Pulley Exercises that Train the Abs

Tired of traditional ab workouts? Up next, we'll show you how you can use pulleys to work on your abs in a different way.
Pulley Exercises that Train the Abs

Last update: 30 October, 2019

Abdominal crunches are a thing of the past. Although they still maintain some validity among instructors and physical trainers, it has been determined that they produce more harm than benefits. It’s preferable to resort to other resources, such as the ones we’ll show you in this article.

Multiple options are now available for core workouts. These routines substantially reduce the risk of injury and are also much more effective. That’s where the pulley exercises that train the abs come in.

A versatile tool for everything and everyone

Using pulleys when it’s time to mold your body at the gym is highly recommendable. Its use adapts without major difficulties to all types of people

Moreover, it allows the execution of different routines, whose main characteristic is the respect for our body’s natural movements. Likewise, we can follow parameters in accordance to strength, resistance, or power.

Pulley exercises that train the abs will strengthen the entire core of the body in a harmonious way and without causing any physical trauma. Unlike “traditional” abdominal exercises, they also involve other muscles.

The standing Pallof press: the best for using  pulleys to train the abs

It’s not the most popular exercise, but it is one of the most efficient. The standing Pallof press facilitates your core’s workout from all angles, among other things. It also develops body stability, a fundamental requirement in the practice of any sporting activity.

Similarly, doing this exercise helps us optimize three of the main functions of this muscle group—rotation resistance, flexing, and extension.

In the standing Pallof press, much of the effort falls on the oblique muscles. The glutes also come into play, which fulfills a complementary function that allows the body to maintain balance.

 The standing Pallof press facilitates your core's workout from all angles.

To execute it, the handle must be held with both hands. Then, it’s necessary to locate yourself at a distance from the pulley that permits the weight plates to be suspended while generating tension. At this point, position yourself laterally in regards to the equipment, with your feet drawing parallel lines, at shoulder height.

Your hands should be on your chest. Next, you have to stretch your arms and combine this movement with a deep inhalation. Once in that position, hold for two or three seconds and return to the starting point while exhaling. Perform 4 sets of no more than 12 repetitions and with moderate loads.

Static stride with unilateral chest press

By performing this exercise correctly, your core executes another of its primary functions in a better way: stabilizing and protecting the spine.

To carry it out you have to stand with your back to the pulley machine. Then, one of the legs must advance (take a stride), slightly flexing both knees. You should only hold the handle with the hand that’s opposite to the foot that stepped forward. Raise the elbow to shoulder height, at a 90-degree angle.

The movement consists of extending the arm to its maximum capacity, drawing a parallel line with the ground. Hold that position for two or three seconds and return to the starting point.

We recommend that you do 3 or 4 sets on each side, from 10 to 12 repetitions each. In addition to the abdominal muscles, this routine also activates the chest area and the lower body.


This is an exercise that puts the abdominal muscles to work, as well as the hips and shoulders. For its execution, it’s necessary to stand at the side of the machine, with feet shoulder-width apart. Take the holder (it can be a handle or ropes) with both hands and extend the arms over the shoulder that’s closest to the pulley.

Doing exercises with pulleys will benefit different muscles.

The next step is to turn the waist only, allowing the torso to move toward the opposite end of the equipment. During this rotation, the arms should always be extended, pulling the rope diagonally until your hands are at the height of your hips.

Once you complete the movement, hold this position for two or three seconds and then return slowly to the starting point. It is advisable to make 3 or 4 sets on each side of no more than 12 repetitions each.

Remember: exercise alone is not enough

Although the pulley exercises that work out the abs are more efficient to optimize this area of the body, the results will only be evident to the eye if you combine them with a balanced diet. So, to have a clearly marked six-pack, the percentage of body fat cannot be very high.

It might interest you...
The Best Shoulder Exercises For Women
Fit People
Read it in Fit People
The Best Shoulder Exercises For Women

If you want to train your shoulders at the gym but you need an intense routine, this article is for you. Take note of these shoulder exercises!

  • Zamora Salas, J. D. (2017). Ejercicio físico como tratamiento en el manejo de lumbalgia. Revista de Salud Pública19(1), 123–128. https://doi.org/10.15446/rsap.v19n1.61910
  • Heredia Elvar, J. R.; Ramón Costa, M. (2004). El entrenamiento de la musculatura abdominal: una visión integradora.
  • Escamilla, R. F. (1996). Core Muscle Activation During Swiss Ball and Traditional Abdominal Exercises. Journal of Athletic Training31(3), 201–206. https://doi.org/10.2519/jospt.2010.3073