Get Ripped Obliques with this Workout
A midriff cannot be deemed complete without shredded obliques. Obliques are the fish gill-like muscles present on the side of your abs. Most people are too busy performing crunches and hanging leg raises that they completely forget about training their obliques.
While it is important to have a low body fat percentage to show the obliques, you still need to train them. The obliques need to be trained for both function and show. The oblique family plays a major role in many different movements and are an essential part of the core.
1. Cable Woodchoppers – 3 Sets 15 Reps
Unlike the free weight, cables are incredibly effective in maintaining constant tension on your working muscles. Cable woodchoppers target your obliques and will give you a muscle tearing pump by the end of the exercise.
Attach a D-handlebar to a tower, and move the cable to the highest pulley position. Stand at an arm’s distance from the pulley. With your right side to the cable, grab the bar with both hands. In one motion, pull the handle down and across your body to your front knee while rotating your torso. Repeat with your left side.
2. Decline Bench Oblique Crunches – 3 Sets 20-15-15 Reps
The decline oblique crunches are one of the most underutilized exercises. It’s important to squeeze and contract your obliques while performing these exercises and maintain a full range of motion.
Lie on your left side on a decline bench. Keep your right hand on the back of your head and place your left hand on your right obliques. Touch the bench at the bottom of the movement and your upper body should be perpendicular to the floor at the top of the movement. Repeat on your right side.
3. Side Planks – 3 Sets 1 Minute, 45, 45 Seconds on Each Side
Planks have earned a name for themselves for being a great core builder. Planks exploded onto the scene with the introduction of CrossFit. Side planks are a plank variation which helps in building definition in your obliques.
Start on your side with your feet place one on top of the other and one forearm directly below your shoulder. Raise your hips and contract your core until your body is in a straight line. Don’t let your hips fall down during the working set.
4. Landmines – 3 Sets 15 Reps Each Side
Landmines are a great core builder and your obliques take the most beating in this exercise. If you don’t have the landmine equipment at your gym, you can perform this exercise by placing a barbell in a corner and holding one end of the barbell with both your hands.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart while holding the barbell with both hands in front of your face. Keep your elbows locked out while you twist to your right side. Go as far as you can without twisting to your hips. Return to the starting position and repeat for the left side.
5. Russian Twists
Russian twists are one of the most common oblique exercises. Most people make the mistake of going too heavy on this exercise. Use a weight plate or a dumbbell with which you can follow a full controlled range of motion.
Sit with your feet placed flat on the floor and your back at a 60-degree angle. Hold a weight plate over your knees with your arms stretched out. Rotate to your right side and contract your obliques. Return to the starting position and repeat for the left side.
*Header image courtesy of Envato Elements.