Set up a pulley cable so that the cable attachment is about a foot or so higher than the ball. Attach a rope to the cable. Sit on the ball with your back to the cable. Now comes the hardest part: Grab hold of the rope behind you and adjust your body so that your lower back and upper butt are in contact with the ball and you’re holding the rope behind your head (forearms across your chest) near your ears. Keeping your body stable from your knees to your hips, curl up and contract your abs. Hold the contraction for a second; feel the stretch, allowing the weight to pull you back to the starting position.



Stand with your side toward a pulley cable apparatus. Set up the cable so that you can extend both arms and twist your torso to grasp a handle with your arms straight and just below parallel (the attachment should be at about mid-torso height). Holding your body locked into place from the hips down and keeping your arms straight, rotate your body away from the cable apparatus and past the neutral front position until you’ve rotated 30 to 45 degrees in the opposite direction, allowing your personal range of motion to dictate the midpoint of the move. Hold your abs—especially your obliques—taut as you go through the range of motion, crunching down on them as you reach the midpoint. Deepen the contraction for a second and return to the starting position, holding your midsection tight throughout the move.



Face a pulley cable in a kneeling position with the cable coming from the top of the attachment. Hold a rope or narrow-grip pull-down handle behind your neck or beside your ears. You can hold your body straight from your knees to your neck in the starting position or you can bend slightly at the waist, but, either way you should maintain the angle formed between your lower and upper body throughout the set (changing this angle allows you to “cheat” using the leverage at your hip joint). Now, pulling with your abs, round your upper body and crunch your abs down toward your knees. Feel the contraction and, holding your abs tight, fight against the pull of the weight, feeling a slow stretch in your abs as you return to the starting position.



Attach a handle to the top of a pulley cable apparatus and grasp it with one hand (as if you’re going to perform a biceps curl) with the side of your body toward the cable. Take a stance slightly wider than shoulder width apart, keep the angle at your elbow and shoulder unchanged, and hold your body in one plane throughout the movement. Without moving your lower body, crunch to the side, feeling the contraction in your obliques. Deepen the contraction at the midpoint for a moment and, with your abs still held tight, begin to slowly stretch your side abdominals as you allow the weight to pull you back to the starting position.



*Percentages refer to the percentage of your body weight that you should be using on the cable machine.