If you want a tight,
strong midsection that's "show" AND
"go," you'll definitely want to add
this exercise to your list. A simple "twist"
to a simple twisting exercise is all you need!
When most people
think ab training, they don't think explosive
rotational movements...they think crunches
or sit-ups. But YOU'RE not most people, are
know (or at least you will in a second!) that
powerful, rotational movements against resistance
are the REAL key to developing a tight, strong
core that not only looks great but gives you
serious improvements in functional strength.
And I'm not
talking "functional" like standing
on a Bosu ball on one leg catching bean bags
"functional." I'm talking throw
harder, run faster, jump higher NOW type of
"functional." Basically, the kind
of functional you actually WANT.
the Cable Gripping Trunk Twist exercise comes
This is not
your standard twisting exercise where you
use little light weights or even no weight
at all. You are going working against resistance
and eventually working your way up to substantial
Why You Need Rotational
Training For Your Core:
First off, from
an aesthetic point of view, if you want a
flat stomach or tighter waist, you NEED exercises
that work in with a rotational movement (assuming
your bodyfat levels are low enough - direct
ab training won't burn abdominal fat away).
Think of it
this way...if somebody handed you some elastic
bandage and told you to wrap yourself so that
it made your waist smaller, how would you
Would you loop
it over your shoulder and between your legs
up and down your body?
NO! You'd immediately
wrap it AROUND your waist and cinch it up
So now comes
the question...why would your "six pack"
abs (the rectus abdominus) be the muscle to
work if you want a tighter waist and flat
stomach? This sheet of muscle runs vertically
on your body, just like throwing that elastic
bandage over your shoulder and through your
You need to
work the muscles that wrap AROUND the waist
- the transversus abdominus and the obliques
(internal and external). THESE are the muscles
that tighten the waist and flatten the stomach
It's still a
good idea (if your goal is a six-pack) to
keep in some specific training for the frontal
ab muscles, but to really make the waist smaller
and the stomach flat, rotational training
is what you need.
is CRITICAL to pretty much ALL sports and
Look at ANY
throw or strike or hit or swing or kick or
punch or stride...notice any rotational component
muscles of the abs are the KEY to transferring
force through the midsection.
How To Do Cable Gripping
this is your first time doing a rotational
exercise against resistance, start light and
work up slowly. DO NOT start with explosive
movements the first time you do this exercise.
That comes later.
We're going to progress to it, not jump right
Attach a single
handle to a cable. If you've got an adjustable-height
pulley, set it to about stomach level. If
your cable doesn't adjust, you can use either
the low or high pulley, no problem. The angle
of the exercise will just be different.
Stand with your
left side to the pulley. Reach across your
body and grip the handle with your RIGHT hand.
Now take a big
step to the right to get the weight up off
the stack. Your right arm will be stretched
across your body. Open up your left hand and
get ready to grab the cable.
your core, using your right hand to pull the
cable. As the handle comes across the midline
of your body, grab the cable itself with your
Now comes the
cool part of this exercise...the part that
makes it FAR more effective than a simple
rotate around to the right but now, instead
of just pulling with your right hand (the
one on the handle), you will start to PUSH
forward on the cable with your left hand.
all the way through and forward as far as
you can with the left hand.
movement with the left hand on the cable is
what will really target those rotational muscles
of the core and teach them how to transfer
power through your lower body to the upper
is done under control...it's a deliberate
movement done with light to moderate weight.
Do 5 or 6 reps
on one side then switch to the other side.
You will really
feel this one hitting the abs in a unique
way...if you're never done rotational ab training
against resistance or have never done "pushing"
ab exercises, you're going to be in for a
treat (if you like being pleasantly sore through
the core, that is!).
The first time
you do this exercise, I recommend you just
stick to the moderate weight, controlled movement
style of training.
Once you get familiar with the exercise (after
a few sessions), you can start getting into
a more "power" based style of training.
The second half
of the video demonstration shows this type
of movement in action.
THIS style is
the one that really builds tremendous core
power. If you're into any sort of athletics,
this is the one to work towards using regularly...
One nice benefit
I didn't mention...you do it standing up.
You see, if you're an athlete, you're pretty
much almost ALWAYS going to be standing up
(unless you stink and fall down a lot, of
course). You need to know how to exert force
and develop maximum strength and power in
a standing position.
Back to the
To perform the
explosive version, you'll be in pretty much
the same start position. But this time, instead
of planting both feet and then starting to
rotate, you will instead start on one foot
(the one closest to the cable stack) then
forcefully transfer your bodyweight in the
Think of it
like you're "taking a run at it."
You're going to use the momentum of your bodyweight
to get the heavier weight moving then EXPLOSIVELY
begin the rotation and cable grab, exactly
The main difference
here is that you're doing as fast and as powerfully
as you can rather than with a controlled movement.
You're stepping into the weight and using
a forceful bodyweight throw to blast it off.
weight for this and keep to only about 3 reps
per side here. We want POWER, not endurance
on this version,
Do your reps
on one side then switch to the other.
Watch the video
and see how it's done. It's a good idea to
practice with a moderate weight before getting
into the heavier stuff.
If you want
to develop great core strength AND/OR a flat
stomach, this is an exercise that belongs
in your program. I'd recommend doing 3 sets
of it, at the end of your training sessions
(but first in your regular ab exercises).
Even if you're
strong enough and ready to do the explosive
version, start with at least one set of the
controlled version in order to warm-up the
target area for rotational work.