15 Exercises to Develop Perfect Obliques
While it’s important to train your abs to strengthen your core as well as make you look more attractive, many people forget or just don’t know how to train the obliques. Obliques are actually more important than abs if you are looking for pure athleticism. Your obliques are firing when you rotate, bend and flex your trunk. These movements are all heavily used in all sports.
The obliques are found on each side of your midsection and go from the side of your abdominals up towards the last. Having well-trained obliques is not only good because of how they make you look in front of a mirror but also when you need to perform compound exercises.
This is because these muscles are responsible for keeping you balanced when doing exercises like squats so that you avoid bending too much and do the exercise in the wrong way. Simply put, whether you train for strength gains, health, or just to look good, strengthening your obliques will help you to come closer to perfection in any of these reasons.
1. Bird Dog Crunches
How to: Start on all fours, placing your hands flat on the ground directly beneath your shoulders, and your knees beneath your hips with a flat back position
(a). Engage your core and drive your right arm straight out from your shoulder, while your left leg drives straight back from your hip, keeping both parallel to the floor throughout the “reach” portion of this movement
(b). Squeeze your right arm and left leg back to the original starting position and hold for split second before starting the second rep
(c). Repeat this movement for 10 reps without setting your right arm or left back on the ground, then switch to the left arm/right leg combo. Complete 3-4 sets of 10 reps on each side with 30 seconds rest between each set.
Beginner modification: Reach with only your arm at first. Then as you become more comfortable, reach with just your leg before you graduate to the full movement.