your butt should be close to the ground without touching it.
  • Take a cable handle in each hand and grabbing it from behind you, push them straight out in front of you between your knees while keeping your arms straight the whole time.
  • From this position, do regular crunches and keep your arms locked in front of you. Do as many reps as possible until failure.
  • Once you’ve reached failure on crunches, sit in an upright position with your hands angled downwards towards your feet. Do alternating side bends and try to touch your heels.
  • Repeat these side bends until you reach failure and that will complete this exercise.

Performance Tip: When you’re doing the crunches on the Bosu Ball, make sure to lean back and really get a nice rounded lower back when you extend backwards.

This will allow you to achieve a greater range of motion which in turn results in a better overall development of your entire abdominal region.

Good Ab Workouts Exercise 2 – One Arm High Pulley Cable Side Bends

In this exercise, upward weighted tension is used which is the opposite of standard oblique exercises done when standing. That’s what makes this seldom-used movement so great.

With this exercise, you’ll hit your obliques with a double whammy by maintaining constant tension on the individual obliques combined with isolated contractions.

How To Do This Exercise

  • Get to a cable station and attach a regular handle to the top-most part of the pulley.
  • Grab the handle with an underhand grip while standing with your side to the cable station.
  • Pull the weight down with your hand and keep your hand close to your shoulder.
  • Place your opposite hand and your hip for stability and balance and keep your feet hip width apart.
  • Without moving the weighted arm at all, bend to the opposite side in a crunch movement.
  • After fully contracting your oblique muscle, slowly return to the standing position but make sure the weight stack doesn’t come to a complete rest. You want to ensure constant tension throughout this exercise.
  • Keep doing repetitions until you can’t do any more.
  • Repeat the above steps for the opposite of your body.

Performance Tip: To avoid this movement becoming a bicep and shoulder exercise, make sure you keep your cable hand really close to your side and lock it in place. This will help with putting the focus on your obliques.

Good Ab Workouts Exercise 3 – Pallof Press With Rotation

This press exercise is named after John Pallof. Don’t worry about the name. This movement hits your overall core by forcing it to be fully activated at all times to keep you balanced.

To further enhance this exercise a rotation has been added which will let your abs, obliques and serratus muscles all join the party.

How To Do This Exercise

  • As expected, get to a cable station and attach a handle at shoulder height.
  • Simply hold the handle as you stand with your side to the cable station and take a step away from the pulley so that you end up with an outstretched arm under tension.
  • To get to the starting position, bring the handle to the center of your chest and hold it with both hands.
  • Press the handle out in front of you so that your arms are locked.
  • Keep your upper body rigid and without moving your lower body at all, turn 90 degrees away from the pulley.
  • Slowly turn back to the starting position with your arms outstretched in front of you.
  • At this point, bring your hands towards your chest and press the handle away from your body as if you were doing a standing bench press. This completes your first rep.
  • Repeat until you can’t do any more reps and then do the above steps for the opposite of your body.

Performance Tip: To increase the amount of work your core has to do, make sure to keep your feet close together instead of wide apart. The wider your stance is, the more you’re putting the workload on your legs.

Good Ab Workouts Exercise 4 – Standing Cable Wood Chop

This exercise simulates the act of chopping wood hence the name. Although you won’t be making use of an axe and piling up firewood, you’ll definitely be that much closer to a superhero type upper body as this targets the abs, obliques and serratus muscles around your ribs.

How To Do This Exercise

  • Take a regular cable handle and attach it to a cable station with the pulley raised to its highest position.
  • Position yourself so that the cable machine is at your side as you grab the handle with one hand.
  • While holding the handle, take a step away from the cable station and have your arm stretched out holding the weight.
  • In a single fluid movement, pull the handle downwards and across the front of your body until the front of your knee as you simultaneously turn your trunk.
  • Make sure to maintain a tight core with straight arms and a firm back as you swivel on your back foot and get a full range of motion by bending the knees.
  • Keep your feet in place and your arms nice and straight as you return to the starting position. Do this in a very controlled and deliberate manner.
  • Do as many reps as you can until you reach failure.
  • Repeat the above steps for the other side of your body.

Performance Tip: This is a bit of a tricky exercise in that you really have to have a good mind-muscle connection to get your core to do most of the work.

Your whole body will twist in this exercise but focus on getting a really good rotation of your torso and a nice lock-in at the end of the range of motion.

Good Ab Workouts Exercise 5 – Standing Cable Lift

This exercise is the same as the standing cable wood chop described above but you’ll be using the pulley from the bottom instead of the top so the entire movement is reversed which means your muscles are worked in the order of obliques, abs and then serratus.

How To Do This Exercise

  • Get to your favorite cable machine and attach a cable handle to the pulley at the lowest position.
  • Take hold of the handle with one hand and with the machine at your side, take a step away from the station. Stand about one arm’s length away, keeping tension on the cable with your arm stretched out all the way.
  • Get into a neutral foot stance keeping them hip-width apart, squat and take hold of the handle using both of your hands. Keep those arms straight like you’re really holding an axe.
  • In a single fluid movement, pull the handle upwards and across the front of your body so that your arms end up above your head in an extended position.
  • Make sure to keep your back straight and your upper arms close to your torso while you swivel on your back foot and your legs straighten.
  • As you return to the starting position, bring your arms back and then turn your body in a deliberate and controlled manner.
  • Do as many reps as you can until you reach failure.
  • Repeat the above steps for the other side of your body.

Performance Tip: This is a bit of a tricky exercise in that you really have to have a good mind-muscle connection to get your core to do most of the work.

Your whole body will twist in this exercise but focus on getting a really good rotation of your torso and a nice lock-in at the end of the range of motion.

Good Ab Workouts Exercise 6 – Kneeling Cable Crunch With Alternating Oblique Twists

This is another great abdominal exercise that targets both the abs and obliques. With tension overhead you’ll find that this hits the upper and lower ab region and the combined oblique twisting forms a great overall ab move all in one.

But it’s challenging in a good way. You’ll feel like you’re fighting a sumo wrestler during this exercise.

How To Do This Exercise

  • Attach a rope attachment to the top of a cable station. Put a mat in front of the pulley machine.
  • Take hold of the rope with two hands and kneel down on the mat about 2 feet away from the station.
  • Keep the rope behind your neck as you face the cable station with your hands by your ears or jaw.
  • Without moving your hands or arms from this position, begin crunching down using your abs to do the work until your elbows touch your knees.
  • Hold the contraction for a second and in a steady, controlled motion, rise up to the starting position.
  • Perform another crunch but as add a twist so that your right elbow touches your left knee.
  • Hold this position for a second and go back to the starting position.
  • Do another cable crunch and this time touch your right knee with your left elbow.
  • These three crunches form part of one series. Do as many of these as you can until you reach faioure.

Performance Tip: When doing the regular crunch make sure to keep your elbows nice and close to your body but when doing the oblique twists, flare your elbows out so that you allow yourself a wide range of motion during the rotations.

Good Ab Workouts Exercise 7 – Cable Reverse Crunch

This exercise is a fantastic lower ab movement and to say that it’s effective is an understatement. A comparison could be made between what you feel when doing this exercise and the feeling of being tied to a horse at the feet as it drags you around at high speed.

This exercise is difficult enough just trying to maintain the 90 degree starting position nevermind actually doing the reverse crunch without any forward momentum.

How To Do This Exercise

  • Ankle straps will be used for this exercise. Connect them to the lower part of a cable station and place a mat in front of it on the ground.
  • Sit on the mat with your feet towards the cable station and connect the ankle straps to the pulley with your feet in the straps.
  • Lie on your back and form a 90 degree angle with your knees so you look like the letter Z. The cable should be in line with your shins. If not, adjust accordingly.
  • Keep your hands at your temples or behind your head and pull your knees towards your chest and lift your butt off the ground.
  • Hold this contraction for a second and then slowly return to the starting position in a controlled manner.
  • Do this for as many reps as possible.

Performance Tip: If you choose to put your hands behind your head and find that you pull on your neck then rather keep your arms at your side.

The reason for keeping your hands behind your neck is to keep your back about an inch off the ground to keep tension on your upper abs but skip this if you’re putting pressure on your neck.

Good Ab Workouts Exercise 8 – Cable Judo Flip

This may sound like it’s part of martial arts training but that won’t be necessary. This movement includes oblique targeting with twisting motions as well as ab focus because of the flipping motion.

How To Do This Exercise

  • Head on over to a cable station and connect a rope attachment to the bottom part of the pulley.
  • Position yourself so the cable station is at your side and hold the rope attachment with two hands.
  • Pull the weight stack by twisting your body away from the station and bring the rope over the shoulder as you continue the judo flip movement.
  • The weight should shift from the foot closest to the station to the one furthest away as the weight is pulled downwards.
  • Get back to the starting position and do as many judo flips as you can until failure.
  • Do the same motion for the other side of your body.

Performance Tip: This exercise must be done in one smooth motion but to help you focus correctly on your abs and obliques during the movement, it helps to think of it as two movements instead. A twist move followed by an ab crunch.

Another thing to do is pause at the bottom of the judo flip crunch position and hold the tension for a second or more before returning to the starting position.

Good Ab Workouts Exercise 9 – Cable Russian Twists

This exercise might as well be called crazy russian twists because that’s exactly what they are. You’ll be challenging your obliques with tension from the side while on a stability ball and rotating as well for even more oblique and serratus activation.

How To Do This Exercise

  • Attach a regular handle to the middle position of a cable station.
  • Get a stability ball and lie on it with your side facing the station. Position yourself and arm’s length away from the cable station as you take hold of the handle with one hand.
  • Hold the handle with both hands and keep your straight arms outward and above your chest. Your hands should be level with the cable so if it isn’t, adjust the pulley height accordingly.
  • Your core should stay engaged and your hips elevated. Turn your entire upper body away from the cable station in a 90 degree motion. Make sure to keep your body in a straight line from your head to your toes.
  • Hold this position for a second and slowly go back to the starting position. There should still be tension on your obliques in the starting position.
  • Do as many reps as possible until failure.
  • Repeat the above steps for the other side of your body.

Performance Tip: To make sure you get the most out of this exercise you have to pay attention to your hips. They should be off the ball and only your upper back should be supported. This will allow your abs and lower back to become engaged as well.

Good Ab Workouts Exercise 10 – Cable Tuck Reverse Crunch

This is one of those exercises that don’t feel good while you’re doing it because it burns so much. Get ready to scorch your upper and lower abs with this all in one movement.

How To Do This Exercise

  • You’ll need a double cable machine for this exercise. Attach a rope attachment to the lowest part of the one cable station and connect an ankle strap to the lowest part of the other station.
  • Get a mat and put it on the floor between the two cable stations. Sit down and hook the ankle strap to your feet.
  • Lie down and grab the rope attachment with two hands and keep them by your ears.
  • Keep yourself centered between the stations with your legs stretched out.
  • Simultaneously crunch up as you pull on the rope while bringing your knees inwards toward your chest.
  • Curl your body until your elbows touch your knees and your butt and shoulders lift off the ground.
  • Hold this position for a second and the slowly return to the starting position but make sure to keep your feet hovering an inch off the ground before the start of each rep.
  • Do as many reps as you can until you reach failure.

Performance Tip: If you really want to make this exercise as difficult as possible, always keep your legs above the ground but keep them as close to the floor as possible.

Also keep your legs straight when you lower them. Don’t cheat yourself by keeping your knees bent in the starting position.