How to Do Ab Pulldown Properly

The ab pulldown is an exercise machine that primarily targets the abs.

The only equipment needed is a cable machine and an EZ curl bar. The cable system is weighted and allows you to choose the weight appropriate for your training.

To do the ab pulldown exercise:

  • Hook an EZ bar on the hook and lower the cable machine to shoulder height.
  • Kneel and pull the EZ bar down and hold it behind your neck with your palms facing your feet.
  • Your body should be at a 90-degree angle with your back slightly arched.
  • Crunch down until your elbows touch your knees then return to starting position to complete one rep.
  • Repeat twelve times for one set.

WHAT MUSCLES DOES AB PULLDOWN WORK?

The ab pulldown works on the abs and lower back. The ab pulldown is also known as the kneeling cable crunch and can also work on your core muscles.

It is a core isolation exercise.

It is recommended that you perform it early in an ab workout routine.

Because it requires you to kneel and has weighted cables, it can increase core strength. It also has more range of motion than normal crunches.

When you do the ab pulldown, the muscles in your back work to stabilize you.

You will also engage your triceps, wrist flexors, rectus abdominis, and obliques.

BENEFITS OF AB PULLDOWN

There are many advantages of doing the ab pulldown exercise.

1.      ALLOWS EASY TRACKING

This is an exercise that can help you monitor your progress with your abs.

As you do the weighted loads you can track the ease and add weights to increase resistance as needed.

The adjustability of the cable system enables you to keep your abs in constant tension for added fitness. Or reduce the weights if you need to tone down the intensity of your workout.

2.      INCREASED ATHLETICISM

The ab pulldown exercise helps work on your core. In particular, your abs and lower back.

This increases your strength to do other exercises like deadlifts, bench presses, and chin pull-ups.

3.      IMPROVED POSTURE

Activating your core helps you improve posture in your upper body.

4.      BETTER WORKOUT FORM

The cable machine helps reduce the chances of injury by ensuring proper form. When working out with free weights, you are required to have complete body control. Any wrong move could lead to injury or not getting the best results from your workout.

When you use the ab pulldown machine, you can go through a whole range of motion without worrying about improper form.

5.      SUITABLE FOR ALL FITNESS LEVELS

Unlike most other workouts, the ab pulldown exercise can help you work on your abs without worrying about making errors.

The adjustable weights also make it easier for you to test your limits without the risk of injury compared to free weights.

Advanced athletes and trainers can also easily use it to target very specific muscles.

6.      EASIER MOTION

Unlike free weights where you are constantly fighting against gravity, cable weights allow you a freer and more diverse range of motion.

The ab pulldown can also be down with smoother movements compared to weighted crunches.

ALTERNATIVES TO AB PULLDOWN

If you want to switch up your routine and alternate from ab pulldown exercises to other ab exercises, here are some options:

1.      AB ROLLER

This is an ab exercise that uses a wheel device with a handle on each end.

It helps greatly with increasing core strength.

To do this exercise:

  • Hold the ab roller with both hands while kneeling on the floor.
  • Place the ab roller in front of you so that you are in a kneeling push-up position.
  • Slowly roll the ab roller forward until your body is straightened. Go as far forward as you can without your body touching the floor. Inhale as you roll out.
  • Hold the stretched position briefly then pull yourself back to starting position while you exhale.
  • Ensure you keep your abs tight at all times.

2.      BANDED SIT-UPS WITH WEIGHTS

This is a popular ab exercise. Adding weights to a sit-up provides varied stimulus to your core and helps you build stronger abs.

To do this exercise:

  • Strap the band around the base of the bench.
  • Place the handles toward the inside of the bench so that you can reach for them when you’re lying down.
  • Position your legs through the decline machine until they are secured. Reach for the band with both hands. Position them near your neck to get into starting position.
  • Move your torso up until your upper body is perpendicular to the floor. Exhale through this motion.
  • Hold the contraction for a moment then lower your torso while exhaling.

3.      CABLE SEATED CRUNCH

This exercise works the same as the ab pulldown but in this, you don’t have to kneel.

To do this exercise:

  • Sit on a flat bench with your back facing the pulley system.
  • Grab the EZ bar and position it against the back of your neck.
  • Perform a crunch forward while inhaling.
  • Exhale as you sit back up.

AB PULLDOWN MISTAKES TO AVOID

While this exercise may be easier, there are many mistakes to avoid.

1.      FAILING TO ADJUST THE HEIGHT OF THE PULLEY

If you have the pulley too high, you can make the weights smack the top of the machine halfway through your motion.

You need to ensure the pulley is at the correct height before you start your ab pulldown exercises.

If the pulley is too low, you’ll need to move further away from the machine to get any tension in your abs.

2.       HOLDING THE BAR INCORRECTLY

Ensure that the bar or rope is behind your head. The bar should rest against your neck.

Holding the bar incorrectly leads to upper body fatigue.

3.      NOT ENGAGING YOUR ABS

If you are doing this exercise wrong, you will feel the tension in your hip flexors instead of your abs.

Flex your glutes to hold your body in place and not lose form. Make sure your hips stay in one place and you tighten your abs with each motion.

CONCLUSION

Working your abs is important for your core strength. Ab workouts are generally easier so ensure you do not over-exert yourself and increase the risk of injury.

If you struggle with achieving proper form, ensure that you use a spotter.

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