How To Do Cable Rotation Properly

When you think of the abdominal muscles (abs) exercises, Cable Rotation most probably does not make it to our top 5 list. We like the crunches and push-ups more but in terms of muscle build and abdominal development, Cable Rotation does the work effectively.

The abs and shoulders are strengthened and developed, which ensures a core with increased endurance, be it in athletics or day-to-day activities.

HOW TO DO CABLE ROTATION PROPERLY

Using a cable machine for this exercise, for any assistance, inform your trainer/gym instructor and also inform them of any injuries before starting the workout.

Use appropriate weights that will keep you balanced and engaged while doing the motions.

  • Adjust the pulley to chest level and hold the handle with both hands with a tight grip.
  • Step out to create tension on the cable and stand side on to the pulley.
  • Keep feet wider than your shoulder – width, knees slightly bent and arms fully stretched out in front of you.
  • Tighten your core and keep a straight back throughout the technique. This is your starting position.
  • Inhale and rotate at the torso pulling the cable past your body, shifting your weight from one leg to the other as you rotate.
  • Focus on using your abdominal muscles to power the rotation rather than your hands. This way the abdominal muscles are activated so as the shoulder muscles due to the arm extension and cable tension.
  • In a controlled motion, exhale and go back to your starting position.
  • Turn to the other side and repeat the same workout and motions.
  • Do 3 sets of 10 – 12 reps each side.

WHAT MUSCLES DO CABLE ROTATION WORK

SHOULDER MUSCLES

The deltoid muscles located at the shoulder joint are activated when the cable is pulled and arms are fully stretched out. The motion prompts you to squeeze your shoulders together, which tightens the muscles and assist in keeping the arms stretched out the whole time.

ABDOMINAL AND OBLIQUE MUSCLES

The external oblique muscles that are located on your sides are primarily worked on due to the side-by-side movements, which cause a pull of the muscles on each rotation. The abdominal muscles, abs, assist in keeping the core braced to contract the muscles worked on and keep a balance to the whole body while rotating from side to side.

CABLE ROTATION BENEFITS

STRENGTHENING AND DEVELOPING OF THE CORE

The core is largely engaged in this workout and with a developed and strong core; endurance is greatly increased especially for athletes and weight lifters. With the abdominal muscles, a good toned core is a strong core and a good-looking one.

WAIST (TORSO) FLEXIBILITY

The rotations at the torso builds a more flexible waist that helps in body coordination and movement especially in sport. Muscle mass at the torso assists in force production and power like in kicking and throwing. For work out benefits, a flexible waist assists in other rotation variation workouts.

SHOULDER DEVELOPMENT

The deltoid muscles located at the shoulders, protect and stabilizes your shoulder joints when moving your arms in different direction. Extended arms and weighted cable gives the shoulders tension, which activates the muscles. Activation improves muscle build up which improves shoulder appearance (aesthetic improvement).

ALTERNATIVES TO CABLE ROTATION

RESISTANCE BAND ROTATIONS

The tool used here is a resistance band. Same motion of side-to-side, resistance band rotation is still as effective and engaging.

  • Since we are not using any weights, this exercise can be convenient when working out at home.
  • Use a resistance band that has tension you can work with.
  • Hook it on a pole at a chest level. Make sure it is tightly hooked.
  • Stand side on to the band. With your legs wider than your shoulder – width, grab on to the resistance band with both hands and arms fully extended.
  • Brace your core and rotate your torso moving your extended arms from side to side. Make sure you fully work the resistance band to effectively activate the core and shoulder muscles.
  • Do desired sets and reps until your feel muscle contraction.

HORIZONTAL WOODCHOP WITH DUMBBELL

Almost the same motion as the Cable Rotation but with a dumbbell, this exercise also works out the shoulders, abdominal and the oblique muscles.

How to do it:

  • Get a dumbbell with the most appropriate weight for you.
  • Stand with feet shoulder – width apart and hold the dumbbell with both hands in front of you (chest level), with arms stretched out.
  • Tighten your core, slightly bend at the knees and keep your back straight then rotate the torso moving the dumbbell from side to side, in a smooth and controlled motion.
  • Maintain the out stretched arms and straight back.
  • Do desired sets and reps until your feel muscle contraction.

CABLE ROTATION MISTAKES TO AVOID

ELBOW BENDING

Bending of the elbow removes focus from the primary muscles to the biceps and Lats, which is okay but for now, let us focus more on developing the shoulder muscles and abdominal muscles. Elbow bending also gives the arms too much tension while pulling the cable instead of getting the power from the core and assistance from the shoulder muscles.

BENDING AT THE BACK

Keeping a straight back comes from tightening the core and using the appropriate muscles to do the technique. Bending the back will lead to an arching back due to the pressure mounted to it while the spine is not well aligned and muscles not tight enough to stabilize and reinforce posture.

EXCESSIVE WEIGHT

This is harmful as you might tear a muscle or tendon trying to lift the weights. Keep a neutral weight if you are a beginner and if you would like a challenge, make sure the weights match your endurance and strength.

CONCLUSION

Cable rotation may look like an easy to do and less effective workout but once you start incorporating the exercise to your daily workouts, you will see a great difference on your torso and waist. With its benefits, it proves to be a good work out for the abs and waist flexibility.