While most of us are focused on getting a six-pack and a toned derriere, we tend to forget that our obliques deserve some love and attention too. The oblique is the side muscles that run along the sides of your abs. Having a strong oblique will help stabilize your spine, sculpt your abs, and increase flexibility as you bend your torso to the side .
Lately, many fashion brands have showcased clothes with cut-outs from the slight peekaboo to the over-the-top reveal. So adding some oblique exercises once or twice a week to your workouts will give you that sexy oblique that you just can’t wait to show off in your cut-out outfit like how Taraji Henson (Empire), Taylor Swift and Kendall Jenner is rocking their cut-out pieces.
Here are 6 oblique moves for you to try to get you closer to a toned oblique:
1. Side Plank
- Lie on your right side with your legs straight and foot on top of each other. Hold your upper body up on your forearm.
- Lift your hips so your body forms a straight line from your head to your heels.
- Hold for as long as you can and don’t forget to breathe. Then lower your hips down and switch sides.
Advance: You can turn your body to the side from a plank position to get into your side plank. Once you’re stable in your side plank, lift your top leg up and straight to as high as you can and hold for a few breaths. If you can, lift your legs until you reach your lifted hand.
2. Bicycle Crunch
- Begin by lying on your back with your legs raised and knees bent to 90 degrees. Place your hands lightly behind your neck or ears for support.
- Lift your shoulders off the mat without straining your neck then crunch your right knee up as you try to reach your left armpit as close as possible to your right knee.Then repeat this motion on the opposite side.
- Continue this pattern for 10 repetitions and repeat as desired.
- Make this exercise harder by doing it in slow controlled movements so you can feel the crunch.
3. Spiderman Push-Up
- Get into a standard push-up position and make sure your core is tight and body is straight from head to toe.
- As you lower your body to the floor, lift your right foot off of the floor, bring your leg out sideways and try to touch your knee to your elbow.
- Push your body to starting position then lower your body and lift your opposite leg.
4. Russian Twist
- Lie down on the floor and bend your knees as you lift your upper body up until you’re at a 45-degree angle and tighten your core as you hold that position. You can lower your feet to the ground if it’s too difficult to keep it lifted.
- Lift your arms straight in front of you and place it together palm to palm. Twist your torso to the right side as far as you can while exhaling. Hold it there for a second and twist back to the starting position while breathing out. Then twist to the opposite side. Aim for 3-4 sets of 16-18 reps total.
- Advance: Hold a dumbbell or weight plate or do it on a decline bench to let gravity push your twists deeper.
5. Standing Oblique Crunch
- Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and abs tight.
- Lift your right leg up to the side as you try to reach your right elbow to your knee.
- Crunch then switch sides. Keep your core tight and your hips square.
6. Oblique Static Holds
- Lay on one side of your body with your back completely straight with shoulders and neck relaxed.
- Lift your legs up and try to reach for you shoulders as squeeze your side/obliques . Squeeze for as long as you can.
- Slowly, lower your legs and shoulders back to the floor and turn your body to the other side to repeat.
- Advanced: Try to add a light dumbbell between your feet so your legs will get more resistance as you lift it up.