Cable Crunch Video Guide

Exercise Profile

  • Strength
  • Cable
  • Isolation
  • Pull
  • Beginner
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Abs Exercises Diagram Target Muscle Group

Exercise Instructions

  1. Attach the rope attachment to a high pulley cable and set the appropriate weight on the stack.
  2. Stand directly in front of the cable machine, facing away from it.
  3. Grasp the rope from behind your head with your palms facing inward and drop to your knees.
  4. Your buttocks should be resting on top of your feet. Keeping your elbows bent and hands at either head height or shoulder height, crunch down as far as possible.
  5. Pause, then slowly lower yourself back to the starting position.

Cable Crunch Tips:

  1. This exercise works best when done slowly with perfect form.
  2. Your buttocks should stay touching your heels at all times.
  3. Focus on crunching the abs in, not pivoting at the hips.
  4. As you increase weight it may be more comfortable to rest the rope on your shoulders.
  5. Don't choose a weight so heavy that your lower back handles most of the resistance. 

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13 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Sat, 06/15/2013 - 22:34

Why are there people that give comments like these thumbs down?!?!

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Posted Fri, 03/29/2013 - 07:14

If I don't have this type of equipment, is there an exercise that would substitute?

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Posted Wed, 03/06/2013 - 20:44
Cole Byrd

what else would be just as good as the cable crunch cause I don't have the cable to do it

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Posted Sat, 10/26/2013 - 07:49

You could replicate this by using a resisitance band around a sturdy surface behind you. Use different thicknesses of bands to create different tensions.

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Posted Fri, 02/15/2013 - 21:04

I have a couple questions. First, I've always seen and heard that you should never have your butt resting on your heels. Is there any benefit either way? Also, most of the time I see cable crunches done they are done facing the rack. Is one more beneficial than the other?

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Posted Thu, 04/09/2015 - 21:33

I've been wondering about the butt position too! Has anybody said to you, WHY you shouldn't have your butt on your heels? Sounds like a "no" but time has passed since your post. I have always done it with my butt on my heels and my feet dorsiflexed because I don't get the opportunity to use my momentum and "fall down" with the weight to complete the rep. I feel a better ab contraction with my butt down.

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Posted Sun, 08/12/2012 - 07:17
Daryl Gibbs

i also have had 2 knee surgeries and resting on my knees like that is very painful is there another abs routine I can do from home maybe !

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Posted Wed, 08/22/2012 - 14:45

Try the standing variation of this exercise.

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Posted Tue, 05/08/2012 - 03:23

perfect crunch for me, less back pain :D

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Posted Wed, 04/25/2012 - 04:50

The seated crunch machine would be perfect replacement, I feel that they do the exact same workout

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Posted Tue, 03/27/2012 - 03:03
Alan Matthews

i have had 3 knee surgeries and resting on my knees like that is very painful and other ab exercise i could swap this for and still work the same area

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Posted Wed, 04/11/2012 - 00:56

I also have bad knees from football and a few tours overseas and I find you can do seated pulldowns as well

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Posted Tue, 08/13/2013 - 17:03
Tyler Pruett

I'm in no way a trainer, but it really helps if you get a floor mat and fold it up to put under your knees. The softness should not affect the resistance of the exercise.