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obliques



5 Minute Ab Routine You Can Fit in Anywhere

The following five minute ab routine was designed to provide you with maximum results with minimum amount of time invested- perfect for the busy holiday season. The following exercise routine can be performed at home or at the gym, so there is no excuse not to fit it in to your day.

5 Minute Ab Routine

(Video examples of each exercise appear below)

  • Bicycle crunches (1 minute): Start with your legs straight out in front of you, off the ground, and hands behind your head. Begin by bringing one knee in toward your chest and take the opposite elbow to that knee. Repeat by alternating knees and elbows. Bicycle crunches target the entire core: abdominals, obliques, and lower back.


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Try Side Planks to Ramp Up Your Results

Similar to the isometric plank, the isometric side plank, or side bridge, is an amazing exercise that engages the entire core region. Although it does engage the entire core, it isolates, or targets, the internal and external obliques. The obliques are located on the lateral (side) and anterior (front) parts of the abdomen and are used to flex and rotate the vertebral column, as well as compress the abdominal cavity by pulling the chest downwards.

The side plank/side bridge has multiple variations to help isolate a little different part of your core, depending on which variation you choose to use. The shoulder, or deltoid, also plays an important role in this exercise because it holds up the brunt of your body weight, so if you do have a shoulder injury or experience pain during the exercise, please refrain from doing this movement and proceed to do other core exercises to help target the obliques.
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Don’t Overlook Obliques to Reduce Love Handles

oblique musclesPeople 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.
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Top 8 Oblique Exercises

oblique musclesThe Oblique or External Abdominal Oblique Muscle is used for torso rotation. There are three main muscles that help with torso rotation: Internal/External Obliques and the Transverse Abdominis. Be very careful and use precise movements while working the obliques. Using too much weight and over-rotating can compromise the back, cause injuries and future back problems. I have put together a series of eight exercises that target the oblique region. I recommend doing two or three sets of twenty repetitions at light to medium weight.
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