Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Developing Your Oblique Muscles

 Beautiful works of art drawn on canvas and rolled up sitting in the corner of the room will never receive the blessing of others because it can't be seen. No museum or art gallery will ever hang it on their walls because it's not finished and isn't presentable. The final step to bring the painting to life is the frame, this is important because it sets the stage for the true work of art to be seen and placed on the wall. Your obliques are the framing for your abdominal muscle and set the stage for your chiseled abs to be seen and admired by others. It's that final touch that draws the viewers eyes into your midsection to see the 6 pack you've worked so hard to develop.

Your obliques (Side abdominals) consist of 2 muscle pairs on each side of your body (The Internal and External oblique). These muscle help you bend to the side and are activated during the twisting of the torso.

Since your obliques aid in twisting of the torso, it's most important to work your torso with the twisting motion. By far this is one of the most common mistakes made in the gym because people believe that they need to crunch the oblique to develop the v-shape with exercises such as oblique crunches or the dumbbell side dip. These exercises will help you build mass to your obliques, but they will not give you the sweeping definition of the V look. To obtain this look you must work the muscle as it's designed to be used and that's through twisting.

Resistance Twists (Wood Chop) are my favorite exercise to work the obliques. The set up is to place a one handed handle onto a cable machine that can change position. First with the handle positioned on the highest notch, place your inside hand on the handle first followed by your outside hand onto. With your body positioned 90 degrees from the machine, keep your arms straight and twist your body away from the machine on a downward motion so that the handle is stright line or 180 degrees away from the machine. Keep control throughout the motion and focus on working your obliques throughout the motion and return to the original spot. Repeat for a rep range of 15-30 based in the amount of weight you've placed. Work both side.

Once you've complete 3 or 4 sets on each side, please the handle on the lowest notch and complete another 3 to 4 sets with the twisting motion starting at the bottom and finishing at the top as you rotate through with an upward motion.

Tips to remember when working your obliques

1. Breath properly, exhale as you twist away from the machine
2. Focus, do quality twists rather than quantity
3. Lift from your obliques, let your obliques do the movement and not your arms
4. Keep your head straight and chin up
5. Hold and crunch your oblique at the end of the motion for a quick 2 count

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