Welcome to ‘how to exercise the obliques’. Unfortunately, the obliques are not as popular as the abdominal exercise, often referred to as ‘six-pack’, among bodybuilders. But it is yet one important aspect that is being ignored. Some might even say, what is ‘oblique’? Well, I am going to define the obliques.
There are two parts to obliques;
- The external oblique
- And the internal oblique
The external oblique is the outer part of the side of the abdomen, whereas the internal oblique is underneath the external oblique. They are responsible for turning the back and also bending from the side. Strong obliques help to prevent lower back pain and posture problems.
Therefore, giving more attention to the obliques could do a lot of good. Speaking of giving attention to the obliques; there are ways to effectively exercise the obliques, to get good results.
Observe these guidelines when exercising the obliques
- To effectively exercise the obliques, you should, first of all, do a ‘warm-up and stretch exercise’, because not doing what you ought to do before exercising the obliques can become a waste of time. So, some aerobic warm-up and stretching will be a good starting point.
- Always breathe out (exhale) especially when lifting your upper torso off the floor, ordinarily, that’s the most difficult part.
- Always do the right form of the exercise in lesser repetitions, than doing a whole lot of worthless repetitions, thereby defeating the essence of the exercise. That would be termed as ‘quantity over quality’. It is better to do 8 to 20 repetitions that are ‘correct’ than doing many repetitions that are not correct.
- Do not lift from your neck when doing the side oblique exercises, instead, let the lifting be done from your oblique, otherwise, an injury could be sustained. Keep your chin slightly up when exercising.
Exercising The Obliques
Weighted oblique static holds are one of the most effective ways of exercising the oblique. This is done by laying on one side of the body with your upper and lower body straight. Start by slowly crunching your legs toward your torso. At this point, squeeze your obliques/side and hold for like 45 seconds. Do not worry if you are unable to hold that long, but hold for as long as you can. Gradually you will learn to hold for 45 seconds as you progress. Do the same to the other side of your body too.
This could be done with or without using a weight, just as it could be done with dumbbells (weight).
Side plank with knee pull is yet another effective obliques exercise that is simply done by lying sideways on your right elbow with the other hand on your waste. Making sure your entire body is straight while laying on your right elbow, gradually pull your right knee towards your chest and hold for like 45 minutes. Also, do the same to the left side of the body.
This could be done with or without weight.
The ‘Russian decline twist’ is done by way of sitting on a declined bench, with your back halfway off of the decline bench. Hold a medicine ball or weight with both hands and start twisting your upper body from one side to the other.
Oblique cable crunches overload the abs with heavyweight, and once your abdomen is strengthened you can cable crunch up to 100 to 120 pounds!
And this is done by standing with your legs apart, to give you the much-needed balance, grab the cable from behind you and pull over your shoulder, while bending forward/sideways at the same time. Also, repeat on the other side too.
This is called ‘standing oblique cable crunch’, however, there are other forms of oblique cable crunches that are also effective.
Exercising the oblique consistently and correctly can strengthen and slim your waistline. Just as I mentioned earlier, it will help prevent back pain and give a strong posture. Like any other exercise, we must give attention to our obliques.