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When you think about training your abs, the first exercise that probably comes to mind are crunches. While crunches are a great way to train your core, they focus primarily on the rectus abdominis.
What’s the rectus abdominis we hear you ask? Well, this is the muscle that is located at the front of your body and is the muscle that is most commonly associated with the signature six-pack aesthetic.
However, you might be surprised to hear that it is not the only muscle that needs to be worked in order to have a strong core. Your obliques, which can be broken down further into your internal and external obliques, can be found at the side of the rectus abdominus and protect your spine; they're also responsible for that sought-after V-shape torso.
Here are the 5 best abs exercises you can do to work your obliques that you need to add to your workout routine.
Russian Twists can be done with body weight alone, or you can incorporate a kettlebell or medicine ball if you’re looking for an extra challenge. They’re a great exercise for beginners that focus primarily on your internal and external obliques, while also challenging your rectus abdominus, so still helping to build that signature six-pack.
Switch up your regular plank with the side plank for a serious oblique workout. Unlike the regular plank, side planks primarily target your obliques but also challenge your shoulders and hips. If you’re finding the stationary side plank easy, you can make them more challenging by adding a dip, which will really get those obliques burning.
Backwards Wall Ball
The backwards wall ball is a great full-body exercise that is going to target your obliques, while also providing you with a functional lower and upper body workout. Grab yourself a medicine ball and add these into your next HIIT circuit to help you build your core strength, muscular endurance and really get a sweat on.
Cross body Mountain Climbers
Cross body mountain climbers provide a killer workout for your entire core, but since you are bringing your leg across your body rather than directly in front of you, your obliques get an extra challenge. Another exercise to add into your HIIT circuits, cross body mountain climbers are going to help you build that signature V-shape aesthetic while also engaging your arms and shoulders.
No need to say goodbye to crunches forever! Side crunches are a great way to get both those internal and external obliques working, while still working your abdominal muscles. They really do give you the best of both worlds.
Pick one of these core exercises and incorporate them into your next workout, or even choose a few and turn them into a core circuit!
Which is your go-to oblique exercise?
Let us know in the comments down below.