When you are working on your abs, you are probably just doing some crunches and calling it a day. While that may help you get a six-pack since it works all those interior muscles, you’re missing out on a key area that can make for a really defined midsection. If you want a sexy look in the stomach area, you definitely need to be working your obliques.
The obliques are the muscles that are on the outside of your six-pack, above the hips. They basically connect your waist to your ribcage area, and definition in these muscles can make for one impressive physique.
How to Work the Obliques
If you want to work your whole core, you need to throw different looks at it. While crunches and planks are great, you need to throw some twists at your midsection to engage the muscles on the anterior. Here are a few things you can do to get these muscles some stress.
Dumbbell / Barbell Side Bend
If you want to hit those muscles on the side, you need to be adding exercises that engage that area. Side bends are a great way to get these muscles working, and as a bonus it can help strengthen your back as well. Choose a weight that is light enough to comfortably lift, but heavy enough to add resistance to the bend. Perform these with a slow, deliberate pace to feel the muscle burn.
Decline Oblique Crunches
These are like crunches, but with an added twist to them so you get those anterior muscles working. You’ll need to use a decline bench for this, which most gyms should have, or you could improvise with the furniture you have at home by putting your feet up.
Medicine Ball Rotational Throw
If you have a medicine ball at home – which is a piece of home gym equipment I recommend for all my readers – you can do it from there, otherwise, most gyms should have medicine balls of varying weight that you can use. Just like with the dumbbell side bends, pick a weight that adds resistance, but not too heavy as to sacrifice form. The video below illustrates a few variations of this workout to really burn up your obliques.
For this one, you’ll need a weight plate to add resistance to your sit-ups. Again, the same rules apply – not to heavy, not too light. A little trial and error will find the appropriate weight. This is another that you can do from home, even if you substitute a plate with a household item of similar weight.
Tips for More Muscle Mass
If you want to gain size all over your body, you need to be doing the right exercises that use compound movements that best maximize the results. These kinds of exercises engage the most muscles to promote growth all over. Jim Stoppani put together an amazing workout program called Shortcut to Size, which I review on this page here and definitely recommend taking a look at.
You can also add supplementation to your diet so that you are feeding your muscles what they need to grow. In that regard, I recommend the supplements at Crazy Bulk, which I have reviewed in this post.