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The season of summer has already begun, and it’s time to take a dip in the ocean. If you’re a male, you supposedly would like to show off your upper body which is in total shape. Of course, the first thought that comes to your mind is to tone those six packs. Crunches and other abs exercises can be performed to shape your six packs but do you ever emphasize on your external abdominal obliques? Let’s explore this a little, shall we?

Your abdomen is made of four main groups: Internal and External obliques and transverse and rectus abdominis. External abdominal obliques are muscles that enable movement in bending and twisting your waist and torso. External oblique muscles are at each side of your torso. Keeping these muscles strong provides a stronger back.

Before you begin to perform any external abdominal oblique exercises remember that your goal is quality and not quantity. If you don’t practice on this drill with good form, you are likely to wasting time instead of preparing for your workout.

Side Crunch

  • Spread an exercise mat on the floor.
  • Lie straight with bent knees.
  • Stretch out your arms, palms touching your heels.
  • Raise only your upper body and head so much until your shoulders are off the ground.
  • Reach out for your right foot heel by twisting your torso slowly then return to beginning position.
  • Perform 20 reps on this side and repeat on left side.
  • Remember to reduce leg and hip movement. Your lower body should remain in contact with the floor throughout.

Abdominal Twist

  • Lie flat on the floor with bent knees and the base of your foot in contact with the floor.
  • Place arms behind your head and raise left shoulder toward your right knee.
  • This will cause a twist in your external oblique muscles.
  • While twisting and lifting yourself towards right or left knee, remember to focus on external oblique muscles and crunch in using your arms.
  • Complete ten repetitions and work on alternate shoulder.
  • You can also shift to alternate twists instead of focusing on one side first.
  • While doing these crunches remember that your feet should maintain contact with the floor.
  • To make your workout more challenging you may include a light weight dumbbell by placing it in your palms and positioning the elbows facing your thighs.

Elbow to Knee Crunch

  • Lie on the floor with back pressed to the floor.
  • Bend both knees with feet on the floor.
  • Place hands behind your head with elbows in an inclined position.
  • Move your right arm and shoulder by lifting it off the ground and twisting toward your left knee.
  • When you do this, raise your left leg towards your chest by flexing your external abdominal muscles.
  • Return to starting position and perform eight repetitions on each side.

Sideways Flex

  • Lie sideways by placing one knee on top of the other and slightly bending them.
  • Place hands behind your head with your right elbow on top.
  • Move your right elbow closer to your right hip which is on top.
  • This will also lift your left arm and shoulder off the ground a few inches.
  • When you bend towards the side of your hip, your external oblique muscle contracts.
  • Resume starting position and repeat eight to ten reps on each side.

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