Cable Crunches-Unique upper abs exercise!
By Nick Nilsson
The abs are the showpiece area of your body, no question about it. And this exercise will hit your upper ab area in a way that is totally unique.
You will be doing a regular crunch movement, but at the same time you'll be putting tension on the abs from the top-down by pulling down on the cable. It's the combination of the two tensions (pulling yourself up with the crunch and pulling the cable down at the same time) that will set your abs on fire!
How To Do It:
For this exercise, you'll need a high pulley set-up (an adjustable-height pulley is best but a regular high pulley will work as well). Use a bar attachment on the high pulley - if you have an adjustable-height pulley, set it to about 2 or 3 feet off the ground.
Set the weight stack with a light to moderate weight the first time you do this. You don't need heavy weight for this exercise to be effective.
Lie on your back on the floor with your head directly under the pulley. If you're using the adjustable-height pulley, reach up and grasp the bar with a regular curl grip. If you're using the standard high pulley, you'll need to first grab the bar then sit down on the floor then lay down.
Hold the bar with your arms bent about 90 degrees. Your legs will be bent 90 degrees and your body will be in the start of the regular crunch position.
Now comes the trick:
Begin the crunch movement - as you do the crunch, pull the bar down towards your chest, until your elbows touch the floor. Crunch yourself up as high as you can and hold it at the top. Squeeze your abs hard - the upper/middle area will be on fire even on the first rep.
Lower your torso slowly to the floor and let the bar back up. Don't let your arms go fully straight but keep a 90 degree bend at the top.
By the time you've done 6 or 8 reps of this exercise, your abs will be VERY strongly worked.
Nick Nilsson is Vice-President of BetterU, Inc., an internet-based personal training company. He has been training for more than 14 years and has been a personal trainer for more than 8 years. He is the author of the training eBooks "The Best Exercises You've Never Heard Of", "Gluteus to the Maximus" and "Specialization Training" (click here now for more information on these books).
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