Abdominal/Core Training: Obliques


Oblique Crunches

Purpose: Develop the oblique and abdominal muscles

Starting Position:

  1. Lie flat on your back with your hands cupped behind your head, elbows out.
  2. With your knees bent, lay both legs over to the side as far as possible.

Procedure:

  1. Keeping your shoulders parallel to the floor, perform a crunch.
  2. Complete one set on your right side, and then switch to the left.

Key Points:

  1. Keep your shoulders parallel with the floor throughout movement.
  2. Avoid pulling on your head with your hands.

Variations:

  1. Hold a weight on your chest or behind your head.
  2. Perform the upward phase of the exercise in a segmented 3-count manner.


Windshield Wipers, (Straight-Leg Hip Rotations)

Purpose: Develop the oblique and hip flexor muscles

Starting Position:

  1. Lie on your back on a bench with your hips at the edge.
  2. Grasp the bench or an immovable object (power rack) above your shoulders.
  3. Extend your legs upward towards the ceiling, knees unlocked.

Procedure:

  1. Lower your legs to the one side, using your full range of motion.
  2. Hold for a second then return to the starting position.
  3. Repeat on the other side.

Key Points:

  1. Keep your legs straight throughout the exercise.
  2. Keep the movements smooth and fluid, don't move too quickly and create excessive momentum.

Variations:

  1. Perform exercise with a small weight or medicine ball between your knees or ankles.

  


Lateral Crunches

Purpose: Develop oblique and abdominal muscles

Starting Position:

  1. Lie on your side on a flat or back extension bench.
  2. Position your hips on the edge of the bench. Hang your upper body as far down as possible.
  3. Have a partner hold your legs down if there are no supports.

Procedure:

  1. Raise your body up slightly past parallel with the floor, so your elbow touches your hip.
  2. Hold for a second, then return to the starting position.

Key Points:

  1. Maintain a sideways position throughout movement, do not twist in the upward phase.
  2. Make sure your upper body is fully stretched off the bench, your head should almost touch the ground.

Variations:

  1. Hold a weight on your chest or behind your head.
  2. Perform the upward phase in a 3-count manner.


Russian Twists and Seated Side-to-Sides

Purpose: Develop the oblique and abdominal muscles

Starting Position:

  1. Sit back on a decline bench, back extension machine or on the floor, place your hands behind your ears.
  2. Hold your torso at a ~45o angle to the floor.

Procedure:

  1. Twist your upper body as far as you can to the right.
  2. Hold for a second then twist as far as you can to the left.

Key Points:

1. Make sure you twist through your full range of motion.

Variations:

1. Perform exercise on the floor balancing on your hips (Side-to-Sides).

2. Hold a weight plate at the middle of your torso with your elbows locked into your sides.  


Floor wipers, (Lying Lateral Flexion)

Purpose: Develop the oblique and abdominal muscles

Starting Positions:

  1. Lie flat on the floor with your legs together and straight out.
  2. Place your arms at your sides with your palms down.

Procedure:

  1. Reach your right hand down your side trying to touch your knee. Your left shoulder should raise slightly.
  2. Hold for a second, then return to starting position.
  3. Repeat on the other side.

Key Points:

  1. Maintain your torso in contact with the floor, this is your source of resistance.


Cross over Crunches

Purpose: Develop the oblique and abdominal muscles

Starting Position:

  1. Lie on your back with your hands cupped behind your head.
  2. With your knees bent, cross your left ankle over your right knee.

Procedure:

  1. Bring your right shoulder off the ground and toward your left hip.
  2. Hold for a second then return to the starting position.
  3. Perform the next set on the opposite side.

Key points:

  1. Try to raise your shoulder to your knee, not your elbow.

Variations:

  1. Hold a weight on the side of your chest which is being raised.

Copyright 2000-2005 Gregory A. Werner