Cable Machine Exercises: Reverse Cable Woodchop

Your cable machine is a very versatile piece of exercise equipment. The number of different exercises that can be performed with a cable machine is almost limitless. There are exercises that will target every single muscle group in your body that can be performed with a cable machine. One that targets a wide variety of muscles is the reverse cable woodchop.

Muscle Groups Targeted

Because of the range of motion involved in this exercise, almost every muscle group in your body will receive a thorough workout. The main groups worked will be the glutes, traps, delts, rhomboids, erector spinae, biceps, triceps, upper and lower abdominals and the abdominal obliques.

Step 1: Machine Setup

Machine setup consists of setting the main pulley as low to the floor as it will go. Set the weight for 30 or 40 pounds and test it. If it doesn’t feel like it’ll be enough, add 10 pounds. Remove 10 pounds if it will be too much.

Step 2: Starting Position

Grasp the cable handle as low to the floor as you can with both hands, with your body parallel to the machine and your legs just over shoulder width apart. Your upper body should be running in line with the leg closest to the bottom pulley.

Step 3: Straighten and Lift

Raise and twist your upper body as you bring your hands up over your head, as if grasping an axe for the downswing. Your legs should be slightly bent and your upper torso should be slightly twisted toward the side your arms are above.

Step 4: Return to Starting Position and Repeat

Slowly bring your body back to the starting position, maintaining control over the weight the whole way down. This is one rep. A full set will consist of 10 reps.

Step 5: Switch Sides and Repeat

Turn so that you’re facing the opposite direction and perform the exercise another 10 times to complete the set. A full workout will consist of 10 sets of 10 reps on both sides. Take a break of no more than one minute between sets.

Work Harder

Over time, the weight you’re using will no longer provide enough benefit with 10 sets of 10 reps. Adding 10 pounds to your stack will intensify the workout. If this isn’t enough, add another five reps and five sets to the workout.

Injury Prevention

Perform a good warm up and cool down routine before and after this exercise, to help ensure an injury free workout. After each of these, perform a complete set of stretching exercises. This will help maintain the elasticity and flexibility of your joints and muscles.

This exercise is rated as a beginner to intermediate level. Before beginning this type of cable machine exercise, consult with your physician to ensure that you’re healthy enough to undertake a strenuous physical regimen.


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