The wood chop is a great exercise for improving core strength and especially the oblique muscles on the side of the abs. The movement uses the stability muscles of the core and the abs.
There are a number different ways and positions to do wood chops and you can use a variety of equipment such as medicine balls, dumbbells and cables. For now we’ll break down the movement of the horizontal wood chop using the cables as our tool.
If we imagine the cables are set on our left hand side, take the handle in the grip of your left hand and put your right hand over to support it.
Start with the cables just above waist height and ensure that the cables are set slightly behind you so you can encourage a full range of motion.
Keeping your arms as straight as possible, pull the cables across your body in a lateral motion, keeping your hips facing forward.
Use a rep range of about 10-15 reps and repeat both sides for 2/3 sets.
Make sure your movement is smooth and coordinated so that you stay in control of the resistance.
Once you have mastered the horizontal wood chop using the cables try the same technique with different equipment such as a medicine ball or dumbbells.
Please don’t hesitate to ask one of the trainers to demonstrate any of the wood chop exercises.
Good luck and happy training!
Ben Wilson, Personal Trainer, Caversham Health & Fitness
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