People often focus on crunches and sit-ups and forget about the obliques. Crunches and sit-ups work the rectus abdominis while not really isolating the oblique muscles. The obliques consist of the internal and external obliques and are often referred to as “love handles.” Rotation and lateral flexion of the spine are the main “jobs” or movements of the internal and external obliques. The tranversus abdominis is similar to the obliques, but it is mainly used for posture, balance, and stability.
Twisting and turning the spine is a very sensitive subject, so be very careful while performing these movements. Try not to use too much weight or over rotate because this compromises the spine and could lead to future problems.
Below are a few of the top obliques exercises, and I recommend performing two or three sets of 20 to 30 repetitions.
April 27th, 2009