rope crunches

There’s virtually no end to the number of different exercises out there that could be used as part of an effective ab workout, but in this post I’ll be showing you one of the absolute best variations available to hit your abs with maximum stimulation and really get those six pack muscles to “pop”.

That exercise is the kneeling cable rope crunch (also sometimes referred to simply as “rope crunches”, “cable crunches” or “kneeling crunches”) and it’s a particularly good ab exercise for a few key reasons…

* It places the abs under constant tension throughout the entire range of motion due to the angle of the movement and the use of the cable machine.

* It does not place the lower back under as much stress as most other traditional free weight crunching exercises do.

* It allows you to achieve progressive overload by consistently adding more resistance over time.

Now, always keep in mind that having noticeably defined abs is largely just a product of maintaining a low enough overall body fat percentage, and this is the most important factor to pay attention to if you’re trying to achieve a visible six pack.

Since you can’t spot reduce fat from specific areas of your body by training them with resistance, doing ab exercises on their own isn’t really going to do anything for you if your body fat is too high to begin with.

However, creating hypertrophy in the abs will produce more visible separation of the muscles and cause them to stand out more noticeably when your body fat level does reach a low enough level.

I currently use kneeling cable rope crunches as the primary exercise in my ab workouts, and here’s how to do them with proper form…

You can watch the video below for a live demonstration of proper rope crunch form and/or read the written description underneath it…

Kneeling Cable Rope Crunch Form & Technique

1) Set the cable at the highest level on the machine using a rope attachment. If you don’t have a rope available then a straight bar attachment can also be used.

2) Grab onto the rope, kneel down and position your wrists on either side of your head. If kneeling directly on the ground feels uncomfortable for you then you can place a pad underneath your knees.

3) Begin with your hips back and slightly flexed. Most people do their rope crunches with their knees placed at a 90 degree angle or more, but this actually reduces the overall effectiveness of the exercise by not allowing you to contract your abs as strongly.

4) While keeping your hips stationary, blow the air out of your lungs (this further increases the activation of your abdominal muscles), consciously flex your abs, and crunch down until your elbows meet the middle of your thighs.

5) Raise yourself back up following the same path until your spine is slightly hyper-extended, and then repeat.

Always keep in mind the obvious fact that you’re trying to target your abs here, so make sure to focus on crunching the weight down using your waist as opposed to just pulling the rope down with your hands.

Everyone’s body structure is a bit different, so you’ll want to play around with different positions and crunching angles until you find the one that allows you to feel your abs working most strongly.

If you don’t feel your abs doing the bulk of the work, then something is off and you’ll need to keep adjusting until you find the proper position for yourself.

Additional Rope Crunch Tips To Keep In Mind

six pack abs

Remember, the abdominals are a muscle just like any other, and they respond to intensity and progressive overload in the exact same way.

You’d never train your chest, back or shoulders using extremely light weight sets of 50 reps or more, so there’s no reason to train your abs this way like so many people in the gym do.

My suggestion is to perform your kneeling cable rope crunches using a range of 8-15 reps per set for 3-4 sets total, and to focus on progressive overload by gradually increasing the resistance over time.

Again, maintaining a reasonably low body fat percentage is definitely the most important factor of all when it comes to having visible abs, but direct ab exercises are still an effective way to get those abs to stand out as much as possible.

Give this rope crunch variation a try and let me know what you think in the comments below.

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