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.

Best Hamstring Workouts

Leg is your lower half of your body. The major muscles between knee and pelvis are quadriceps and hamstring. Quadriceps or “quads” being the visible muscle, it gets most attention and is easier to monitor. But hamstring on the other hand is not visible and we seem to care less about it. For optimal knee and joint health, the strength of quads and hamstring should be in ratio 3:2. This means you just cannot work hamstring less and hope for healthy knees. Some of the best hamstring workouts are given in the post below. Be sure to at least give them a try.

Hamstring Workouts

Hamstring is your 3 headed muscle formed of biceps femoris, semimembranosus and semitendinosus. Though it is most neglected muscle in body, it definitely separates pro from beginner, and big girls from cardio bunnies.

Function of Hamstring

There are number of functions of hamstring, the major being stabilizing knees and many more.

    • Hip extension
    • Knee flexion
    • Posterior tilt of pelvis

Though these might not seem like much, these are major component for running, sprinting, or even moving. Stabilizing the knees is the most important function of the hamstring. If you want better health and functioning of your joints, hip and hamstrings are the areas to work on. Hip joint acts as the linking muscle of upper body and lower body, while hamstring links hip muscles to knees.

This is why, proper care and exercise selection is important to train hamstring properly targeting all the areas of the muscle.

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Few of Best Hamstring Workouts

Following few are among the best exercises that you can do for overall development of the hamstring muscles.

    1. Romanian Deadlift (Stiff Legged Deadlift)

      There might not be any other exercise as romanian deadlift that can give you promising results even with baby weights. It is by far the best exercise for your hamstring as you don’t need ton of weights and are secure from hurting yourself. A deadlift when done with stiff shin without any movement and maximum hip flexion, you have romanian deadlift.

      • Load a barbell with appropriate weight.
      • Begin with deadlift position.
      • Pull the bar upward as in deadlift.
      • With legs stiff with very slight bend at knees, lower the bar down hinging at the hip.
      • Until you feel control able stretch, lower the bar, then raise it back up.
      • Don’t lockout as deadlift at top, finish the movement just before the lockout.
        Best Hamstring Workouts
    2. Glute Ham Raises

      Another great exercise that doesn’t even need weight to perform is glute ham raises. All you need is your hamstring strength and upper body weight. This exercise particularly targets your glutes and hamstring muscles to totally different level. This exercise focuses on knee flexion. It tests your knee strength.

      • Settle on the machine, if you don’t have machine, you can do it on the floor by anchoring your feet.
      • Keep your core tight and have a neutral back, don’t over arch.
      • Slowly lower yourself while you feel stretch on your hamstring.
      • While you are down, contract your hamstring and raise yourself up.
      • Perform slow controlled reps.
        Best Hamstring Workouts
    3. Lying Leg Curl

      One of the common legs workout machine that you can frequently see on many gym is leg curl machine. Lying leg curl, as name suggests is curling movement of you legs in lying position. It also focuses on knee flexion. It is easier to perform and one of the best exercise that you can do for your hamstring.

      • Lie down on the machine facing downwards.
      • Keep your knee just below the resting pas of machine.
      • Curl the weight towards your hip by contracting your hamstring.
      • Perform slow controlled reps.
        Best Hamstring Workouts
    4. Seated Leg Curl

      Seated curl is similar to lying leg curl, the only difference is that you stay in the seated position. Similar to the leg extension machine, there is leg curl machine. The goal is to contract the muscle.

      • Be seated on the machine and choose appropriate weight.
      • With legs straight on the pads, start to squeeze your hamstring and contract it hard.
      • Hold the contraction and return to the original position.

Conclusion

People often workout just to increase the weight in the bar. Be wise and choose weight accordingly. With hamstring, even lightest of the weight can give you soreness if you have proper mind muscle connection. Few of the best hamstring workouts are discussed in the post. These few hamstring workouts will definitely reward you with nicer looking hamstring.

Beginner Gym Workout Routine Female

As the awareness for physical health is growing throughout the world, female are seen involving in physical activities more often nowadays. It is very important for female to involve in physical activities. Women are far more likely to develop osteoporosis than men. They have thinner bone than men and likely lose the strength as they age. So, it becomes important for them to involve in activities to keep themselves fit and healthy. We will discuss some beginner gym workout routine for female in this post. We focus on gym because it is the widely available option and easier one as well.

Beginner Gym Workout Routine Female

Common Misconception in Female

There is one major misconception or myth among female that they will bulk up if they workout. It is nowhere near reality. Looking at some professional female bodybuilders and thinking they might bulk up as well is not fair. Those female bodybuilders have put years of training, strict diet, discipline to achieve what you see now.

Female in general have 30% less muscle fiber than male. So, with the amount of hardwork equivalent to male,  they still won’t have similar results. So, this is just a myth that needs to be broken among female.

Another misconception is that cardio alone will take care of their weight loss. While it is correct, with only cardio, they are sure to hit plateau at one point in time. Strength training will not only break that plateau, but also strengthen their muscles.

Workout Routine for Female

Lets discuss some of the beginner gym workout routine for female. As a beginner, you need to have proper distribution of weight training, cardio and rest. While your body is getting used to the strains of the weight, it is preparing to strengthen the muscles. There are no subtle difference in the male and female beginner workout routine, it depends on the individual body strength. Given below is beginner gym workout routine for female. There are no specific splits for the beginners and working whole body might help them get used to faster.

Beginner Gym Workout Routine Female

Workout Routine A

ExerciseSet x Reps
Leg Press2 x 8
Goblet Squat1 x 15
Barbell Bench Press2 x 12
SM Shoulder press2 x 12
Lat pull down2 x 10
Seated cable row1 x 15
Calf Raises1 x 25
Ab crunches2 x 10

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Workout Routine B

ExerciseSet x Reps
Barbell Squat2 x 8
Lying Leg Curl1 x 15
Dumbbell Chest Fly2 x 12
Dumbbell Side Raises2 x 12
Pull Up2 x 10
Dumbbell Deadlift1 x 15
Dumbbell Shrugs1 x 25
Hanging Leg Raises2 x 10

Beginner Gym Workout Routine Female

Workout Routine C

ExerciseSet x Reps
Leg Extension2 x 8
Lying Leg Curl1 x 15
Push Ups2 x 12
Dumbbell Shoulder press2 x 12
Wide-grip Lat pull down2 x 10
Dumbbell Row1 x 15
Triceps Pushdown1 x 25
Biceps Curl2 x 10

Given above are 3 sample workout routine. You can mix these workout routine within a week with cardio day in between and rest day as well.

Conclusion

Above workout routine will make your body used to with exercises. Beginner gym workout routine for female will help beginner female to burn fat and strengthen their muscles at the same time. The beginning phase of the gym is very crucial. You need to take good care of following things:

    • Maintain proper form
    • Focus less on lifting heavy
    • Have adequate rest
    • Have balanced diet
    • Avoid supplements right at the start

Take good care of these points and you will be patting yourself on the back for your progress.