Picture it: The phone rings and you simultaneously turn to your right, stand up, lean forward, reach with a hand, and twist to an upright posture. That’s a workout all by itself! By neglecting these muscles, you set yourself up for injury when you least expect it. If I had a dollar for every time a client injured herself lifting a suitcase into an overhead bin during travel, I’d be rich. Like, Beyoncé rich. As a personal trainer, torso twisting is one of the most overlooked movement patterns I see with clients.
Beyond preventing injury, strengthening your internal and external oblique muscles can give you incredible abs. Your obliques are the muscles that run diagonally from your ribs to your pelvis. When these babies are nice and tight, you get those long lines that create a “V” right down to your bikini line. (For more tips on how to build muscle, pick up my book, Lift to Get Lean.)
No clue how to tone these areas? I’ve pulled together seven of my favorite core moves for a solid workout that’ll light up your obliques. Reminder: Be sure to warm up for about five to eight minutes on your favorite cardio machine before getting started. Then, be patient with yourself. Take additional five-second breaks mid-set when needed, until you can complete each set.
Complete two sets of reps for each move below, resting for 30 seconds in between. After you’ve completed two sets, move on to the next exercise.