Whilst working their core and mid section, it's often to easy to neglect the obliques. You may be doing all the right things to lose weight around your middle but specifically training the obliques. will make your waist appear slimmer, meaning there are no lumps and bumps above the waistline of your trousers. Oblique exercises also pull up your posture whilst supporting your lower back. So what are you waiting for, let's get cracking.
The Bicycle Crunch
The main tip here is to slow down, most guys speed through this and its actually doing nothing for the obliques.
Lie on your back on your mat, placing your hands behind your head, lightly supporting it with your fingers. Bring the knees into the chest, lift the shoulder blades off the floor without pulling on the neck. Rotate to the left, bringing the right elbow towards the left knee as you fully straighten the other leg. Pause for a count of five, then switch sides, bringing the left elbow towards the right knee. Make this exercise a tougher work out by fully extending your legs in the start position, place your feet six inches above the ground and initiating your reps from there – each time, your feet should return to this fully extended position. Controlling your reps in this way will decrease the amount of effective work you can do. Try 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps total (5-6 each side).
And just in case that didn't make sense: here's an easy to follow how to video:
The Russian Twist
Lie on the floor, anchoring your feet under something heavy. Your legs should be bent at the knees. Elevate your upper body to about 45 degrees and hold that position. Extend your arms in front of you, approximately parallel to your thighs. Twist your torso to the right side as far as you can while exhaling. Hold the contraction for a second and move back to the starting position while breathing out. Now move to the opposite side performing the same techniques you applied to the right side. To make this move tougher, you can hold a dumbbell or weight plate at full extension or do it on a decline bench. Aim for 3-4 sets of 16-18 reps total. Keep your rep pace moderate and make sure you come to a deliberate stop before going to the other side on each rep.
The Standing Cable Wood Chop
Attach a rope to a cable tower, and move the cable to the highest pulley position. Grab both handles of the rope and then kneel down onto one knee, your shoulders perpendicular to the stack. With arms extended over the opposite shoulder, look straight ahead and pull the rope across your body finishing the movement at waist level. Slowly bring the weight back to the start position and repeat movement. Be sure to keep your core and abs tight at all times. Try 3-4 sets of 8-10 controlled reps followed immediately by a single, lighter set of 20-25.
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