Mind Muscle Minute | Rope Crunches

Rope Crunches | Variation 1

Rope Crunches are a great abdominal building exercise.

This exercise, helps to strengthen the core including, the obliques, rectus abdominus, transverse abdominals, and lower back. To have abs, sometimes, you need to build up the ab musculature, including the rectus abdominum, that is what we see, when we are looking to have some visible abs showing.

Technique Points

Attach the rope at the top point of a functional trainer, or cable system.

You can also use two (2) D handles, if you find it difficult to grip the rope attachment.

Using a foam balance pad or Airex pad, take a kneeling position just in front of the cable. Leave enough space, to have ‘work space’, so that when you extend the weight plates, don’t touch.

Draw in the belly button first, crunching over, while keeping your stomach, drawn in (vs pushing it out)

Hold for 1 sec and then slowly return to the starting position.  

The key here is to crunch over, and down, vs back and sitting on your heels.

Watch the two YouTube videos, turn on the sound, to hear key technique points. 

For the rope crunches, the limiting factor is often grip strength.

Start at around 50lbs, on the cable system, go for the mind + muscle connection and good quality reps, for around 12-20 reps.

Strict beginners or if you are new to this movement, can start on the low end of the reps, and then keep adding reps, until you are up into the 20 reps. Then you can drop back down to 12-15 reps, and build back up again.


Facing the machine is the most common rope crunch type, but for added eccentrics, and a different variation, try facing outward from the machine.  

Rope Crunches | Variation 2


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Written by Allison Ethier
Allison Ethier, is a wellness lifestyle & body coach, IFBB Fitness Pro, and mom & coffee lover. She provides structured training, and flexible nutrition, to guide everyday athletes, to move better, build strength, and feel good in their own skin. B.Sc, B. Edu, NSCA-CPT, ISSN, PN1 info@allisonethier.com
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