The Best Oblique & Hip Exercises
Oblique exercises involve rotational and lateral movements of the trunk. The oblique muscles are recognizable on the sides of the stomach when you build them up and reduce your body fat. The hip muscles are known as the abductors and they consist of the glutes and tensor fascia lata. The best exercises to work these areas are ones done with proper form. In some cases, you can work both areas at once.
Side Plank with Moving Knee
The side plank by itself is a good oblique exercise and it also targets the hips. When you add a variation, you will increase the challenge and work your muscles even harder. While lying on your right side with your legs stacked, right forearm on the floor and left hand on your hip, raise your hips in the air and straighten your body. In a steady motion, raise your left leg, bend your knee and move it toward your left arm. Once you've gotten your knee as close to your elbow as possible, move your leg back out and repeat. Perform a set of reps and switch sides.
Side Lying Leg Raises
Side lying leg raises work the obliques and hips at the same time. Lie on your left side with your left arm stretched out on the floor in front of you and your right hand placed on the side of your head. Your legs should be stacked at this point. In a steady motion, bend your torso laterally as you raise your right leg in the air and move your elbow toward your knee. Squeeze your abs for a second, slowly lower yourself down and repeat. After doing a set of reps, switch sides. When lifting your leg, keep it as straight as possible.
Squat Thrust with Twist
A squat thrust with twist works your obliques, hips and thighs all at once. While standing with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, clasp your hands in front of your chest and lower yourself into a squat. Twist to your right side, twist back to center then rise back up. Slowly lower yourself into another squat and repeat on your left side. Alternate back and forth with each repetition. To increase the resistance, hold a dumbbell or medicine ball in front of your body.
Lunge with Twist
Lunges with twists work your hips, obliques and thighs, and they are done in a walking motion. While holding a medicine ball or dumbbell in front of your belly, take a long step forward with your right foot, lower yourself down by bending your knees and twist your torso to your right. As you do this, move the weight to your right hip. Slowly stand back up, step forward with your left leg and repeat. Alternate to each side with every lunge. When doing these, keep your back straight and do not let your knees go past your toes.
Lateral Flexion with Ball
Lateral flexion with a medicine ball is performed on top of a stability ball. This exercise primarily works the obliques. After placing your left hip near the top of the ball, spread your feet into a staggered stance and hold the medicine ball overhead with your arms extended. Keeping your lower body still, bend laterally over the ball, then bend laterally in the air as high as possible. Feel your obliques contracting when you do this. Slowly lower yourself down, repeat for a set of reps and switch sides. If you find yourself slipping, place your feet against a wall for support.
Explore In Depth
- Shape Fit: Abs Exercises--Lying Oblique Leg Raises
- Chang WD, Lin HY, Lai PT. Core strength training for patients with chronic low back pain. J Phys Ther Sci. 2015;27(3):619–622. doi:10.1589/jpts.27.619
- Brumitt J, Matheson JW, Meira EP. Core stabilization exercise prescription, part I: current concepts in assessment and intervention. Sports Health. 2013;5(6):504–509. doi:10.1177/1941738113502451
- Javadian Y, Akbari M, Talebi G, Taghipour-Darzi M, Janmohammadi N.Influence of core stability exercise on lumbar vertebral instability in patients presented with chronic low back pain: A randomized clinical trial. Caspian J Intern Med. 2015;6(2):98–102. PMID: 26221508
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