Are your oblique workouts really training the right muscle?
I remember being the comic book stores when I was a kid. I loved those places almost as much as I loved Toys R Us, lol. Besides the stories, I was always blown away at how shredded the superheroes were.
I mean seriously, what did they do to workout? The comics never showed that. Superman, in particular, was always super-shredded and his sides were ridiculous. You could see every fiber of this oblique muscle through his suit (it’s like it was painted on).
Well, in this post, I’m going to show you some unusual workouts you can do to really target and train your obliques to get you that “super effect” as I like to call it.
When your obliques are popping, that gives you a whole new dimension of shredded because so many guys neglect them or just plain don’t know how to train them.
To train them right, you must first know their function, so let’s look at that.
Your obliques main function is actually similar to your “front abs’” function, which is to curl the torso downward. However, they also have the added function of twisting and bending.
In this post, I’ll focus on the twisting and bending motions since they are often neglected, leaving you with underdeveloped obliques.
I will warn you that your body fat needs to be really low to see this muscle well. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t train it so it can be developed and popping when the fat is gone.
So let’s look at the workouts.
Standing Oblique Crunch – Serratus
The serratus are those finger-looking muscles right next to your pecs. I came up with this a few weeks ago by placing my hand on my rib cage and flexing that muscle. I noticed that my torso crunched down in a certain direction and only for a certain degree of movement. So, I decided to add some weight to it. Here’s how to do it.
- Adjust a pulley cable with no attachment about a foot above your head on the column.
- Face the column at about a 45 degree angle (90 degree would be your shoulder facing the column, 0 degree would be your torso facing the column).
- Grab the cable with the hand that is closest to the column and stiffen your arm.
- Breathe in and lengthen your side. Breathe out and use your “ribs” to pull the cable down about 6-12 inches while trying to pull your elbow to you.
- Your elbow won’t actually come near your body, but that’s the cue you should be focusing on.
- If it helps, place your opposite hand on your rib cage so you can feel the muscle contracting.
Slightly bend your arm but leave it locked! Don’t turn this into a lame arm exercise.
Twisting Cable Pull Down – Obliques
Another one of my inventions. This is a slightly modified version of an exercise I learned from Artus Shakaur who truly does have superhero cuts!
- Again, adjust the cable above your head with no attachment.
- Face the column at a 45 degree angle again.
- This time, grab the cable with the opposite hand so that your torso has to twist to grab it. Your opposite side should be stretched out now.
- Initiate the movement with a twist in your torso and leave your arm straight.
- As your torso twists more, pull your hand down to your hip and exhale.
- Really squeeze your lower obliques by slightly bending your torso toward your hand with the cable.
- Return to the original position by slowing untwisting your torso.
Windshield Wipers – Entire Core
I first called this the Spider-man when I saw it because the guy was hanging from the pull up bar like Spider-man…weird! But definitely cool looking.
- Find a pull up bar or place where you normally do pull ups.
- Suspend yourself from it with your hands.
- Pull yourself up so that the bottom of your feet are facing the ceiling and your torso is parallel with the ground (horizontal).
- You’ll need to pull yourself up with your arms to hold yourself in place.
- Twist your torso from side to side while keeping your legs as straight as possible (the straighter they are, the more difficult the exercise).
- Go as far as you can from side to side trying to make a full 180 degree arc.
Warning: You’ll need STRONG abs to do this! Don’t be ashamed if you can only do a few of these at first. Do as many as you can and hop back up there. It gets easier with time.
These are the most effective oblique workouts I’ve seen on the floor to date because they effectively target your twisting and crunching motions with resistance. These exercises will leave you with shredded sides that no one has in the gym.
Now enough reading. Hit the gym and try these out!
My abs program shows you how to develop a true “superhero midsection” so check it out.
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