The Half Kneeling Cable Chop is a unique core exercise that works by forcing the core to brace while moving weight across the body. It is also unique in that works in a diagonal movement pattern, something not seen in most other core exercises.
In this guide, I’m going to teach you how to do Half Kneeling Cable Chops, including important coaching tips and a few alternatives if you don’t have a cable machine.
How To Do Half Kneeling Cable Chop
- Cable Machine
- Core Abdominals (Rectus Femoris, Obliques Externus Abdominus)
- Shoulders (Anterior Delt)
- Latissimus Dorsi
- Attach a cable attachment* and slide the pin to the top of the cable machine.
- Assume a kneeling position about a foot and a half away from the machine (may vary depending on what the machine will allow)
- The knee toward the machine should be up and the knee away from the machine should be on the floor.
- Start with both arms straight out in front, one on each side of the rope or bar.
- Allow the weight to slowly pull your arms up and to the side about a foot, keeping your arms relatively straight.
- Now, brace the core and pull the cable diagonally down across your body.
- Do not twist or turn or significantly bend the arms (a slight bend in the arm is okay).
- Control the eccentric portion of the movement back to the start and repeat.
- Once all reps are complete, switch to the other side.
*This movement is best done with either the rope attachment with the rope slid all the way over to one side or a straight bar attachment with the cable attaching to one side.
Keep the torso upright during the movement. If you find yourself (or your athletes) leaning to one side or the other it’s probably an indication that the weight is too heavy. Lighten the weight being used and focus on maintaining that upright position.
Do not rotate through the torso. The goal here is to maintain a braced core and upright body position as you pull the weight across your body.
Half Kneeling Cable Chop Alternatives
Don’t have access to a cable machine? You may be able to try one of these exercises instead.
Planks don’t involve moving weight across the body, but they are potentially the best exercise for learning how to and improving the ability to brace the core.
And, they don’t require any equipment at all. Combine them with Lateral Planks to emphasize the obliques.
Stir the Pot
Stir the Pot is similar to Cable Chops in that it’s another core exercise that focuses on being able to move through the shoulders while keeping the core stabilized.
If you have a stability ball (needed for Stir the Pot), it can make for a perfect alternative exercise.
More Links and Info
If you’d like to see even more core exercises, head over to the Core Section of the Exercise Library. There you’ll find dozens of core exercises, all with complete detailed instructions.