Ab Pulldown Exercise

Ab Pulldown is a great exercise that targets the core, particularly the upper abdominals and serratus muscles.

The lower abdominals and lower back muscles are activated at the bottom position of the exercise.

Ab pulldown benefits the upper abdominals and builds muscle when you add more resistance by using heavier weight.

Ab Pulldown

How To Do Ab Pulldowns

  • For correct ab pulldown form, grab the ends of a rope pulley handle then kneel in front of the cable machine station.
  • Tighten your core muscles; keep a flat back position. Pull your elbows to the side of your trunk.
  • Initiate the cable crunch by contracting your upper abdominals; pull your upper abs toward your ribcage. This will bring the elbows to touch your upper thighs. Hold the position for a count of “one”.
  • Return to the starting position by extending your upper abs.
  • Repeat the exercise until you have completed the targeted number of reps.

Form and Technique

Ab Pulldown requires you to focus on allowing your upper abs to do all the work. Do not use your arms to pull the cable.

This is why your elbows have to remain firmly tucked into your sides. Your arms should not drift forward in this exercise.

Routine for Strength: 3 sets x 12-15 reps

Routine for Muscle Gains: 4-5 sets x 6-8 reps

Ab Pulldown Muscles Worked

  • Rectus Abdominis

Ab Pulldown FAQs

How do you do an ab pulldown?

Correct Ab pulldown form begins with kneeling upright holding the rope of the cable machine, then slowly pull yourself towards the ground by contracting your abs and keeping your lower back flat to ensure the tension stays in your abs.

From the bottom, slowly allow the weight to raise you back up to a kneeling position, then repeat.

How do you do abs with rope?

As well as ab pulldown exercise, also try cable crossover and standing oblique cable crunches.

How To Do Ab Pulldown (AKA Cable Pulldown) (1:58 Min Video)

Ab Pulldown Alternatives

Standing Cable Crunch | Weighted Crunches