Cable Crunch Exercise Guide

Reviewed by Valerie Zeller Valerie Zeller Printable version

Cable Crunch is a strength exercise that works your abs.

Cable Crunch is a great basic move. When done correctly, it can effectively target your core and waist.

It requires weight machine to do.

Cable Crunch
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Core Waist Abs
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Core Waist Abs

How to do Cable Crunch


Kneel below heavy pulley. Grasp cable loop connection with both paws. Put wrists against ear. Place hips back and rotate knees, causing pressure on cable pulley to raise body upward so spine becomes hyperextended.


With hips stationary, flex waist so elbows travel toward middle of thighs. Return and repeat.


  • Note movement occurs in waist, not hips. Hyperextension of spine at top of motion is achieved by anterior rotation of pelvis with flexed hips. Certain individuals may need to keep their neck in neutral position with space between their chin and sternum. If two soft stirrups are used instead of rope attachment, grasp stirrups at side of head. Movement can also be performed standing up, see Cable Standing Overhead Crunch.

  • Keep arms fixed in position keeping them close to body throughout movement.

Illustrated Guide

Learn how to do cable crunch from this step-by-step illustrations:

Cable Crunch 1
Cable Crunch 2
Cable Crunch 3
Cable Crunch 4

Muscles Worked

The muscles used for cable crunch may change slightly based on the your trained range of motion and technique, but in the most general case, the muscles used for cable crunch are:

Primary Muscles

  • Abs

Synergyst Muscles

  • Obliques

Frequently Asked Questions

What muscles does Cable Crunch work?
Cable Crunch works abs.
What is Cable Crunch good for?
Cable Crunch is beneficial for conditioning, for endurance, for weight loss, love handles, side fat, to lose fat and to strengthen. It works the best for core and waist, as it works abs. Cable Crunch is a great strength exercise for men, men over 50, women and women over 50.
Is Cable Crunch a good exercise?
Cable Crunch is a popular strength exercise for abs.

Training, Progressions and Regressions

Interested in how to improve your Cable Crunch faster?

Cable Crunch Training and Progressions

Standards and Averages

Wonder how do others perform in Cable Crunch and how should you?

Cable Crunch Standards and Averages


Wonder how to work the same muscles with other exercises?

Cable Crunch Alternatives


Wonder how to make Cable Crunch either easier or more challenging?

Cable Crunch Variations

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Type(s) Strength, Isolated, Aerobic, Cardio, Endurance
Muscles Worked Abdominals, Obliques
Difficulty Level(s) Basic, Easy
Equipment Weight Machine
Location At Gym
Major Exercise Ab Crunches

Muscles Worked

Target muscle(s) Abs
Synergyst muscle(s) Obliques

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