Best Oblique Exercises For Strength & Mobility
There are several different oblique exercises that you can perform using dumbbells or without any equipment. Whether you’re looking to build strength, increase power or tone your muscles, the exercises in this article can help you achieve your goals. They can also help you to build a stronger core, and even help your posture when running, cycling or doing other forms of exercise.
Why Are Oblique Muscles Important?
The oblique muscles are located on the sides of the torso, running from the lower ribs to the pelvis. There are two main groups of oblique muscles: the external obliques and the internal obliques. These muscles work together to rotate and flex the trunk of the body.
They are important in helping to maintain a good posture and stability of the trunk. The oblique muscles also help to control the movement of the trunk, which is vital if you are a runner, swimmer, golfer, or someone that performs any upper body exercise.
Since the oblique muscles can play a role in twisting and bending movements, it is important to do regular strengthening exercises to build strength and improve a person’s range of motion.
Below are some beginner-friendly oblique exercises to get you started.
What Are Some Of The Best Oblique Exercises?
While there are many oblique exercises you can do, the list below provides some of the most common ones used by athletes.
1. Russian Twist
2. Seated Russian Twist
3. Pilates Scissor
4. Reverse Crunch
5. Seated Side Bend
6. Lying Windshield Wipers
7. Standing Side Bend
8. Side Plank Raise
9. Quadruped Scapular Retraction with Rotation
10. Dumbbell Pullover with Rotation
If you are starting with oblique exercises, the below four exercises are the best oblique exercises to start with.
1. Seated Russian Twist: The seated Russian twist is performed by being seated on the ground with your knees bent and feet flat. To do the exercise: Hold a dumbbell in front of your chest with both hands. Then twist your torso to the right and then the left. Perform 12-15 repetitions on each side.
2. Standing Side Bend: This exercise is performed by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and holding a dumbbell in your left hand. Bend your torso to the left, keeping your right arm straight. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. Perform 12-15 repetitions on each side.
3. Medicine Ball Russian Twist: This exercise is performed by sitting on the ground with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Hold a medicine ball in your hands and twist your torso to the right, then to the left. Perform 12-15 repetitions on each side.
4. Pilates Scissor: The Pilates scissor exercise is performed by lying on your back with your legs in the air. Make sure your head and shoulders are off the ground. Then hold a dumbbell in your right hand and reach it across your body to touch the ground next to your left shoulder. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. Perform 12-15 repetitions on each side.
Cable Oblique Exercises
Cable oblique exercises are a great way to target the muscles in your sides. By using a cable machine, you can isolate the muscles and work them hard. Here are some cable oblique exercises that you can do to get toned sides:
1. Seated cable oblique twist: Sit on a bench with your back straight and your feet planted firmly on the ground. Hold a cable rope in both hands and attach it to a low pulley. Twist your torso to the right, then to the left, and repeat for 10-12 reps.
2. Standing cable side bends: Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Hold a cable rope in both hands and attach it to a high pulley. Bend to the side, then return to the starting position and repeat for 10-12 reps.
3. Cable wood chops: Start in a split stance with your right foot forward and your left foot back. Hold a cable rope in both hands and attach it to a low pulley. From here, chop down and across your body, ending with your arms extended overhead. Return to the starting position and repeat for 10-12 reps.
4. Cable oblique crunches: Start by lying on your back on an exercise mat. Place your feet flat on the ground and hold a cable rope in both hands. Attach the rope to a low pulley and crunch up, bringing your elbow and cable down to meet in the middle. Return to the starting position and repeat for 10-12 reps.
5. Cable Russian twists: Sit with your knees bent, feet flat on the ground, and back straight. Hold a cable rope in both hands and attach it to a low pulley. From here, twist your torso to the right, then to the left, and repeat for 10-12 reps.
In conclusion, there are several different oblique exercises that you can perform using dumbbells or without any equipment at all. These exercises can help to improve core strength and stability, as well as increase range of motion. Choose one or two of these exercises to incorporate into your workout routine.
If you struggle with performing any of the above exercises, speak with a personal trainer. They can help you choose the right oblique exercises and plan weekly workouts for you.
Alternatively, talk to an online coach or look at resources like YouTube, Reddit, or strength training apps. All can help you learn the correct exercises and find the ones that will benefit you the most.