The oblique muscles are often neglected in core workouts and six-pack builders. The truth is, you need to do some oblique strengthening or you could end up with a lower back injury. Many people say working too much on the oblique can ruin your appearance; however, some of these exercises are a must for your workout routine, to properly strengthen your core.
Which Are The Best Oblique Exercises For Men?
- The Cross Crunch
- Dumbbell Side Dips
This is a great oblique exercise for the internal and external oblique. To correctly perform this exercise:
- Lie on your back, with your feet on the floor and hands behind your head;
- Cross your right leg over your left one so the ankle of the right foot is on the thigh of the left leg;
- Lift your shoulder blades off the floor, exhaling as you lift;
- When you reach halfway up, rotate your torso so that the left elbow is inclined towards the right knee;
- Hold this position for a second, and then lower back to the starting position;
- Do 8-12 sets and then switch over to the other leg crossed.
The following video gives a quick tutorial on how to do the cross crunch:
Dumbbell Side Dips
The dumbbell side dips or bend is an abdominal exercise that focuses on the external oblique. Complete one to two sets of between 10 and 25 repetitions; if you are able to pass 25 at a time, you may not be performing the exercise properly and are bending too quickly. Make sure each movement is slow and controlled for maximum effect. Carry out the exercise as follows:
- Stand upright, holding a dumbbell in each hand;
- Slowly bend to the left side while exhaling, going as low as you can;
- Take care not to twist your torso;
- Contract the oblique on the opposite side from the one which you are bending down;
- Inhale while you straighten back up;
- Similarly, bend to the right side, exhaling as you go as low as you can.
You can view how to perform the dumbbell side dip in this video tutorial:
This is a type of crunch exercise that uses breathing and full body extension to help engage the oblique muscles. To do this exercise:
- Lie down on your back on an exercise mat, with your arms extended beyond your head;
- Simultaneously, raise your arms and legs upwards while exhaling, touching your fingertips to your toes if possible;
- When you bring your arms and legs back down, inhale;
- Complete a set of 10 repetitions.
The correct way to do the jackknife crunch can be learned from the video below:
Kelvin wears many hats in the fitness and health industry. He believes in a practical, flexible and sustainable approach to bodybuilding. Initially Kelvin had started bodybuilding as a hobby which turned into passion and later, a successful career. He shares his expertise on strength training and body building to help the GFY community.
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