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How to Work your Back and Obliques When Doing Ab Exercises

Posted Dec 06 2010 12:00pm

Obliques are the sidewall of your abdomen. When obliques are too fatty, many people call them love handles. Working out the obliques as well as your back muscles is essential to getting in a good abdominal workout. While it is tempting to focus on your upper abs, you will not get the best results by doing so.

Obliques can be worked in two ways. The first is through crunches in which you twist your torso. You lie down as if you are doing a traditional crunch. When you come up, instead of just rolling into the crunch, you twist your torso to the left or right. You will get the best results by rotating the direction in which you twist. You can try variations on this exercise, such as doing two short twists or using a medicine ball to add resistance.

The second easy oblique exercise is the side lift. Lie on one side. Use your hand to lift your body, holding yourself up with your leg if needed. Lift your body until your elbow is pretty straight, and then bring yourself back to the ground. This exercise is similar to doing push-ups, but different in form. This exercise will work your full oblique muscle.

Working out your back is a bit harder, but also necessary. The first basic exercise you can do requires you to lie on your stomach. Lift your left arm and right leg about a foot. Hold them in the air for 10 seconds and then lower them. You should then alternate between your legs and arms until you have done a full set of reps.

Also consider using resistance bands to get a good workout of your back muscles. Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, you should hold the resistance bands and pull inward. Bring your arms in as far as you can, hold briefly, and then slowly return your arms to the starting position. You can try this exercise with several variations. Move the resistance bands or make them tighter to make the workout harder. Start with your foot on one end of the band and pull the band toward you to work different muscles in your back.

Any of these basic exercises will get you started on the way to better oblique and back muscles. Try some variation with them to make sure your workout does not stagnate. Then simply create a routine that you complete a few times a week to strengthen these important muscles.

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