Woodchoppers and Squats

  1. Registered User
    TruffleShuffle's Avatar
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    Woodchoppers and Squats

    On another forum a person has posted up looking for good 'core' exercises and specifically mentioning Deadlifts and Squats as ones he already did.

    I commented that i didnt see a standard 'squat' really hitting your core greatly as really it isolates your legs, unlike a deadlift.

    My recommendation to him were Woodchoppers.

    I'm now getting stick from people saying that woodchoppers are a shoulder exercise and would hit the core about as much as a squat does, ie. minimally.

    Can someone clear this up for me?

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    bdcc's Avatar
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    Cable woodchops are a rotation exercise where your shoulder joint angles are fixed (in terms of horizontal flexion and horizontal extension). So the movement is coming from your rotary muscles i.e., obliques.

    You would only feel it in your shoulders as they are working isometrically. You are correct in identifying that it is a core exercise.

    That being said I believe Squats and Deadlifts had the highest muscle activity for core musculature. I don't have the EMG study to hand but worth a thought.
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    BigJoshStud's Avatar
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    I agree with bdcc. In my experience woodchops are primarily an obilque exercise, not a shoulder exercise. That is plain silly to say that they are.
    I also agree that Squats and deads do indeed recruit the "core" significantly.
    In particular, OP, even though the squat primarily targets the quads, doesn't mean that it doesn't recruit other muscle groups. Specifically the core/midsection are recruited in order to hold the torso upright during the squat.

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    You may not know this, but squats have shown higher core activation than any other exercise... The intra abdominal pressure that you have to create to support your body during a squat is extreme. Imagine trying to squeeze out a sh*t as hard as you can when you are super constipated... now triple that during squat... Deadlifts are a really close second for abs. Show me someone who can squat and deadlift alot that doesn't have thick abs..

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