Seated cable twist exercise

Seated cable twist

Exercise details

  • Target muscles: Internal and External Obliques
  • Synergists: Psoas Major, Quadratus Lumborum, Iliocastalis Lumborum, Iliocastalis Thoracis
  • Mechanics: Isolation
  • Force: Pull

Starting position

  1. Place a bench to the side of a cable pulley.
  2. Set the pulley to seated shoulder height.
  3. Straddle the bench, with your feet flat on the floor.
  4. Twist your torso and grasp the stirrup with both hands.
  5. Straighten your torso and arms. Your arms should be parallel with the floor and the cable should be pulled taut.


  1. Keeping your torso and arms straight, exhale as you slowly rotate your torso to the opposite side.
  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 the exercise with your opposite side.

Comments and tips

  • Use the seated cable twist to strengthen and stabilize your core, and to strengthen the twisting movement pattern of your torso.
  • The point of sitting down for this exercise is to isolate the rotation of your torso.
  • Keep your torso and arms straight and the movement under control.
  • Keep your arms still; all of the movement should be in your torso.
  • Make sure to get a full range of motion, twisting from one side all the way to the other side, and then back again.
  • Ensure the cable is taut throughout the movement. You can achieve this by adjusting the position of the bench.
  • Squeeze the bench with your legs for stability.
  • Instead of sitting on a bench, you can sit on a stability ball, which will make the exercise more difficult and enforce the recruitment of more stabilizer muscles. However, you will not be able to lift as much weight.
  • While performing the seated cable twist, it’s a good idea to stop halfway through some reps, hold, and try to resist the rotational force for 5 to 10 seconds, before continuing. This will isometrically strengthen your core and improve core stability.
  • The seated cable twist is also known as the seated oblique twist.
  • See also the cable twist and the cable wood chop.

Seated cable twist video

Here’s a demonstration of the seated cable twist as performed on a stability ball.


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