Obliques are beautiful. They frame the abs and give your tum that coveted sculpted look (the vertical lines visually elongate the torso). They are especially important for those women who have a pouchy lower belly. There are a few good exercises that can give you the sculpted obliques and a few bad ones that can add size to them and make obliques look bulky. The latter is especially problematic for people who have stubborn belly fat. Adding size to obliques only worsens the situation.
Many people don’t recommend training obliques separately. It’s true because they work in all other exercises like deadlifts and squats. Try to tighten your core during those moves to really feel them at work. And if you want a bit more tone in your obliques there is a way you can make them more visible without adding considerable size.
Oblique Do’s And Dont’s
Christine Bullock by Alex Ardenti
Planks are great for abs in general. They are also more safe for your spine unlike numerous crunch variations (or worse, weighted crunches). The static exercise strengthens your core and also arms and shoulders. Do regular and side planks every other day for about a minute or more, if you can.
Do Renegade Rows
This exercise really makes a difference. Do really heavy reps of 3-5 for 3 or 5 sets. Make sure to learn the technique before taking up heavy dumbbells. Your movements should be slow and controlled. Prepare to ache for the first few times after these.
Don’t Do Side Bends
You don’t deadlift with a crooked spine, why would you lift heavy plates or dumbbells with your spine bent and twisted? Doesn’t make sense right? The lower back should be stable and neutral at all times while weight lifting to avoid injury or worsening of hernias and existing back problems. Besides any type of weight lifting work for muscle exhaustion (medium to high reps) will lead to muscle growth, and you don’t want bulky obliques especially if they are prone to growth or you have stubborn fat on your belly.
Don’t Do Twisted Crunches
Again you may not need direct oblique training at all but if you set to make them more pronounced twisted crunches aren’t the best to get there because of their unnatural spine position. Try Spider man push ups instead especially if you have any kind of spine problems.
Of course, the state of your abs strongly depends on your diet so try to maintain the kind of diet that would both satiate you and keep your abs sharp.