Strong Abs: Parallel Woodchop

When it comes to selecting exercises for clients’ programs, I’m pretty picky.

Because my clients are busy (and you are too), to not be as economical with their (and your) time would be a shame, and a disservice. I don’t like shames and disservices-es, so I try to not to do them.

I also try to choose exercises that do at least a few good things for the body.

That’s why Parallel Woodchops have been a staple in my clients programs for over a decade.

Here’s what they look like:

While their primary function is to train the abs, they also work the hips/glutes, and promote a healthy relationship between the abs, glutes, low back, and hips. Those things working together in harmony is a really good thing.


  • Start with a wide stance, and grab a handle attached to a cable column, or band.
  • Brace your abs tight, and rotate away from the the cable column, or where the band is anchored.
  • Keep your hips, torso, and chest in line throughout the entire movement.
  • You should feel almost all of the work in your abs. If you start to feel it in your arms/shoulders, reset and try to brace your abs tighter.

I like to have clients do these in the 6-10/side rep range.

Give them shot!

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