I say Core you say Crunch…..
So often when we hear the term “crunch” in relation to exercise, we think of the standard abdominal exercises. However, people tend to focus on the Rectus Abdominus (the muscles at the front of the stomach area) and forget the rest. So let’s talk about Obliques.
Obliques largely refer to the musculature to the side of the stomach and lower rib cage. These muscles are responsible for providing a strong layer of flexible protection to the organs located in the trunk of our bodies, and for stabilising the lower half of our rib cage. These muscles are often totally forgotten about in an abdominal workout because they are not thought of as part of the core. But like all muscles, they are connected to each other and have an important purpose within the body. So it is crucial that you identify these muscles and work on them in the same way as the rest of your core. If you haven’t felt these muscles work before you can take a deep breath in whilst sitting upright you will feel your ribs expand and then an area just further to the side and lower also move and fill. This is the oblique muscle expanding down the side of your body.
Activate from Standing
The good news is that you don’t have to be in a supine position to reach these muscles. So to keep it interesting here is an exercise you can try to get them moving from a standing position. This is also great when you add it into a HIIT or cardio routine.
Activate from your Back
This exercise is good for those that struggle with lower back or neck issues and need the support of a mat underneath them. Here you will be using the force of gravity to help centre your spine throughout the exercise, adding a twist to get the obliques working.
Activate from your Side
So much of the oblique action is all about placing the right amount of pressure on the obliques. The brain will do its job sending a message to the side of the body to lift and support the spine and ribs as well as the internal organs and boom — your obliques are getting a killer work out. This version of the side plank also targets the glutes, hips and inner thighs. Feel the burn!