Standing Cable Crunch – Step By Step Guide

The standing cable crunch is a great ab exercise that builds strength in your core muscles, tightens your whole abdominal area and increases lower back stability. With this exercise, we’re primarily looking to work the rectus abdominis, which function is to create flexion in the spine or control extension of the spine.

Standing cable crunch muscles worked

The standing cable crunch allows for a wider range of motion compared to the kneeling cable crunch. Read more about the correct execution of this ab exercise

Main muscles worked: rectus abdominis
Secondary muscles worked: external and internal oblique muscles, transverse abdominal
Antagonists: spinal erectors, longissimus dorsi and other muscles along the spinal column, and lower back muscles

Standing Cable Crunch Execution

  • Stand straight in front of a high cable machine with your back turned towards the pulley
  • Grab the bar/rope with your hands behind your head ( do not press the bar on your neck)
  • With a strict movement, and without changing the position of the bar, contract your abs and move your ribs toward your pelvic area.You should feel like you are “rolling up” your torso, not flexing it.
  • At the bottom of the movement, contract and exhale.
  • Return to the starting position



– Make sure you are rolling your torso and working the rectus abdominis instead of just flexing the torso and using the flexor muscles to pull the bar.

– Be sure to use the right weight and not overload the cable. This way you will be using strictly your abs instead of flexors.

– Execute the movement with a strict and controlled motion, don’t jerk the weight.

– Don’t rest at the start or the end of the crunch. For optimal results you should maintain constant tension in your ab muscles, so don’t let the weights touch down, and slowly and purposefully return to your starting upright position.