No matter how many hours you’ve spent at the gym, your form may still be struggling. After all, some of those gym machines can be pretty complicated. One move that’s often done incorrectly? The axe chop.
This move can be fantastic for toning your back and abs—and especially those hard-to-target obliques. The axe chop is also considered a functional exercise, which means it directly translates into physical activity you do every day, making it an ideal move to incorporate into your fitness routine. The only problem? If you bust out this exercise incorrectly, it could lead to a slew of problems, such as unnecessary soreness and even injuries. In this video, watch Planet Fitness Trainer Maria Almonte demonstrate how to get the most out of the axe chop without creating any strain on your body.
When trying out the axe chop for yourself, keep these form notes in mind. For starters, when you get to the machine, don’t stand facing the cables. Instead, position yourself perpendicular to the machine. Next, be sure to hold the cables firmly as you complete the move. When you pull the cables, rotate them and glide in the direction that you’re facing. Keep your elbows straight the entire time, but don’t lock or hyperextend them. And to prevent back injury, avoid arching your spine. Finally, be sure to pull your arm out for a full range of motion in order to really reap the benefits of this move!