Cable wood chop

Exercise details

  • Target muscles: Internal and External Obliques
  • Synergists: Tensor Fasciae Latae, Gluteus Medius, Gluteus Minimus, Psoas Major, Quadratus Lumborum, Iliocastalis Lumborum, Iliocastalis Thoracis, Adductor Brevis, Adductor Longus, Adductor Magnus
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Force: Pull

Starting position

  1. Attach a stirrup (handle) to a high cable pulley.
  2. Grasp the stirrup with both hands, with one hand over the other or with fingers interlaced.
  3. Step back so that the cable is pulled taut.
  4. Turn your lower body until your feet are facing away from the pulley, and stand with a staggered stance.
  5. Straighten your arms.


  1. Keeping your arms completely straight, exhale as you pull the stirrup in a twisting and diagonally downward motion until your torso faces away from the pulley.
  2. Hold for a count of two.
  3. Inhale as you reverse the motion and return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.
  5. Repeat on your opposite side.

Comments and tips

  • Keep your arms straight throughout the exercise.
  • Try to get a full twist of your torso and reduce the amount of rotation in your hips.
  • The cable wood chop is great for strengthening the twisting movement pattern of your torso, as well as improving your torso’s ability to resist twisting forces. It’s a good idea to stop and hold the stirrup for a few seconds halfway through some reps, thus forcing your body to resist the twisting force.
  • The cable wood chop is also known as the cable up–down twist and the cable woodchopper.

Cable wood chop video


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