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.
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.