Want to boost your core-strengthening routine? Try woodchop exercise variations and amp up your core training session.
Woodchop is one of the most versatile exercises that offer great benefits to your body, particularly your midsection. While the major muscles targeted are your abs, the woodchop exercise strengthens your butts, legs, and shoulders as well. Regular practice of this exercise helps manage and prevent lower back pain and improves core stability too.
Luckily, there are various woodchop exercise variations that you may try to challenge your muscles even more. These variations can be performed using different positions and equipment to allow variety in your workout routine. Read on to learn about some of the best variations of the woodchop exercise.
Add the given woodchop exercise variations to your workout routine
The following variations target major muscles in the body and are even more effective than the traditional dumbbell version.
#1 Dumbbell reverse woodchops
The dumbbell reverse woodchop is among the most common woodchop exercise variations that strengthen the entire abdominal muscle and improve your back stability. This exercise helps keep your trunk protected and activated throughout the rotational movement.
How to do the dumbbell reverse woodchop?
- Stand straight with your feet at a shoulder-width distance and hold a dumbbell at the center of your stomach. Keep your knees slightly bent.
- Bring the dumbbell towards your left hip while keeping your arms straight and slowly swing it across your body over your right shoulder with control.
- Bend your left foot as you rotate to your right and then return your hands back to your left hip.
- Continue the exercise on both sides.
#2 Stability ball woodchops
It’s one of the best beginner-level woodchop exercise variations that are quite easy and basic. When done correctly, this variation targets your side abs and strengthens your core. It also works great on your love handles.
How to do the stability ball woodchops?
- Stand straight with your feet at a shoulder-width distance and your knees slightly bent.
- Grab a stability ball with both hands above your head. Move the ball towards your right and squeeze your abs as you bring the ball down across your body in a perpendicular direction. As you do this, push the ball to your opposite thigh simultaneously.
- Return to the start and complete a few reps.
- Repeat on the opposite side.
#3 Cable reverse woodchops
Cable reverse woodchops are one of the best woodchop exercise variations that you can do using a cable machine. This exercise works great on your obliques and strengthens the core as a whole.
How to do cable reverse woodchops?
- Stand straight in front of a cable machine with your feet at a shoulder-width distance and knees slightly bent. Make sure that the cable pully is at your knee level on one side of the body.
- Now slowly move the cable out in a perpendicular direction while lifting it over your arms and head. Engage your obliques as you do this.
- Go back to the initial position and repeat the exercise a few times more.
#4 Upward woodchop with a resistance band
Upward woodchop with a resistance band is also among some great woodchop exercise variations that are suitable for beginners and people who aren’t used to dumbbells and other free weights. This variation is excellent if you want to reduce your side fat.
How to do upward woodchop with bands?
- Stand straight with your feet positioned at shoulder-width and knees slightly bent. Keep your left side next to a low-positioned and fixed resistance band.
- Hold the band at the left of your hips using both hands and slowly rotate your torso to drive your arms up diagonally and across your body.
- Continue to drive your arms up until they reach the right side of your head.
- Slowly return to the start and repeat the exercise.
#5 Medicine ball diagonal woodchops
Another amazing woodchop exercise variation, the medicine ball diagonal woodchop targets and strengthens the core and tones your entire midsection muscle. This variation helps ease back pain and is great for beginner exercisers.
How to do the medicine ball diagonal woodchop?
- Stand straight carrying a medicine ball with both hands.
- Position your feet at a shoulder distance and bend your elbows. Slowly lift the ball to the left side of your head with your arms twisted and slowly bring the ball diagonally around the side of the opposite hip while rotating your torso and bending forward.
- Return to the start in opposite direction by rotating and moving your torso back while pulling the medicine ball to the side of your head.
- Repeat the exercise.
Try the woodchop exercise variations in your next gym session
The aforementioned woodchop exercise variations can be easily added to core workout sessions to attain rock-solid abs and a toned midsection. The variations can be performed in several ways using different tools and body positions to suit your fitness needs and levels.