Every Core Workout Should Include
Oblique Exercises for the Oblique Muscles
Oblique Exercises play an important role in core strengthening.
When I studied and practiced yoga, I remember learning that it was important to move the spine in all of its 7 directions (forwards, backwards, side bend to the left, side bend to the right, twist to the left, twist to the right, and upside down).
The main point is that in order to keep a healthy spine, you must exercise your lower back in all directions.
When most people train their core muscles (abs and lower back), they focus on exercises that move forwards and backwards and neglect exercises that twist or bend to the side.
The lower back is most vulnerable when we twist and lift, so in order to protect the lower back from injury it is important to strengthen your oblique muscles to help control and stabilize your spine when you twist or side bend.
Oblique exercises are important for preventing lower back injuries.
The internal obliques and external obliques actually work really well when you do regular crunches and sit ups. The obliques help to pull the spine forward like in a basic crunch or traditional sit up. But, they work the hardest when you add a twist or bend to the sides.
Here are a few good abdominal exercises for the obliques:
(click to view the page with the exercise pictures and descriptions)
Exercise Ball Oblique Crunches
Oblique Crunches Knees Crossed
Oblique Crunches Feet Flat
Standing Side Bends
Medicine Ball Russian Twist
Seated Russian Twist
Side Crunches on an Exercise Ball
Ball Oblique Side Rolls
Moving Side Planks
Hanging Oblique Knee Raises
Core Board Plank Twist with Knee Raises
Weighted Russian Twists
Side Planks with Twisting Crunches
Star Sit Ups
Bosu Ball Russian Twists
Bosu Ball Oblique Side Crunches
Floor Side Leg Raises
Side Leg Raises on a Bosu Ball
Side Bends on a 45 Degree Slant Board
Bosu Ball Bicycle Crunches
Double Knees to the Side
Double Legs to the Side
Oblique Hip Thrusts
Dumbbell Overhead Side Bends
Medicine Ball Rotational Chest Pass
Kneeling Cable Rotations
Half Kneeling Cable Rotations
Standing Cable Rotations
Side Oblique Heel Touches
Cable Side Bends (Standing and Kneeling)
Floor Cable Oblique Crunches
Stability Ball Oblique Crunches with Cables
Side Bends with Rotation
Medicine Ball Side Bends with Rotation
Incline Oblique Crunches
Incline Oblique Sit Ups
2 Arm Overhead Cable Side Bends
1 Arm Overhead Cable Side Bends: Version #1
1 Arm Overhead Cable Side Bends: Version #2
Seated Stability Ball Cable Rotations
Oblique Knee Raises on a Captain's Chair
Stability Ball Oblique Roll-ins
Trx Oblique Exercises
Trx Side Plank and Moving Side Plank From the Elbow
Trx Side Plank and Moving Side Plank from the Hand
Trx Side Plank with Rotation
Summary of the Best Oblique Exercises
The above ab exercises emphasize the oblique muscles, but the obliques will work during nearly every ab exercise.
If you've been focusing on regular crunches and ab exercises that only move in one direction (forwards), then I suggest you add a few ab exercises for the obliques to your core workout.
Your back will thank you.
Yours in Health,
Read about Abdominal Muscle Anatomy
Or Return to the Abdominal Exercise Directory from Oblique Exercises
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