Activate and challenge your core with half-kneeling wood chops

Welcome to our weekly Move of the Week series. Every Monday, we’ll be sharing with you one of our favourite exercises – how to do them, what muscles they work and why they should be a regular part of your workout regime. This week: half kneeling wood chop.

Your core is made up of the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen that all work in harmony. However, sitting down for hours a day can lead to weak core muscles that can negatively affect our posture and well-being.

That’s why core exercises are so important for better balance, strength and stability but core workouts are so much more than just sit ups and crunches. Half kneeling wood chop is the perfect functional core exercise for everyday strength. 

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What is half-kneeling wood chop?

Half-kneeling wood chop is an exercise that involves moving your arms in a wood chopping motion while half-kneeling.

It’s great because:

It can be easily adapted to your fitness level: this exercise uses a dumbbell but you can choose the right weight for you and increase the load if needed.

It improves hip mobility and stability: this exercise will help open up your hips which is great if you’re sitting down for long periods of time every day.

It targets every part of the core: unlike crunches and sit-ups, this move works the sides, surface and deep core muscles. 

What muscles does half kneeling wood chop work?

Half kneeling wood chop strengthens various muscles in the body, including:

  • Deltoids and rotator cuffs (shoulder muscles)
  • Transverse abdominus (deep core)
  • Obliques (side core)
  • Hip flexors 

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How to do half-kneeling wood chop

  1. Start in a half-kneeling position with your right leg in front at a 90-degree angle. Hold a dumbbell with both hands at the side of your left hip.
  2. Rotate your torso to the right and lift the dumbbell to the right side of your head, turning your neck to look up at your hands.
  3. Bring the dumbbell back to the side of your left hip – this is the chopping motion of the movement. Don’t rush – your movements should be slow and controlled.
  4. Repeat on the other side. 

Images: Stylist

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