Five Moves for Stronger Obliques

6 March, 2020

You know that really stubborn area on your upper hips that just refuses to slim down? Otherwise known as the love handle, the abdominal oblique muscles are notoriously difficult to tone and strengthen.

Many workouts target this area in a secondary fashion, but with spring coming up (or even just a new pair of jeans in the future), it’s crunch time. Don’t worry though — there are no crunches involved in these five workouts to target those oblique muscles.

We asked five personal trainers here at Raintree Athletic Club about their favorite oblique workout moves:

Trainer: Tracy Ibarra
Move: Supine Oblique Reaches

  • Specialties: cardio and targeted toning, exercise variety, water fitness, low and high-intensity aerobics
  • What You’ll Need: A comfortable mat or soft, but firm, surface
  • Technique:
    • Lay on a mat with knees bent and feet on floor. Place your right hand behind your head and reach your left hand toward the left ankle.
    • Repeat with your left hand behind the head and reach with the right hand toward the right ankle.
    • This should be a slow, controlled, small movement, safe for all levels of fitness.
    • If you have a hard time getting to the floor, this move can be performed while seated on a chair. Reach the right hand toward the floor on the right side. Repeat with left hand reaching toward the floor.

Trainer: Adam Starr
Move: Single Arm Farmer’s Carry or Suitcase Carry

  • Specialties: weight loss, hypertrophy and toning, sport and athletic performance, and general health and wellness
  • Adam’s Move: Single Arm Farmers Carry or Suitcase Carry
  • What You’ll Need: A weighted object (dumbbell, kettlebell, plate, or loaded barbell)
  • Technique:
    • Pick up your heavy object and start walking, pretending the object is similar to a suitcase you would carry.
    • Keep a fully erect posture, focusing on staying tall and keeping the core tight. Do not let yourself lean to one side or the other. The weight should be significant enough that you do not have to walk very far to feel the core burn.
    • Switch sides and repeat. Do several sets (3 to 6) to ensure results.

Trainer: Ashley Talebi
Move: Kettlebell Windmill

  • Specialties: athletic cross training, dietary consultations, weight loss, senior stability and weight lifting, plyometrics, and cardio training
  • What You’ll Need: A kettlebell of appropriate weight
  • Technique:
    • Hold a kettlebell firmly overhead.
    • Starting with your right hand, bend your torso towards the left so that your left hand touches the left foot. Keep the right arm raised and straight and keep your eyes fixed at the kettlebell.
    • Come back to the starting position in a controlled motion.
    • Repeat the move on the other side by switching the kettlebell to your left hand.

Trainer: Justin Kerley
Move: Anti- Rotation Dead Bugs

  • Specialties: weight loss, improved muscle mass, corrective exercise, athletic performance, and primal and open chain movements
  • What You’ll Need: A resistance band
  • Technique:
    • Lay on your back on a comfortable but firm surface. Hold a band with both hands over the chest, which will allow you to activate your core.
    • Lift your legs to 90 degrees and extend each leg down parallel to the floor, one at a time.
    • Keeping the band over the chest, fully extend the legs in several repetitions. Usually 3 sets of 10-20 will get you feeling the burn in your core.

Trainer: Marissa White
Move: Standing Cable Twists

  • Specialties: sport-specific training, High Intensity Interval Training, weight loss programs, corrective posture techniques, and corrective exercises specifically for low back pain
  • What you’ll need: Cable machine with appropriate weight
  • Technique:
    • Position the lever of the cable machine around hip height and stack on the appropriate weight (lighter weight is going to be better for this exercise).
    • Grab one handle of the machine and stand facing sideways to the cable. Overlap your hands, and keeping your arms as straight as possible, slowly rotate your torso away from the machine, keeping your feet firmly planted on the floor.
    • Focus on engaging your obliques and allowing your core and upper body to turn as a whole. This is a great functional movement for every day rotational moves and will really help to isolate the obliques.

For more tips, tricks, and targeted workouts, consider personal training here at Raintree Athletic Club!