Weak obliques? Absolutely not. (Ha.)
Side abs—aka obliques—allow us to twist our torsos side to side and play a role in our posture by helping to stabilize the spine and pelvis.
Read: they’re super important for us to go about everyday life. Rolling over in bed to turn off our alarm in the morning, bending over to dry brush our legs, and sitting upright are all made possible by our obliques.
However, side abs are difficult to isolate. They require specific, targeted moves. Crunches aren’t gonna do it.
Here are three moves to add into your side abs fitness routine. We’ve broken down how to do them and included a video of each for all you visual learners. Happy sweating!
Move 1: Pilates Crunch Extension
How to: Lying on your back, fingertips behind your head, legs raised into tabletop position, hug knees in toward your chest, lifting hips an inch off the mat in a curl position. As you release your hips down, extend your legs long with your heels together, toes apart. Repeat 10 times.
Move 2: Side Plank Rotation
How to: Start the movement in a side plank with your top arm holding a dumbbell. Rotate your core to bring the dumbbell down below your body and then open your dumbbell arm back up toward the ceiling. Use your obliques to keep your hips up throughout the entire rotation and avoid rotating too quickly and losing control.
To scale, choose a lighter dumbbell or leave it out entirely and just use your body weight. You’re still gonna feel it.
How to: Start on your back with your feet separated and flat on the floor. Extend your arms at your sides. Pull your belly button in towards your spine and raise your head and neck off the ground, like you’re getting ready to do a crunch. Make sure your neck is in a neutral position. Reach your right hand towards your right foot by bending to the side. Return to the starting position, and then repeat on the left side. Continue to alternate.
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