The obliques, or the side of your abdominal region, is a tough muscle group to target. Here are 5 of the best exercises you can use to target your obliques:
Oblique Ab Exercise #1: Cross Body Mountain Climbers
These are just like regular mountain climbers, except for the fact that you’re touching your right knee to your left knee. Hence the “Cross Body.” This is quite a tough movement since you’re also doing a plank at the same time.
To make the movement tougher, you can add a 30 second plank hold before or after your set. Hence, you’re super setting Cross Body Mountain Climbers with a plank hold. Your abs are going to hurt in the morning!
With this movement, you train your chest and triceps along with your obliques. The idea is very simple: as you go down during the pushup, lift your right knee off the floor and bring it towards your right elbow.
Go back to starting position and repeat with the other side. You almost look like spiderman walking up a wall. These are actually my least favorite pushups because they’re so difficult. But you have to do them!
These are cross body mountain climbers done with your hand on a stability ball. The stability ball provides an unstable surface, thus making the movement more difficult. If you don’t have a stability ball, you can place your hands on a barbell, ab roller, or medicine ball.
The main idea here is that we’re trying to make the movement more difficult. Try and come up with creative ways to progress with this movement as your abs become stronger. Is there a way you can add external resistance to the movement?
Oblique Ab Exercise #4: Renegade Rows
This movement requires some rowing strength. Start off with a light pair of dumbbells or kettlebells. Grab the implement with each hand, and get into pushup position. Perform an pushup.
When you come back up, row the dumbbell or kettlebell to your body, while in pushup position. Return the implement to the floor. Do another pushup and repeat with the other hand. This is one repetition.
It takes a while to get use to the movement. It’s also difficult to keep a straight back. Master the previous three movements and practice your plank and pushups before attempting renegade rows.
You might not notice it right away, but regular rows work your abdominals. Almost any sort of row will work. You can start off with the traditional dumbbell or kettlebell row, where you have one hand and one knee rest on a bench.
Use a challenging rep, and try to perform sets of 20 repetitions or more. Use strict form. If the weight is “flying” up and down your body, the the weight is too light. The second version of the row is where you simply bend forward and perform a row with hand without resting your hand or knee on any object.
Advanced 4-Minute Abs Challenge Circuit
1) Cross Body Mountain Climbers – 60 seconds
2) Spiderman Pushups – 60 seconds
3) Stability Ball Cross Body Mountain Climbers – 30 seconds
4) Renegade Rows – 30 seconds
5) High Rep Rows– 30 seconds
– Hard-core? Go for one more (round).