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Decline Cable Crunch

Decline Cable Crunch

Abs with a emphasis on the upper abs.

Best In Workout:
In general, always do abs last in your workout, following your major bodyparts. But within your ab-specific training, put this weighted crunch before your bodyweight moves.

Sets & Reps:
Perform 4 sets with 10-15 reps

Place a decline bench near a low pulley (your head nearest the stack). Most gym have portable abdominal benches, so drag or carry one to the pulley station. Place it a couple of feet away from the stack so that when your grasp and place the rope in place, the weight rises off the stack and will not touch down between reps.

Hook a rope attachment to the cable and hold the handles tight to your body outside your ears. You can also grasp both ends of the rope and hold them on one side of your head. The emphasis is not altered all that much and could be more comfortable and practical depending on the attachment. But if your do so, be sure to transfer your hands to each side of your head from set to set.

Range Of Motion:
Crunch up as high as possible, bringing your elbow toward your quads. Because you are holding a cable that provides constant tension, you can raise your body as high as possible. In other words, you do not have to stop short of perpendicular to the floor as you do during your bodyweight version to keep the abs engaged and stimulated, but come up as high as you can go. Try not to pull through your quads to lessen the engagement of the hip flexors.

Back To Start:
Squeeze your abs hard and then slowly lower yourself to the start position and repeat. Feel free to come all the way down until your head touches the bench, but if you want to make it more difficult, stop just short of letting your shoulder blades touch the bench. Either way, do not let the weight plates touch down at the bottom of each rep.


Bodyweight Moves in a Leg Routine

Here is an example of how you might include bodyweight moves to boost the intensity your leg workout. Start with leg extension to pre-exhaust the quadriceps.

Here is an example of how you might include bodyweight moves to boost the intensity your leg workout. Start with leg extension to pre-exhaust the quadriceps.

Leg extension – 3 sets, 10-12 reps

Smith Machine Squat – 3 sets, 10-15 reps
Superset with
Plyo jump squat – 3 sets, to failure

Leg press – 3 sets, 8-10 reps
Superset with
Wall squat – 3 sets, to failure

Lying leg curl – 3 sets, 15 reps
Superset with
Split-jump squat – 3 reps, to failure

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The Best Bodyweight Moves

Below are a few of the exercises for certain body-parts where bodyweight moves can add both depth and definition.



Inverted pull-up on Smith Machine


Wall squat

Jump squat

Sissy squat

Split-jump squat



Incline push-up

Decline push-up

Plyo push-up


Hanging leg raise


Double crunch

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Bodyweight Exercises

I would be foolish to try and convince you that a bodyweight workout is somehow going to magically add pounds of muscle. But that is not to say there isn’t some value in bodyweight exercises, and if you learn how to employ some strategic tactics, you can actually take your training to a whole new level.

1)      Always take body weight moves to failure

As you are only using just your bodyweight, it does not make any sense to stop a set before you are fatigued. You need to get the most out of the particular move when bodyweight is the resistance. Since you can’t manipulate the resistance by adding or decreasing weight, and adding weights is the only way to go, you need to perform as many with good form as you can.

2)      Use bodyweight moves as a way of flushing the muscles or finishing a particular body-part routine.

Placing finishing moves at the end of a routine to flush the muscles with water, blood and nutrients is one of the best strategies a bodybuilder looking to squeeze every last bit of effort out of his muscle bellies can follow. Getting a pump by using your own bodyweight is ideal because once you reach failure you draw water inside your muscle cells, and as with a balloon, the more water the muscle cell can hold, the bigger the pump you will experience. The bodyweight pump essentially stretches the muscle cell, making the muscle itself temporarily bigger while initiating biochemical pathways that promote permanent growth.

3)      Incorporate techniques such as plyometrics and isometrics to help make bodyweight moves that much harder and more beneficial.

As you know plyometrics involve explosive, rather than the usual strong but controlled actions, which require a high proportion of fast-twitch muscle fibres. Fast-twitch muscle fibres are responsible for power, size and strength. With plyometric-type moves you can incorporate the bodyweight exercises between free-weight exercises. Exercises like the plyo push-up between sets of bench presses or plyo jump squats in between sets of leg presses can add intensity to an already brutal routine. That intensity will further break down your muscles causing long-lasting change in size and strength. You can also practice timed holds using your bodyweight. For example, wall squats in which you hold your body at 90 degrees as long as possible.

4)      Keep a log to monitor your progress on sets and reps for all bodyweight moves from week to week.

From one workout to the next you should journal all reps and holds on the different exercises, making sure that you beat your time or reps each week or month. That progressive overload is a sure-fire way of knowing whether you are getting stronger, bigger and better at each exercise.