A Closer Look at the Obliques
Spring is just weeks away. Sorry kids, that means no more hiding behind those bulky sweaters and big coats. Pretty soon you’ll see slim-fitting and midriff-baring fashions everywhere you look — and you’ll probably want to show off your great abs or slender torso too. So many people believe that they have to aim for chiseled six- or eight-pack abdominals. To achieve this ideal physique, a lot of people devote a big chunk of their workout time to crunches and basic abdominal exercises. Unfortunately, this type of blanket-approach to abs training isn’t very effective.
Keep in mind, your abdominals are actually comprised of three major muscles: the rectus abdominis, the obliques, and the transverse abdominis. Each muscle has its own function and thus specific ways to target it. They are divided into external and internal muscle groups, and reside on both sides of your midsection. Both sets of obliques have the same two main functions: torso lateral flexion, which is bending the upper half of your body side to side, and torso rotation, which is twisting your upper body away from your torso. The obliques are used in any movement in which your torso bends laterally or twists.
Besides helping you get a sleek, defined look, oblique exercises play an important role in core strengthening and preventing lower back injuries. If you want to target your obliques, try exercises like the Oblique Side Crunch or Standing Oblique Crunches with Leg Raise.
From Jillian *