Many people forget about obliques exercises when working out. This can reduce the effectiveness of your core workout, as this is one of the key areas for core strength and stability.
Oblique exercises target the sides of the abdominal area, what people often refer to as their love handles. The function of theses muscles is spinal flexion, rotation, and lateral flexion.
Therefore, working them out is achieved through a variety of twisting movements, and will help you to tone and strengthen your core area - your trunk!
There are various oblique exercises you can use to work this area. Be sure to include one of them each time you work your abs, and change it up each time to be sure you get plenty of variety in your core workouts.
One of the most important workout tips here is to start with a light weigth - if you are not used to wrking these muscles you can easily strain them with too much weight too soon!
- Side Bridge :
A good static choice - start lying on your side on a mat with your legs straight out. Hold your body up, resting on one elbow, the other arm straight along your body. Hold your body completely straight, abs tight, for 30-60 seconds. Try increasing your time a little each time you do this.
- Swiss Ball Twisting Crunches :
Lie on the ball, feet planted flat on the floor, hands touching the back of your head. Slowly raise your upper body, twisting as you come up to point your elbow towards the opposite knee. Pause, then slowly lower. As with all crunches, this is a slow, controlled movement.
- Side raises :
An old favourite, these can be done either holding light dumbbells, or using a cable weights machine. Stand with arms by your side, slowly lower the weight to one side by sliding your arm down your leg, then stand back up straight. Your back stays flat throughout the movement.
Did you also know that working these muscles helps you to get a stronger back through core strength. Too many people completely neglect such key exercises as they don't appreciate their significance.