Obliques are one of the most important areas to work on if you are looking to build six pack abs.
These muscles are the most forgotten when people start to build a strong core.
Obliques are stabilizers in the body; when your body is involved in lifting during complicated compound movements, these muscles are engaged.
It is vital that you strengthen the obliques. If you are looking to achieve that “V” shape bodybuilders dream of, read on further for the best exercises that target obliques muscle:
Oblique Exercise 1: Barbell side bends
1. Hold a barbell and rest it on your traps. Position your feet at shoulder width distance.
2. Keep the back straight and head high. In this exercise, you will use only the waist to bend sideways.
3. Inhale and bend sideways as far as you can. Hold the final position for a second or two and come back to the original position, exhaling the breath.
4. Repeat for the other side alternately. Do 15 such repetitions.
Many people get lost in the momentum of the exercise and do not execute controlled movements. As a result, they bend to the front or back. It is essential to do the exercise on a frontal plane.
You may also use dumbbells for this exercise. Hold a dumbbell in one hand and start bending to the right and left. You can vary the difficulty by keeping the free arm across your upper body, or behind to increase the load on your obliques.
Oblique Exercise 2: Decline side crunches
1. Lie down on the decline bench such that your torso makes an angle of approximately 40 to 45 degrees to the floor.
2. Keep a hand behind the head and the other on your quads.
3. Crunch upwards using your upper abs and rotate the upper body just before the final position towards the left. Your target should be the left elbow touching the right knee. Contract your core for a second or two and come back to the original position.
4. Do the same on the other side. Continue for 12-15 repetitions.
Keep the movement controlled. Don’t execute this exercise in a rapid way, just to get over with it. Focus on squeezing your obliques and core while performing this movement. Twist your torso fully towards the sides for achieving better results.
Oblique Exercise 3: Side jackknives
1. Lie on the right side such that you rest your body on your hamstrings. Keep the left hand on the right and place your right hand behind the head.
2. Stretch fully in the initial position.
3. Reach out for your right leg with your torso, contracting the obliques. Inhale during this movement and maintain a pause of a second or two at the final position. Exhale and bring the legs back. Do 12 such reps for the other leg too.
This oblique exercise is one of the best to target the obliques muscle. It hits the area like none other exercise. So make sure you are executing the correct form. Attach ankle weights to add more resistance to the exercise.
Oblique Exercise 4: Bicycle Crunches
1. Lie flat on your lower back, keeping your hands behind the head.
2. Keep the knees perpendicular to the ground and the legs in line with the floor.
3. Start the cycling movement with your legs, kicking forward with alternate legs and making sure the knee touches the chest at the top of the motion.
4. Crunch using the upper body too, reaching for the right knee with the left elbow and vice versa. Continue for 15-20 repetitions.
Keep a controlled and slow movement for better results. Don’t move your neck too much as it will cause strain.
Oblique Exercise 5: Medicine ball twists
2. Holding the ball right in front, start twisting to the sides alternately till the ball reaches the floor each side.
Focus on squeezing the obliques with each repetition. Don’t build extra momentum by doing the reps faster. Keep a controlled movement throughout the twists and make sure the legs is lifted off the ground.
Oblique Exercise 6: Side planks
1. Position your left elbow just beneath the left shoulder such that they are in one perfect line. Keep the left forearm on the ground such that it supports your body weight.
3. Repeat the same for the other hand.
Tip: Remember to inhale and exhale when you hold the position. It will be easier for you to perform the exercise.
Do these six exercises regularly and see results for yourself.
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