The cable woodchop targets the transverse abdominis muscle and the obliques . These are the muscles that allow you to twist at the waist and to swing a bat or racket using the weight of your body and not just your arms. The woodchop also engages the muscles of your back, shoulders, and legs.

I like to use a cable machine BUT you can use a variety of other equipment such as dumbbells or kettlebells.

How To:

1 Position your body so that the cable movement will be downward and across the body—like a tree-chopping action. Position the feet comfortably apart and grasp the cable handle with both hands above one shoulder.

2 Swing the clasped handle downward and across the body until it passes the opposite thigh. Your hips and knees can rotate slightly

3 At the end position, allow the cable weight to retract the handle to the starting position

4 I like to do 8 to 12 repetitions then reverse your stance by facing the other way and repeat the exercise to the other side of the body.


Just make sure you do not bend your arms while performing this exercise or your shoulders and arms will do the work rather than your abdominals. Be sure that you are rotating your torso and your arms are staying in front of your body rather than it being the arms that are producing the motion.