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Stannding Stability Anti-rotational Chop Exercise

 

Abdominal training should include three groups of exercises to maintain the muscles that make up the core. These exercises engage not only the abdominal muscles but the hip and low back muscles as well.   The three groups are:

  1. Flexion exercises (trunk/hip/side)
    ex: sit-ups/reverse crunch/swiss ball side crunch

2.  Rotational exercises – ex: russian twist

3.  Stability exercises – ex: plank

When I am short on time or lack the energy for a full ab workout (yup, we all have those days), I always choose the stability exercises over the other two.
Why?
The main job of the abdominals is to stabilize the spine to keep the body upright. Abdominal stabilization exercises engage all the muscles groups discussed above. Stabilization exercises promote a strong and healthy core and are considered by many to be the best way to train the core.

The stability chop exercise can be done standing or kneeling at the high and low pulley positions. These exercises should not be confused with the rotational woodchop exercises (I will have a post regarding rotational exercises soon).

Equipment: cable machine, rope, (dumbbell or medicine ball can be used if a cable machine is not available)

Major Muscles Used: Torso (rectus abdominis, internal and external obliques, transverse abdominis, erector spinae, multifidus, quadratus lumborum)
Scapular (trapezius, rhomboids, pectoralis minor, serratus anterior, levator scapulae)

Click on Pictures for larger size

Position: (High Pulley)  Attach a rope at the highest pulley position. Grab rope in an overhand grip. Take a step away from the cable station. You should be about arm’s length away from the pulley.  Stand or kneel so that your right side is aligned with the weight stack.  If standing, place feet in staggered position with inside foot in front of outside foot. Hands should be placed about 1 ½ to 2 feet away from each other with the elbows slightly flexed.  Abs are engaged and face forward but do not move throughout the movement. Neck and spine are in neutral. Glutes are engaged.

Movement: While exhaling and without moving the torso, pull rope past left hip. Inhale and (in a slow and controlled manner) return to original position. Perform to failure and switch to opposite side.

Position: (Low Pulley)  Attach a rope at the lowest pulley position. Grab rope in an overhand grip. Take a step away from the cable station. You should be about arm’s length away from the pulley.  Stand or kneel so that your right side is aligned with the weight stack.  If standing, place feet in staggered position with outside foot in front of inside foot. Hands should be placed about 1 ½ to 2 feet away from each other with the elbows slightly flexed.  Abs are engaged and face forward but do not move throughout the movement.  Neck and spine are in neutral. Glutes are engaged.

Movement: While exhaling and without moving the torso, pull rope past left shoulder. Inhale and (in a slow and controlled manner) return to original position. Perform to failure and switch to opposite side.

Common Mistakes:
– moving/rotating torso
– flexing the back
– using too much weight (if you have too much weight, your torso will rotate)

 

Without a strong core, gravity begins to take over and your spine will begin to flex forward. How do you want to age?  Please leave a comment…

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