Wondering what the best abs exercises are for the sides of your core? These five oblique exercises are the answer.
Well summer came and went… again. Soon the temperature will drop and your appetite will return, but as you pack on that MASS this winter, it’s important to maintain a strong, cut up core. While I’m sure you’ll be repping out weighted situps and sets on the ab rollers until the cows come home, you’ve gotta hit your oblique muscles just as you do the middle. With that in mind, these five killer oblique exercises will help you on the road to shredding up for Beach Season 2012.
Isolated Oblique Crunches:
Don’t let that bosu ball fool because these are no joke. The combination of stability and isolation will make even the biggest meat cry for his mommy. If you don’t have bosu ball access, you can always perform these on the floor, but the ball will dramatically increase the difficulty of the exercise. Cross one leg over the other and then bring your opposite elbow to your knee (so right elbow to left knee and vice versa). Your obliques on the side you’re bringing your arm up on will be the side feeling the burn, so switch sides. Do 10-15 reps per side for 2 sets and keep it moving.
Side Hanging Leg Raises:
I’m a big fan of doing any core exercise while hanging because you really have to focus on controlling your body and momentum… and when you do, your abdominals and obliques always feel it. The video should provide you with the direction needed to get after these, but when repping out, imagine bringing your knees to the front beam on the power rack. Having a spot to visualize always helps, as the goal is to bring your knees up and over as far as you can without twisting yourself around. Again, shoot for 2 sets and 10-15 reps per side.
Full Contacts Twists:
Whether you play football, baseball, hockey, lacrosse, or even golf…these will benefit you. You see this oblique exercise done a lot in the boxing world, and for good reason, as no exercise is better for rotational power. To perform these beasts, anchor a bar in a corner and slap some weight onto one side. Now pick up the bar, lock out your arms, and twist with your core as you bring the weight from your face to each hip pocket. Just make sure to pivot your feet as you bring the bar down to each side and bring your feet back to parallel as you return to the starting position. Because these are intended to increase power you’ll want to keep the reps a little bit lower. Think 3-4 sets of 6-8 on each side.
Bosu Ball Twists:
Pretty basic old school movement here and if you know me, you know I love the old school. Standing on a bosu ball with either a plate weight or a medicine ball, rotate back and forth. Oh yeah… and don’t fall off the ball. Basic, tough… done. I like to burn this out towards the end of my oblique workout so stay in the 10-15 rep range for 2 sets.
Physioball Step Offs:
You know an exercise is hard when you feel unstable from the moment you begin. But you probably also know that putting your body in these tough and compromised positions, while maintaining proper form, is the best way to increase core strength. Start with both feet on the ball with just your toes balancing you. Now bring one foot down to the floor touching your toe, then back up to the starting position, before doing the next rep with the opposite foot. Bust out 3-4 sets of 20 reps (total) and you’ll be in a good place the next day.
By no means do I expect you to bang out all five of these in one shot, but we want your oblique exercise arsenal as stocked as possible. Armed with these weapons, and doing some combination of them every day of the week, there’s no reason you can’t have shredded obliques and abs while still striving for those 20 inch arms…
To maximize your gains with these exercises 1R would recommend the following supplements: