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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.
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.
Highly Effective Exercises to Train Your Obliques
1. Hanging Knee Raise Oblique Crunches
Performing regular hanging knee raises might be annoying as it may irritate the shoulders and it’s quite difficult to stop the swinging while you do it. However, hanging knee raise oblique crunches at least allow avoiding that annoying swinging.
Start it by using the same position as when doing regular hanging knee raises. But instead of moving your knees straight up, make a small twist and move them closer to your ribcage. It’ll allow giving plenty of work to your obliques even if you only do 10 reps per set for both sides of your body.
2. High-Pulley Oblique Cable Crunches
If you want to give more work to your obliques by using some weight or if you’re sick of doing exercises while lying down on the floor, then it’s time to perform this exercise.
Take a handle into your arms and keep your feet shoulder-width apart. Make sure the handle is slightly behind your head and then crunch your right obliques to pull the weight down. Then, do the same with the other side.
Make sure to perform the exercise properly by using just enough weight to perform the full range of motion until you become proficient in using heavier weights.
3. Russian Twists
Lie down on the ground, anchor your feet under some heavy weight, and bend your knees. Move your upper body about 45 degrees and extend your arms in front of you. Twist your torso to the right side and move to the starting position and then perform the same process on the left side.
If the exercise becomes too easy, you can hold a plate or perform it on a decline bench press.
4. Bicycle Crunches
Lie down on the floor and place your arms behind your head. Move your left knee close to your right chest and move your right elbow close to your left knee. Then, do the same with the other side of your body.
To make sure you feel the effectiveness of the exercise, do it slowly so that you could feel how your obliques work.
5. Lying Leg Oblique Leg Throwdowns
If you have a workout buddy, then try doing this exercise together. Lie down on the floor and move your arms so that you could hold his ankles. It provides the needed stability for the exercise.
Raise your legs towards your partner and let the partner throw your legs to the right and left sides of the body. You have to resist this force by not letting your feet touch the ground.