top of page

Cable Reverse Crunch 101 Video Tutorial

Gym Modified Variation Core Exercise


Cable Reverse Crunch
Cable Reverse Crunch

Exercise Synopsis

Target Muscle Group


Secondary Targets



Force Type


Required Equipment

Cable Machine

Fitness Level












The Cable Reverse Crunch is a highly effective exercise for targeting the abdominal muscles, particularly the rectus abdominis, with secondary engagement of the obliques and hip flexors. Utilizing a cable machine, this isolation movement involves flexing the spine and drawing the pelvis towards the ribcage, creating a deep contraction in the abs. By maintaining tension on the cable throughout the movement, the exercise provides continuous resistance, challenging the core muscles and promoting strength and stability. Incorporating the Cable Reverse Crunch into your workout routine can help develop a strong and defined midsection while also improving overall core strength and functionality.

How to Perform

  1. Prepare the cable machine by adjusting the pulley to the lowest notch on the railing and attaching an ankle strap.

  2. Sit facing the machine, secure the ankle strap around your ankles, ensuring it is snug and won't come loose during the exercise. Begin with a light weight to test the security of the ankle strap.

  3. Lie on your back on the floor and lift your knees up so your upper legs are vertical, forming a 90-degree angle with your bent legs. Extend your arms forward beside your buttocks, palms flat on the floor, and press your lower back firmly against the ground.

  4. Lift your shoulders and head off the floor, initiating an upper ab crunch motion.

  5. Engage your core muscles and pull your knees towards your chest while simultaneously lifting your buttocks off the floor. Focus on curling your pelvis towards the ceiling and contract both your lower and upper abs intensely.

  6. Lower your hips slowly and return your legs to the starting position with a 90-degree bend. Repeat the movement for the desired number of repetitions, maintaining proper form throughout each repetition.

  7. Ensure a controlled and deliberate pace throughout the exercise to maximize muscle engagement and avoid momentum-driven movements. Remember to breathe steadily and rhythmically as you perform the Cable Reverse Crunch to optimize oxygen flow and maintain core stability.


  1. Begin with the bodyweight variation of the Cable Reverse Crunch if you're new to exercise or direct abdominal training. This version provides a challenging workout without additional resistance and allows you to focus on mastering proper form.

  2. If you don't have access to a cable machine, there are alternative exercises you can try to target the abs, such as hanging leg raises, using ankle weights, holding a dumbbell, or squeezing an exercise ball between your feet. These variations provide similar benefits to weighted leg crunches and can be effective additions to your workout routine.

  3. Emphasize the movement of curling the pelvis and lifting the buttocks off the floor to effectively engage the lower abdominal muscles. Avoid solely focusing on pulling the knees back, as the key to the exercise lies in the movement of the pelvis and buttocks. By concentrating on this aspect, you'll maximize the effectiveness of the Cable Reverse Crunch and optimize your abdominal workout.

How Not to Perform

  1. Avoid using excessive weight: Resist the temptation to use too much weight on the cable machine, as it can lead to improper form and increase the risk of injury. Start with a lighter weight and focus on proper technique to effectively target the abs without straining other muscles.

  2. Do not rely on momentum: Avoid swinging or jerking motions to lift your legs, as this reduces the effectiveness of the exercise and shifts the focus away from the abdominal muscles. Instead, use controlled movements to engage the abs and prevent wasted energy.

  3. Do not arch your back: Keep your lower back pressed firmly against the floor throughout the exercise to avoid strain and ensure proper alignment. Arching the back can diminish the engagement of the abs and increase the risk of lower back discomfort or injury.

  4. Avoid pulling with your arms: Refrain from using your arms to lift your legs, as this can take the focus away from the abs and place unnecessary strain on the shoulders and arms. Keep your arms relaxed and use them for stability rather than assistance in the movement.

  5. Do not use momentum to lift your legs: Instead of swinging your legs upwards, focus on using your abdominal muscles to lift your pelvis off the floor in a controlled manner. This ensures that the abs are effectively engaged and prevents wasted energy on momentum-driven movements.

  6. Avoid lifting your hips too high: While it's important to lift your pelvis off the floor, avoid lifting your hips excessively high, as this can shift the focus away from the abs and onto the hip flexors. Aim for a controlled movement that targets the abs while maintaining stability and proper form.

  7. Do not hold your breath: Remember to breathe steadily throughout the exercise to maintain oxygen flow to the muscles and prevent fatigue. Holding your breath can increase tension and reduce energy levels, making it harder to perform the Cable Reverse Crunch with proper form and focus on the target muscles.


Variations of fitness exercises refer to different ways of performing a specific exercise or movement to target various muscle groups, intensities, or goals. These variations aim to challenge the body differently, prevent plateaus, and cater to individuals with varying fitness levels.


Alternative exercises in fitness refer to different movements or activities that target similar muscle groups or serve the same training purpose as the primary exercise. These alternative exercises can be used as substitutes when the original exercise is unavailable or challenging to perform due to various reasons such as equipment limitations, injuries, or personal preferences.


Cable Machine