Do you want 2017 to be the year of the six-pack? (Of course you do!)
To get that deep, desirable v-cut you’re after, you’ll have to work hard at targeting your oblique muscles. Build rock-hard obliques by following this 15-minute workout, designed to balance your core and carve out your side abs for that really shredded look.
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Complete the following exercises in the order that they’re listed in below, for the amount of time that’s best suited for your fitness level.
Beginner: Perform the exercises for 30 seconds followed by a minute of rest.
Intermediate: Perform the exercises for 45 seconds followed by 45 seconds of rest.
Advanced: Perform the exercises for one minute followed by 30 seconds of rest.
1. Seated Oblique Twist
- Start seated on a mat with your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor, holding the ball in front of you at chest level.
- Tighten your core and lean back slightly.
- Rotate your arms to the right, pause then rotate back to center.
- Rotate your arms to the left, pause then rotate back to center again.
- Keep your chest lifted through this exercise.
- Repeat for 60 seconds.
2. Seated Oblique Rotation
Equipment: Pilates Ring
- Start seated on the floor, with your legs spread out in front of you slightly wider than your shoulders, holding the ring in front of you at chest level.
- Tighten your core and rotate your torso to the right, pause, then rotate back to centre.
- After another pause, rotate to your left, pause, and rotate back to centre again.
- Remember to keep your chest lifted and your shoulders back, while doing this exercise.
- Repeat this exercise for 60 seconds.
3. Side Oblique Ball Crunch
Side crunches or oblique crunches on a stability ball target the rectus abdominis and the moves become more effective than simple floor crunches.
- Begin seated on a stability ball as you would for a regular crunch with the small of your back pressed into the ball and your feet out in front of you.
- Keep your hands behind your head or crossed in front of your chest.
- Begin to crunch up by contracting your abdominal muscles and rotating your right elbow towards your left knee across your body.
- Slowly lower yourself back to starting position and repeat on the other side, exhaling as you contract upwards.
- Repeat 15 to 30 times.
- To increase the difficulty of this exercise, bring your feet closer together and closer to the ball.
- You may also want to hold a weighted object in your hands for greater resistance.
4. Side Ankle Touch
- Start by lying on your back with your knees bent so that your feet are flat on the ground.
- Engage your abs and crunch up and forward to lift your shoulder blades a few inches off of the floor.
- Straighten your arms and make them parallel to the ground.
- Then, reach your right hand to your right ankle
- Hold this for a second or two before reaching to the left side, touching your left hand to your left ankle.
- Throughout this movement, keep your shoulder blades off the ground.
5. Russian Twist
- Create an imaginary V-shape with your body by keeping your back straight and head up, while lifting your feet off of the ground.
- Bend your legs at the knees and balance on your tailbone.
- Extend your arms out in front of you so they’re parallel to the floor.
- Next, twist your torso to the right and touch your hands or a weighted object to the ground.
- Exhale while rotating and hold the contraction for a second before returning to the starting position.
- Then, rotate to the left side, performing the same technique previously applied.
- Continuously alternate rotating to each side.
7. Oblique Forearm Circle
- Engage your abs and hold a plank position on a stability ball by keeping your feet on the floor and placing your forearms on the top of the ball.
- There should be an imaginary straight line from your head down to your feet.
- Next, make circular motions, alternating in both clockwise and counterclockwise directions.
- Your forearms should be directing the circles; be sure not to arch your lower back throughout this exercise.
8. Bicycle Crunch
- Start by lying on the floor with your hands behind your head and your legs off of the ground with a 90-degree bend at the knee.
- Next, bring your right elbow to touch your left knee.
- Then, return to the starting position.
- Next, bring your left elbow to your right knee.
- Repeatedly alternate, bringing your elbows to opposite knees in a fashion that looks similar to pedaling a bike.
9. Oblique Plank
- Brace your abdominal and oblique muscles and balance your weight on your right forearm, while keeping your legs straight and hips lifted off the floor.
- Your shoulder should be directly over your elbow.
- Raise your left arm toward the ceiling, making it perpendicular to the ground.
- Balance your weight on the outside of your right foot (the part directly touching the floor) and your right forearm outside of your elbow.
- Repeat this exercise again on your left side.