While you can work your abs lying down, the most effective core exercises are functional moves done standing. Functional exercises mimic everyday moves and easily translate to real-life activities. Equinox trainer Lauren Fairbanks recommends the wood chop using the cable pulley machine to strengthen the abs and back while sculpting a toned torso. "It's a full-body move that works the glutes and the shoulders, and just about everything in between." The primary focus of the exercise is the abs, especially the obliques, which drive the twisting motion.
- Attach the double-rope handle onto the cable. Set the weight to 15 pounds.
- Stand your left side toward the machine, about two feet from it. Grab the handle and open your feet to a stable and wide stance.
- Exhale, pull abs to spine, and rotate torso to pull cable down to the outside of your right knee while simultaneously bending it. Imagine you're swinging an ax across your body.
- Keep your arms straight and do not round your back.
- Reverse the motion, controlling the weight on the cable as you return to the starting position. This completes one rep.
- Do 12 reps on each side for three sets.