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 including low back, abs, oblique and hip 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 chopper 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.

Benefits of Cable Wood Chop

The cable woodchopper 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.

Muscles Worked During Cable Wood Chop

The wood chop is a great exercise for the core. Your abs and obliques are works hard as you twist and lift, and the overall movement of the exercise means the core strength is working overtime.

The primary muscles worked during it are: Abs, obliques and back including erector spine

Secondary muscle worked: serratus anterior, shoulderlegscalf as well as the gluteus maximus and hip flexors.

Muscles Worked During Cable Wood Chop

Cable wood chop

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

How To Do Cable Wood Chop

  1. Attach a handle to the top of the 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.

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 standing upward cable wood chop is a variation of the woodchopper used to target the muscles of the abdominal complex, but primarily it 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

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.

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’s a great idea to stop halfway through some reps, hold the stirrup, and try to resist the twisting force.

Cable Twist

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.

Half Kneeling Cable Chop

The kneeling cable wood chop is the beginner friendly variation of wood chop.

It is the total-body movements that use many muscles in your body and giving you the opportunity to lift a little heavier and spike your heart rate.

This exercise is extremely versatile and can also be performed in a tall kneeling stance, a square standing stance, and a split standing stance.

Kneeling Cable Wood Chop

How To Do Kneeling Cable Wood Chop

  • Attach a rope handle to the high pulley of a cable station.
  • Kneel on the floor with knees hip-distance apart, holding the rope with both hands, arms extended.
  • Rotate torso to the left, bringing weight to outside of left thigh, keeping arms extended.
  • Slowly, return to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Cable Chop Alternatives

The best alternative to the cable wood chop exercise in one’s training routine is a similar oblique isolation exercise that makes allowances for the needs of the exerciser and their training routine.

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

1. Dumbbell Side Bend

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

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

It is an easy core exercise to practice at home.

Dumbbell Side Bend

2. 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 Pallof press is an anti-rotation hold exercise that will work wonders in helping you develop a stable core.

It is a valuable movement prep and core strengthening exercise for nearly every lifter.

Pallof Press

3. Oblique Crunches

The oblique crunch is one of the bodyweight exercises that target your oblique and abs muscles.

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

FAQs

Are Cable Woodchoppers Effective?

Yes, the cable wood chop is a great functional core exercise.  Many training programs use the wood chop exercise to strengthen the side-flexion of the torso and improve overall abs appearance.

What muscles does a wood chop exercise work?

The primary muscles worked during cable wood chops are the obliques, abs and back, including the erector spinae and the transverse abdominus.

In addition, this exercise also uses the serratus anterior, deltoidslegscalf as well as the gluteus maximus and hip flexors.

What is a cable wood chop?

The cable wood chop is an exercise that trains the core muscles. It uses a cable machine to simulate a wood-chopping motion.

It helps to build strength and power in the core and obliques. This exercise also enhances hip and shoulder stability and strength.

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.

Know More About Abs And Oblique Training

At Home OBLIQUE WORKOUT To Get Stronger Core (NO EQUIPMENT)

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