I wanted to go through this video’s #1 Worst Bodyweight Oblique Exercise.
YouTube to watch the YouTube video.
The obliques are located on the sides of your abdomen, from the hips to the rib cage. You have both internal and external obliques. The external obliques sit on top of the internal obliques. The muscle fibers of the internal and external obliques run perpendicular to each other, and they work together to produce lateral flexion, rotation, and spine flexion. Strong obliques help support your spine and lower your risk of injury from lifting heavy loads. The obliques also play a role in changing intra-abdominal pressure during breathing.
Bicycle Ab Exercise
I had Orsy demonstrate the Bicycle Ab Exercise.
While some say this exercise targets the obliques, it is also an injury waiting to happen, specifically in your back. Yes, it works the obliques, but it puts a high load and stress on your back, eventually leading to injury and pain.
The better exercise to target the obliques is the Side Plank.
The side plank is the most basic oblique exercise. From this position, the obliques need to engage to keep the spine in alignment and prevent the spine from bending down toward the floor.
Do the side plank in a straight line, holding that position for 5 to 10 seconds. As you get stronger, work up to 30 seconds on each Side.
You can be on your hand or down your forearm. Make sure either your wrist or elbow is directly underneath your shoulder. Stack your hips on top of each other. Your feet can be stacked, or if you need help balancing, stagger your feet, so you have an edge of each food on the ground. Keep your hips up toward the ceiling and keep your head, back, and ankles in line.
Alternate sides. This is a much safer exercise for the back and works the obliques effectively.
If you want to make the side plank easier or harder, there are multiple variations you can try. To make the side plank easier, do a bent-knee side plank. Instead of straightening your legs and stacking your feet, bend your knees to 90 degrees and stack your knees and feet. Your hand can rest on your hip. Lift your hips toward the ceiling to keep your head, spine, and knees in a straight line. The next step is a straight leg side plank on your forearm and eventually on your hand. If the full side plank is not challenging enough, try adding a leg lift by raising your top leg into the air as far as possible while maintaining alignment in the rest of the body.
Please get rid of the Bicycle Ab Exercise, as it is an injury waiting to happen. Give the Side Plank a go.
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Rick Kaselj, MS
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