Getting a flat stomach is the top priority for most fitness enthusiasts. The question is which are the muscles that need to be worked on to give you a “celebrity belly”? Here is where external oblique muscles come to picture.
The external oblique muscles are a pair of broad, thin and superficial muscles present along the sides of your torso. These muscles perform lateral flexion and rotation of the trunk. Strengthening these muscles strengthens the core region of your body, which means your abs and lower back are strengthened giving you the cherished tone and lean look.
Work out exercises for External Obliques
Basic Oblique Exercises
• Lie on your right side on a gym mat or soft surface. Lift your body off the mat with only the right forearm and outer side of the right foot in contact with the ground. The right elbow should be directly under the right shoulder. Keep the body erect by drawing the shoulder blades downward and backward and squeezing the butt muscles together. The hips should not drop at any point of the exercise.
• Hold this position for 15 seconds. Continue breathing in a relaxed manner. Keep the body in a straight line at all times.
• Do 3 sets of 15 second hold with 15 second rest in between.
• Lie on your back with knees bent and hands placed at the back of the head. Aim to touch your right knee with your left elbow by lifting your upper back up and sideways from the ground. A common mistake for beginners is crunching the neck instead of the abdominal section. Fix this problem by touching the roof of the mouth with your tongue. This tenses the muscles around the neck and prevents misalignment of the cervical spine.
• There should be some burn felt in the left oblique area but there should never be an incidence of pain throughout the exercise.
• Return to the starting position. Do a side crunch towards the other side. This time try to touch the left knee with your right elbow. This counts as 1 repetition. Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions with 1 minute rests in between.