Best Oblique Exercises

Abdominal muscles or commonly known as “Abs”, are in high demands by whoever is involved in fitness aesthetically. But the abdominal muscles alone cannot give the crisp look. All the supporting muscles when contribute equally to the look, even average looking person looks shredded. The only muscle that will give you the illusion of being shredded even before having visible abs are “Obliques”. Oblique muscles run diagonally on the side walls of the abdominal muscles. These muscle will give you the crispness in the abs even before you have actual visible abs. Some of the best oblique exercises are given in the post forward.

Oblique Muscles

There are basically 2 types of oblique muscles, external obliques and internal obliques. They run on the side walls of the abdominal muscles.

Best Oblique Exercises

External Obliques:

External obliques extends from lower half of the ribs to the pelvis. It helps rotate the trunk, also it pulls the chest as a whole and helps contract the abdominal cavity.

Internal Obliques:

This muscle is situated right below the external oblique. Internal obliques extends from the lower end of the rib-cage, rectus sheath and pubic crest. This muscle supports the abdominal wall, rotates and turns the trunk, helps in forced respiration and also raising pressure in abdominal muscles.

As a whole, obliques are major muscles in keeping the trunk area stable and help in the rotation movement.

Best Exercises for Obliques

Some of the best oblique exercises are as follows.

Air Bike or Bicycle Crunch

One of the easiest yet benefiting exercise in the list is bicycle crunch. It is easy and you need not do a ton of crunches in this exercise. It mimics the twisting motion of the body.

Best Oblique Exercises

    • Lie flat on the floor facing upward.
    • Keep you hands behind your head straight.
    • Keep your legs straight and core tight.
    • Bend your 1 leg and bring it towards your core.
    • Rotate your upper body towards the bent knee.
    • Try touching your knee and elbows on the opposite sides.
    • Continue the slow and controlled reps till you feel the burn.

Russian Twist

Another great exercise is the russian twist among the best oblique exercises. It mimics the upper body rotation, ultimately working out the obliques.

Best Oblique Exercises

    • Sit down on the ground with your knees bent.
    • Carry a small weight for extra resistance.
    • You can plant your feet underneath a table or something, or just keep it on the ground.
    • Suspend your upper body making angle greater than 90.
    • With weight in hands, twist your straight arms from side to side.
    • Perform slow and controlled reps.

Side Bridge

Best Oblique Exercises

    • Start with the side plank position.
    • Holding on the side plank position, let your hips dip down and back up.
    • Perform the slow reps on each side.
    • It will help strengthen the obliques.

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Seated Barbell Twist

The key thing you need to take care of is not to overload the bar and perform the slow controlled reps.

Best Oblique Exercises

    • Take a medium length barbell behind your neck.
    • Keep upright torso and slight arch in the back.
    • Keep you back straight and head looking forward.
    • Now twist your upper body from left to right keeping head straight.
    • Hold the stretch for a moment and return to starting position.
    • You might not need to add weight to the bar or can just add small weight.

Windshield Wiper

It falls on the tough side of the exercise. You need to have proper mobility in your pelvis and control over your movement to perform this exercise. You can either do it on the floor or hanging from the bar. Best Oblique Exercises

    • Lie down on the floor facing upward.
    • Raise your legs straight towards the ceiling making 90 degree with your upper body.
    • Open your arms outwards to make a stable base.
    • Slowly lean your feet to either side of the body.
    • Continue till you feel right or meet the floor.
    • Return to the starting position and do same for other side.
    • Perform the movement as windshield wiper hence the name.

Wood Chopper

It mimics the movement of cutting the tree with axe in diagonal direction. This is done with cable of weight.

Best Oblique Exercises

    • Grab a cable or plate.
    • On cable, keep the cable position high up your shoulder.
    • Grab the cable with both hands and stand facing away from the attachment to the side.
    • Pull the cable from upward position to the ground on the opposite end.
    • Hold the contraction and the stretch.
    • With weight plate, bring the weight up above your head diagonally in controlled way.

Take Away

Oblique muscles are easy to train and develop, yet requires hard work. Few of the best oblique exercises are discussed in the post. These exercises can fit into the schedule of any level athlete from beginner to intermediate to the advance. Just give enough time and effort and have patience, you will be ripped and shredded in no time.

Bicep 21 Curls

Biceps are the most desired muscle by any individual out there. Whenever anyone is asked to show their muscles, they raise their arm showing biceps. Among all other muscle, biceps are the most visible muscle group. Men look muscular with huge biceps in cloth. Among all other bicep exercises, bicep 21 curls is by far the most productive and beneficial exercise.

Bicep 21 Curls

Biceps Anatomy

Biceps have 2 muscle group, biceps brachialis and biceps brachii. Brachii is 2 headed muscle, long head and short head. Biceps brachii attaches from shoulder to elbow while brachialis is a small golf ball shaped muscle on the outer side of arm.

Bicep 21 Curls

The function of the biceps is elbow flexion, forearm supination, and shoulder flexion. In general terms, it is key to lifting, pushing and pulling. While everything that you potentially do crosses shoulder joint every moment, having healthy and strong arms is must. It not only removes excessive stress from the joints, it ensures healthy and synchronized movements as well.

Most Beneficial Bicep Workout

Biceps curl is one of the old-school and go to exercise for the bicep development with a catch. During bicep curl, we are strongest at the bottom and weakest at the top. We can change this perception by just tweaking it a little following bicep 21 curls.

Bicep 21 Curls

Follow these steps for the bicep 21 curls.

    • Grab a weight that you can handle for 21 reps.
    • Start from the top half of the moment.
    • Lower the weight from the top position till half way down.
    • Continue for 7 reps.
    • Do full 7 reps next.
    • Do the lower 7 reps to finish.

21 Curls Variation

Though 21 curl is straight forward 21 reps of upper, lower and full reps, you can add variations every now and then.

Dumbbell Bicep 21 Curls

Dumbbell variation of 21 curls gives you freedom of movement as you are not bound by a bar. In dumbbell version, you can as well do the alternate version of the workout. Just grab a suitable weight and do the exercise as mentioned above.

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Cable 21 Curls

Cable version of the 21 curls has a potential benefit of resistance throughout the movement. Continuous resistance means you will feel same weight at every position in the curl.

21 Curls With Different Weight

Whether with the dumbbell or barbell, you can perform this exercise variation. As we are weakest at the top and strongest at the bottom, we can alter the weight. Alter the weight with heaviest at the bottom, lighter with the full reps and lightest at the top movement. This way, we can create a consistent resistance during the exercise.

Conclusion

The term “Old is Gold” no wonder holds true. Every newer exercises has the same form of doing them. The difference is just the technique behind them, the mechanism is same. Bicep 21 curls is the variation of the same old bicep curl, difference is it targets the muscle with same intensity at every position. Give this exercise a try and I bet you won’t regret. Special thanks T-nation for the references.

Common Exercise Questions

We all have our own set of questions for anything, exercising is no exception to that. We people have many questions regarding weight training, cardio, weight loss, sets and reps and many more. We will discuss some common exercise questions in this post. When we consider exercise, gym is the first thing that arrives in our head. Among many sets of equipment and techniques, lies numerous confusion and concerns. Through this common exercise questions, let’s solve few of them.

Some Common Gym Questions

Before you get on with questions for anyone, I will advise you to first look into the problem yourself. Like what does this machine do, how to lift weights, etc., these questions will be answered automatically if you do some research.

Common Exercise Questions

How often should you go to the gym?

This is the most common question anyone has ever asked. There are many constraints to this query. Firstly, it depends on your fitness goals. Once your goals are set, your gym schedule can be optimized according to your time table. So, there is actually no any specific answer for this. But if you look from the recovery point of view, you will have few things to take care of. We have small body parts like biceps, triceps, claves etc. These body parts need about 24 hours to recover while big muscles require 24-48 hours to recover.

If you plan on working out all body parts daily, then you will definitely have to rest at least 2 days in between to provide proper recovery to the muscles. If you workout different body parts each day, then keeping at least 2 day’s gap in between, you can carry on exercise 5-6 times a week. Your ultimate answer is your fitness goals, your schedule and ways you train your muscles for this common exercise questions.

How long should you workout at the gym?

There are many different people at gym. Some have serious goals in their mind, so go there to hangout, while some have absolutely no idea why they are there. Just kidding. Your duration at gym again is as per your schedule and your goal. An average productive gym session lies in between 45 to 60 minutes of training. It includes warm up session and post workout stretching.

Common Exercise Questions

But again with your style of training, your duration will vary. Powerlifting requires more rest period in between sets and more number of sets, while bodybuilding can go with 45 secs of rest in between sets. Other different exercise styles have their own training duration. If you choose bodybuilding, you will be done with an hour of training. This provides constant tension on the muscles and less time to cool down. But if you train too long, you will not only drain all your energy, but you will also start to increase cortisol levels, giving you negative effects to training.

How long should a workout be to lose weight?

The duration of workout doesn’t really has anything to do with weight loss. The thing is, the longer your cardiovascular level is lifted, the more calories you burn. Creating caloric deficit is sole means of weight loss. You can create caloric deficit through less caloric intake and burning more calories through training.

There are different training techniques that keep your heart rate elevated. More heart rate means more oxygen supply and more nutrients. The muscles are benefited by the training as well as caloric deficit helps in weight loss. The training duration remains the same, but you focus shifts on different training techniques to keep your heart rate elevated.

What are turning muscle into fat workout?

Firstly, fat and muscle are two different cell structures and neither can turn into another. Your fat doesn’t turn into muscles if you workout and muscles doesn’t turn into fat if you don’t. Muscles are living cells in the body. They need proper nutrition and care to keep them functioning. While fat are dead cells. They are stored as backup energy source for body.

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When you are working out, you provide favorable environment for your muscles to grow and function well. When you don’t have enough activity, your body wants to get rid of excess mass(muscles) to maintain the energy supply in the body. Hence, fat is stored and you lose muscle mass. Its as simple as that. Hence, this common gym question is merely just a confusion, nothing more than that.

Proper breathing during exercise

Breathing is very important during workout. There is a general rule of breathing. You breathe out on the positive portion of workout while you inhale on the negative portion. Like in squat, you inhale while you go down and exhale while you come up. If you hold your breathe, during intense exercise, you will lack oxygen supply and you can blackout. Proper breathing ensures appropriate flow of oxygen to your muscles and brain for intense training session.

Conclusion

These are just few common exercise questions that everyone has in their mind at some point. There are many such questions that we will cover in later posts. Be sure to take good care of your exercise form while you workout, be hydrate and stay away from ego lifting. These tips will keep you healthy and injury free.