Cable Wood Chop: How To, Benefits and Tips

You can use easily incorporate cable wood chop exercises into your routine to build strength in your core muscles. This includes your low back, abdominal, and pelvic muscles. The cable wood chop is an exercise that uses a cable machine to simulate a wood chopping action, building strength and power in the core and obliques

Cable chop exercises will challenge your entire core, which is important in helping you lift more weight in your workout, as well as function better in everyday life.

This exercise keeps your trunk activated in a rotational movement pattern, as well as multiple abdominal and back muscles for stability. In addition, your legs and arms provide stability and mobility.

Abs are like any muscle. If you want them to be more defined, you need to progress your training. This means working your way up in weight load, to get a stronger, more developed core.

Benefits of Cable Wood Chop

The cable wood chop workout offers an effective way to train the core, let’s have a look at some other benefits of wood chop exercises with a cable machine.

  1. Cable workout are more evenly distributed, and you have more of a constant load on your core muscles throughout the whole range of motion.
  2. The cable chop can be a great movement to bulletproof core training and stabilize the lumbar spine during movements.
  3. It offers almost unmatched versatility because you can change up the load, angle, grip positioning and body positioning easily.
  4. The cable setup gives your muscles almost uninterrupted time under tension.
  5. Cable machines wood chopper are a safe and efficient tool to incorporate into your normal workout program.
  6. Varying the position of the body and the direction of cable, you can work out various parts of the core muscles.
  7. Standing Cable chop to increase strength, muscle hypertrophy, and overall development of the obliques and transverse abdominal.

Cable wood chop (High to Low wood chopper)

The cable wood chop is also known as the cable up-down twist.

This is great for strengthening the twisting movement pattern of your torso, as well as improving your torso’s ability to resist twisting forces.

The Standing cable wood chop is a compound pulling motion and a functional exercise. While it primarily targets the abdominals and obliques, it also employs the shoulders, back, and glutes.

You can do wood chops with a medicine ball or dumbbell, but the cable will give a constant tension that is preferable. It can be a part of a core-strengthening workout or a total body workout.

Cable wood chop
Muscles Worked

Primary: Rectus abdominis, Obliques.

Secondary: Serratus anterior, Hip flexors, Gluteus, Erector Spinae, Chest

How To Do Cable Wood Chop
  1. Attach a handle to the top of cable pulley. Grasp the handle with both hands, with either your fingers interlaced or with one hand over the other. Stand next to the machine with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Keeping your arms straight, pull the handle in a diagonally downward motion until your torso faces away from the pulley and your hands are knee height.
  3. Hold for a count of two. Then slowly reverse the movement to return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions. Repeat the exercise on your opposite side.
Tips
  • Stop and hold the handle for a few seconds halfway through some reps, thus forcing your body to resist the twisting force.
  • Don’t lock the knees and hips. Allow the hips and knees to rotate slightly.
  • Keep your arms straight, shoulders locked in place.
  • Control the weight the whole time.

Cable Chop Variations

Below are the best cable wood chop variations to increase core stability, muscle hypertrophy, and midline control.

Reverse Cable Wood chop (Low to High Wood chop)

The Reverse Cable Wood chop is also known as low to high Cable Wood chop. The standing low cable wood chop is a variation of the wood chop and an exercise used to target the muscles of the abdominal complex.

In particular, the standing low cable chop primarily works the obliques.

Use the Reverse Cable Wood chop to strengthen and stabilize your core, and to strengthen the rotational movement pattern of your torso.

Cable down-up twist
Muscles Worked

Primary: Rectus abdominis, Obliques.

Secondary: Serratus anterior, Hip flexors, Gluteus, Erector Spinae, Chest

How To Do Reverse Cable Wood chop
  1. Attach a handle to the lowest of the cable pulley. Grasp the handle with both hands, either with your fingers interlaced or with one hand over the other. Stand next to the machine with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Keeping your arms straight, pull the handle in a diagonally upward motion.
  3. Hold for a count of two. Then slowly reverse the movement to return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions. Repeat the exercise on your opposite side.
Tips
  • Don’t lock the knees and hips. Allow the hips and knees to rotate slightly.
  • Keep your arms straight, shoulders locked in place.
  • Keep the movement under control.

Horizontal Cable Wood Chop

The Horizontal Cable Wood Chop (aka Cable Twist) is an isolation exercise that works the oblique muscles of the core.

It’s unique in that it not only helps to strengthen the core muscles, but it’s a functional exercise because it is performed on the feet.

Use the cable twist to strengthen the twisting movement pattern of your body. It is a great idea to stop halfway through some reps, hold the stirrup, and attempt to resist the twisting force. This will strengthen your torso’s ability to resist twisting forces.

Cable Twist
Muscles Worked

Primary: Rectus abdominis, Obliques.

Secondary: Serratus anterior, Hip flexors, Gluteus, Erector Spinae, Pectoralis.

How To Do Horizontal Cable Wood Chop
  1. Attach a handle to a shoulder-height cable pulley. Grasp the handle with both hands, either with your fingers interlaced or with one hand over the other. Stand next to the machine with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Keeping your arms straight, pull the handle in a twisting motion across your body to your opposite side until your torso faces away from the pulley.
  3. Hold for a count of two. Then slowly reverse the movement to return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions. Repeat the exercise on your opposite side.
Tips
  • Keep your arms straight, shoulders locked in place.
  • Don’t lock the knees and hips. Allow the hips and knees to rotate slightly.
  • Control the weight the whole time.

Cable Chop Alternatives

Below are the best cable chop alternatives that can be used to improve core stability and strength.

Dumbbell Side Bend

Dumbbell side bends are isolation exercises that target muscle groups on the side of your body—specifically the oblique muscles.

The dumbbell side bend is effective at targeting the internal and external obliques, strengthening the lateral flexion of your spine, improving spinal mobility, and helping to develop a strong and stable core.

The dumbbell side bend is an easy core exercise to practice at home. If you’re new to the exercise, practice the movement with your bodyweight alone. For a more challenging oblique exercises variation, use a kettlebell or a pulley machine for the cable side bend variation.

Dumbbell Side Bend

Pallof Press

The Pallof Press is a full-body exercise that can increase overall stability and activate many large muscle groups in the body.

The beauty of the Pallof press is that it challenges and strengthens the stabilization action of your abs. That’s because when you do this exercise, it forces your core to resist the rotation or compression of your spine, which forces your entire core to engage.

The Pallof press is an anti-rotation hold exercise that will work wonders in helping you develop a stable core. The Pallof press is a valuable movement prep and core strengthening exercise for nearly every lifter. It helps to establish proper spinal alignment under load and increase core stability.

Pallof Press

Oblique Crunches

The oblique crunch is one of the bodyweight exercises that target your core muscles—specifically the obliques on the sides of your abdomen.

It is a core exercise that strengthens your obliques as well as the other muscles of the core, including your transverse abdominus and medial glute.

Oblique Crunches

Takeaways

The Cable wood chop is an excellent core exercise to add to your training program. Try this functional exercise and reap the benefits in all your daily activities.

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