An Exercise You Should Try: Parallel Woodchops

OK, OK, OK…let me make something really clear.  I know I’ve been kind of hit and miss lately.  OK, maybe for a few weeks.  But I’m back now…I promise baby, we’ll spend more time together.

In all honesty, the fat loss seminar I held this weekend was waaaaay more work than I thought it would be and it ate up a ton of time over the last month.  In fact, by the time this weekend was over, I was shot.  I actually took yesterday morning off to sleep in and spend a little time R and R-ing.  But the seminar is over now and I’m going to make a concerted effort to be posting on the blog at least twice a week with lots of new bodacious content.

Also, the seminar was recorded and I should have it available online within the next couple weeks.  So be looking for that.

If you’ve been around the blog long, you know I’m not a huge fan of typical ab work (i.e. crunches, sit-ups, etc.), for a variety of reasons.  And while my stance on them has softened a bit in the last few months, I still believe they have a very small role to play for a very small percentage of the population when it comes to getting and maintaining strong abs.

One of my mostest favoritest moves to strengthen the abdominal wall is called the parallel woodchop.

Here’s what it looks like:

It has two huge benefits that I really like.  First, it develops rotational power.  Second, it has an anti-rotation element, meaning that if you control the weight on the way back, your abs have to resist giving in to the weight that is trying to cause you torso to rotate.  Both of these things are good when it comes to strong abs.

Here’s how to do it:

-Grab a handle on a cable column (or resistance band) and stand with your feet wider than shoulder width.

-Rotate your torso and pelvis so they are both facing the cable column.

-Brace your abs tightly.  Imagine that someone is going to punch you in the stomach.  That’s what it means to “brace” your abs.

-Once the abs are braced, pull the weight using your abs, not your arms and rotate the torso and hips until they are facing away form the cable column.

-Keep the abs tight and reverse the movement, making sure to not let the weight pull you back.  It’s important that you stay in control of the weight through the entire movement.

Also, it’s important to note that the hips and torso should move together.  If you notice in the above video, I’m not rotating through my low back, rather I’m keeping my lumbar spine “locked” with my pelvis.

I like to perform these for 3 sets of 8-12 reps.

Give them a shot and let me know what you think!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s