While exercises like planks and mountain climbers are great for targeting your core, you also want to incorporate some oblique-focused work in your regular routine. Your obliques are the muscles that run along the sides of your waist and they’re important for posture, balance, and supporting your low back, explains Alicia Marie, LA-based trainer and expert on TipTalk app. And stronger oblique muscles will contribute to stronger abs overall.
“Obliques exercises will work with the entire abdominal column, which means engaging your midsection from top to bottom,” says Marie (as opposed to, say, just your lower abs). And while there are a ton of obliques moves moves out there, Marie shared some of her favorites with SELF. “I prefer moves that incorporate a twist or core-strengthening plank base,” she says. “They allow the muscle groups in your core to work in tandem.” That translates to efficiency and effectiveness.
Here are five moves that Marie does herself when she’s looking for an extra focus on her oblique muscles. To help prevent muscle fatigue, these targeted exercises aren’t designed to be a full routine. Find a move that works for you today and follow the rep/set recommendations for just that exercise.
If you want a full abs workout, we have you covered—check it out here. And remember, spot training—concentrating workouts on a specific body part will help define that particular body part—is a fitness myth. If your goal is to see muscle definition or fat loss, you’ll need to do a combination of strength training, reducing overall body fat, and eating a healthy diet that contributes to body fat loss and muscle-building. With that disclaimer, here are a few excellent moves for strengthening your oblique muscles.
SELF – Fitness