Learning how to build your oblique muscles can have a lot of benefits regardless of your baseline fitness level. Building your obliques contributes to core strength and makes a real difference if you want to build a ripped, washboard rack of a stomach. Many sports, such as wrestling, tumbling, swimming and rock climbing, already give your obliques a good workout. However, to really rip up your belly you need to give those obliques some alone time.
- Lateral Plank Pose. This is a variant of the traditional plank pose from yoga, which works out your central abs and lower back. Lie on one side with your legs straight, leaning on your elbow and forearm. Press into the floor with your forearm and foot, lifting the rest of your body off the ground. Hold for a slow count of ten, holding yourself up with your obliques, then release. Repeat until you’re tired, then switch to the other side.
- Side Lifts. Stand upright with a dumbbell in one hand and your legs shoulder width apart. Keeping your eyes and chest to the front, slowly lower the dumbbell towards the floor by bending sideways at the waist while resisting with the oblique muscles on the opposite side. When you reach a point where you can lower the dumbbell no further without lifting the opposite leg, slowly return to an upright position. Switch which hand holds the weight and do the other side. Cycle through until you have a little trouble returning upright.
- Partner Leg Press. Lie on your back with your feet together and legs straight. Have your partner stand, facing your legs, with feet on either side of your head. Grip your partner’s ankles and bring your legs up, straight and from the hip, as if kicking at your partner’s belly. Your partner then shoves your feet downward at a 45 degree angle to the rest of your body. Keeping your legs straight, resist the push with your obliques and return your legs upward to your partner. Continue for one or two minutes at a time.