How To Do Half Kneeling Cable Chop Properly

Also known by its initials HK, Half kneeling Cable Chop is a diagonal pattern workout that helps in developing the trunk and upper body.

Half Kneeling Cable Chop is a wood chop variation that is great for muscle asymmetry evaluation for trainers who help athletes or workout enthusiasts have body stability and muscle balance.

HOW TO DO HALF KNEELING CABLE CHOP PROPERLY

This workout trains the core through stabilization as you fight to keep a stable position through the plane of motion and the weight of the cable.

Use a cable machine that has a cable bar or rope handle long enough to be held by two hands in a shoulder-width distance. Set weights that best match your fitness ability.

  • Assume a half kneeling position, meaning only one knee is resting on the floor and the other is bending in front of you. The cable machine should be facing your right side.
  • Grab the hanging bar or rope in an overhand grip with both hands keeping a shoulder-width distance between them. Your right hand should be closest to the cable machine.
  • Keep a straight back and brace your core. This is your starting position.
  • Pull the handle towards your left hip by extending your left arm and bending the right arm. In a fluid motion, press your right arm forward.
  • Remember not to turn as you do the motion.
  • Control the weight as you reverse the motion back to your starting position.
  • Do 2 sets of 10-12 reps on each side.

WHAT MUSCLES DO HALF KNEELING CABLE CHOP WORK

OBLIQUES

It refers to two abdominal muscles, the external and internal oblique muscles that provide trunk/core flexion and rotation. The muscles create our abdominal walls.

Stabilization of the abdominal area is a key function especially when your hands are stretching on the cable handle as the oblique muscles help compress the trunk and stabilize the movement.

CORE

Workout slang can differ a lot, depending on how technical you want to be with your explanation but more or less most terms mean the same thing. The core constitutes of the whole muscle formation at the torso.

The core refers to the trunk or abdominal muscles or torso, all these names point to the direction of where you want those 6 packs to be defined after weeks of workout and development.

They protect a number of organs, the spine being one of them. Tightening of the core while doing the workout helps achieve balance and protects the spine.

ARM MUSCLES

You may feel your core doing most of the work but your arm muscles are also putting in the effort to pull the cable.

The arm muscles are quite extensive from the upper arm muscles (triceps and biceps) to the lower arm muscles (superficial, intermediate and deep muscles). All these muscles get activated when doing the chopping motion which helps with arm muscle development.

HALF KNEELING CABLE CHOP BENEFITS

BODY STABILITY AND BALANCE

Maintaining a straight back helps you align your pelvis and trunk, which increases your body balance while doing the chop motion.

The kneeling stance makes it easier to find balance and stability, which gives room to concentrate on engaging the primary muscles and the upper body.

CORE DEVELOPMENT

Core engagement is mandatory, which helps you find stability while mimicking being on a single leg. The core muscles are activated and this helps develop the muscles same as strengthen them.

ARM FLEXIBILITY AND STRENGTHENING

The motion for this exercise fully engages the arm muscles when you pull and extend them. The weights on the cable machine help activate the muscles and facilitate arm flexibility through extending and stretching.

ALTERNATIVES TO HALF KNEELING CABLE CHOP

DUMBBELL WOODCHOP

Seems like an interesting workout just by the mention of its name, dumbbell woodchop is a good alternative as it works on the oblique when doing the rotation motion.

How to do it:

  • Grab a dumbbell and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the dumbbell at the handle with both hands firmly.
  • Rotate your body to the right and hold the dumbbell at your right hip side. Pivot your feet to avoid putting tension on your back.
  • Lift and rotate the dumbbell up and above the left side of your head as you pivot your right foot to aid the rotation and lifting of the weight.
  • For the chopping motion, the weight will go from your left side back to the right hip as you pivot your left foot to aid the motion.
  • Maintain a controlled movement and decrease momentum between each rep.
  • Do 3 sets of 10-12 reps.

RUSSIAN TWIST

It may look or sound easy but Russian twist requires a lot of core strength and engagement.

How to do it:

  • Sit on a workout mat with feet stretched out together. Lean back keeping a straight back and lift your feet off the floor with knees bent.
  • Create a V shape with your torso and thighs and then interlace your finger in front of you. This is your starting position.
  • Using your abdominals, twist to the right then back to center and then to the left then back to center.
  • Keep a controlled motion throughout the technique and exhale with each twist then inhale to return to center.
  • Do 3 sets of 8-10 reps.

CLIMBERS

This workout targets a number of muscles and the core is the primary muscle targeted since it helps to support the plank position.

How to do it:

  • Using a workout mat, assume a plank position and distribute your weight evenly from your hands to your toes.
  • Your hands should be shoulder-width apart and the core engaged this is your starting position.
  • Pull your right knee in towards your chest and then back to the starting position.
  • Do the same for the left knee. The switch should be fluid with an increased momentum. Alternate exhaling and inhaling with each leg switch.
  • Do 2 sets of 10-12reps.

HALF KNEELING CABLE CHOP MISTAKES TO AVOID

ROUNDED OR CURVED BACK

One of the top most rules in workouts is always maintaining a straight and tight back to facilitate muscle development. Having a straight back helps you maintain a good posture and a healthy spine.

OVER BENDING OF THE ARMS

Over bending the arms while doing Half Kneeling Cable Chop shifts focus from the core and oblique muscles and will increase the strain when pulling and extending the cable bar or rope handle.

You will see that you concentrate more on pulling and extending than on engaging the muscles. This may prompt you to curve your back to remove tension and strain from the arms.

CONCLUSION

For a beginner, Half kneeling Cable Chop is a great start as it challenges the muscles fairly and gradually teaches your muscles stability and endurance.