Frequently, especially with summer approaching, we put all of our attention on the abs and workout with the goal of achieving the typical six-pack to flaunt on the beach. But it’s also vital to work on your oblique abs, which sometimes go overlooked.
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Although this is a typical error, these muscles demand attention and exercise as well, not just for cosmetic reasons, but also to avoid posture difficulties and even more serious health issues.
What are oblique abs and why should they be trained?
The internal and external obliques are the two primary muscle groups that make up the oblique abs. They are required for specific rotational and flexor motions and are utilised to protect the lower back by alleviating pressure on the vertebrae and surrounding muscles.
In addition to the obvious visual benefits, strengthening them provides a slew of other perks. Training the oblique abdominals, in fact, helps minimise lower back discomfort, improve posture, balance, and stability, and allows you to run faster and lift or throw larger weights farther.
Aside from the aesthetic issue, excess abdominal fat may increase the risk of coronary heart disease, insulin resistance, diabetes, and hypertension, as well as some types of cancer; training them consistently also reduces the so-called love handles, those unpleasant (and unaesthetic) fat accumulations found along the sides, abdomen, and lower back.
How to Tone Your Oblique Abs
To be fit and have a small and toned belly, you must combine focused exercises and cardio with a nutritious and balanced diet.
Oblique abs training exercises
There are ad hoc trainings for the lateral abdominals in addition to all the upper and lower abdominal exercises; in general, all twisting crunches are beneficial for this kind of muscle, but there are also more focused and particularly effective workouts, and some may even be done standing up.
The beauty of these exercises, which are always included in a full programme that includes exercising the various muscle groups, is that they can be done at home with no special equipment or apparatus. All you need is a mat and some weights, or alternatively, bottles of water.
The plank is a highly comprehensive workout that also activates this sort of muscle, and it consists of putting yourself on the ground, leaning on your elbows, arms bent at 90° with regard to your body, and legs spread out, slightly apart in line with your hips. The exercise consists of maintaining the body in axis and can also be performed in the lateral variety to target the oblique abs specifically.
Standing sidebends are extremely effective and may be performed with or without weights, depending on your level of fitness. Just stand with your arms at your sides and slowly and deliberately bend your torso 15 cm to the right and then to the left. If you don’t have weights, you may gradually raise the weight by going from half-litre bottles to one-litre and one-and-a-half litres.
The Russian twist, also known as the Russian twist, is an exercise that strengthens the entire abdominal group, particularly the lateral and oblique muscles; simply sit on the ground with your legs bent and rotate your torso to the right and then to the left, keeping your spine straight at a 45-degree angle from the floor. To make it more difficult, raise your feet off the ground or hold weights in your hands.
In addition to these focused activities, it is beneficial to conduct brief and intensive cardio sessions, such as power walking, jogging, or even dancing, to restart the metabolism and burn fat; also, the value of a balanced diet should never be overlooked.
In truth, it is critical to have a balanced diet that includes healthy grains, vegetables, fish and lean meat, legumes, lean dairy products, and fresh and dried fruit, rather than avoiding or demonising any item. In a nutshell, the traditional Mediterranean diet.
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Alcohol, hydrogenated fats, and sweets should also be avoided, although carbohydrates remain necessary for energy during the day (and for exercise), even if the complex ones of legumes and vegetables should be chosen, while avoiding too refined meals and flours.
Following anti-bloating diets is also a terrific technique to draw attention to the lateral abs, which will appear more toned and defined from the first days of training.
Indeed, achieving a toned abdomen needs more than a few days of specialised exercises and a tight diet: it requires commitment and determination. The food must be balanced and rich in nutrients, and the workout regimen must encompass the entire body, not just the abs, and include more or less strenuous cardio sessions; nonetheless, simply following these suggestions can make you feel fitter and more toned right away.