Switching from a push-up position to a side plank exercises the obliques. Plate twists are another good exercise for strengthening the core and focusing on the oblique muscles. Dumbbell side bends target the area as well. Any sport that involves twisting the torso, such as shot-put, javelin, golf or tennis, engages the oblique muscles, while weightlifting demands strong obliques for deadlifts, squats and any over-the-head movements.Continue Reading
The obliques' primary functions are to stabilize the trunk and control the tilt of the pelvis. They are sometimes referred to as the lower abs. These muscles are difficult to target and often go neglected because they are not part of the standard six-pack look, but they are key for perfecting weightlifting form and overall strength. They are engaged whenever the trunk twists and protect the delicate internal organs, making them important for anyone interested in contact sports.
Runners must focus on developing their oblique muscles, which activate as they lift their legs for a long stride or increase speed. As runners and other athletes engage in quick lateral movements, strong obliques prevent them from leaning into the movement too much and putting excessive strain on the legs and feet. Rowers should also focus on the oblique muscles because they are used in maintaining balance of the boat and delivering powerful strokes of the oar.Learn more about Muscle Toning