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Best Obliques Exercises

Truth About Six Pack Abs by Mike Geary

What do the obliques do?

Both the internal and external obliques

  • Compress the abdominal cavity
  • Assists in flexing the vertebral column
  • And rotate the vertebral column.

Two exercises that I like are the

  • Bicycle Maneuver exercise (Pilates Criss Cross) and
  • The Standing Bicycle Maneuver

If you engage or compress your abdominal muscles while doing these workouts, both of these exercises will perform all three actions of these muscles.

The bicycle maneuver exercise is a difficult workout to perform. I have a problem with rotating fully while doing the floor version of the bicycle maneuver. I started doing the standing version to strengthen my obliques enough to be able to perform the floor version better.

The standing bicycle maneuver exercise is much easier, and most should be able to perform this workout. It is a fairly easy way to strengthen the oblique muscles. That is why I like to do the standing version as training to perform the more difficult floor version.

Most ab exercises don’t incorporate the vertebral rotation action, but these two do. Also, both also use more than one joint, and are considered full body exercises. In addition, the standing version adds an aerobic dimension, which increases your metabolic rate.

That is why I consider these two workouts to be the best obliques exercises. They

  • Incorporate all the actions of these muscles
  • Are a multi-joint, full body workout
  • And, the standing version is also an aerobic exercise, which increases your metabolic rate and helps to burn tummy fat.

When doing the best obliques exercises, do not lace your hands around your head. This may tempt you to move your torso with your arms rather than with your abdominal muscles. Instead, loosely place your hands next to your ears, but don’t grab your head.

Remember that you want to flex and rotate your torso with your ab muscles, and not your arms.

How to do the Standing Bicycle Maneuver

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, and your hands next to your ears.
  2. As you do this exercise, keep your chin up to maintain good alignment between your neck and spine.
  3. While flexing your left thigh by raising your left knee to waist level, bend at the waist and rotate so that your right elbow touches your left knee.
  4. Return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat this procedure with your right leg and left elbow.
  6. Continue until you feel fatigued.

How to do the Bicycle Maneuver Exercise

  1. Lie flat on an exercise mat with your lower back pressed to the mat
  2. Put your hands next to your ears
  3. Raise your knees to form a 90 degree angle with vertical thighs and horizontal shins
  4. Extend your right leg out with your leg about 30 to 45 degrees above the floor
  5. Keep your left thigh vertical and your left shin horizontal
  6. Raise your shoulders off the mat with your abdominal muscles and rotate to touch your left knee with your right elbow
  7. Switch legs and rotate in the opposite direction to touch your right knee with your left elbow
  8. Continue until you are fatigued.

How To Do The Bicycle Maneuver Exercise Video

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