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Shape Up Your Core And Obliques With These 6 Minute Bodyweight Moves

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The oblique muscles run along the sides of your stomach and are an important piece of the core. If your obliques are weak or just not working as well as they should, it can cause other areas to compensate when you’re twisting or turning your body.

Of course, you should be incorporating some rotational exercises into your overall routine, but doing an obliques-focused workout is also a great way to make sure these muscles don’t get left out of any of the fun.

This workout focuses on one side of the body at a time, so that you can keep one side of your abdominal wall under tension for an extended period of time and really challenge all the muscles. The workout helps with rotation to work into obliques, so that you have the ability to rotate with ease.

The workout is set up so that you start with gentler moves to really warm up your core first, and then you’ll add in rotating and pulsing movements, and then eventually, movements that have you fully contracting and extending your abdominal muscles. This takes out any breaks and turns it into a flow of movement.

On that note, let’s get right to it:

Do all 9 moves for 20 seconds each, all on one side. Then do all 9 moves for 20 seconds each on the other side. If you’re feeling good and want to do more, try doing this circuit 2 times through.

Quadrupled Thoracic Spine Rotation:

How to:

  • Start on all fours, with your hands stacked under your shoulders and your knees stacked under your hips. Engage your core and maintain a flat back.
  • Place your left hand on the back of your head, so that your elbow points out to the left side. Rest the hand lightly—don’t put pressure on your head or neck. This is starting position.
  • Slowly rotate your head and shoulder toward your right hand on the floor.
  • Then, reverse the motion and rotate to the left and up so your elbow points toward the ceiling. Hold for a moment and then return to the starting position.
  • Continue this movement for 20 seconds.

 

Bird Dog Crunch:

How to:

  • Start on your hands and knees in tabletop position with your wrists stacked under your shoulders and your knees stacked under your hips.
  • Extend your left arm forward and right leg back, maintaining a flat back and keeping your hips in line with the floor.
  • Think about driving your foot toward the wall behind you.
  • Squeeze your abs and draw your left elbow and right knee in to meet near the centre of your body.
  • Reverse the movement and extend your arm and leg back out. Keep your right foot flexed throughout the exercise.
  • Continue this movement for 20 seconds.

 

Quadrupled Anti-Rotation:

How to:

  • Start on all fours, with your hands stacked under your shoulders and your knees stacked under your hips. Engage your core and maintain a flat back.
  • Engage your core, and while keeping your back flat and your butt down (like you’re in a plank), lift your knees off the floor about 1 to 3 inches. Gaze at the floor a few inches in front of your hands to keep your neck in a comfortable position.
  • While keeping your core super engaged, extend your left arm directly out in front of you. Hold for a second, and then move the arm out to the left side so that it’s perpendicular to your body. Then, bring it back so it’s extended in front of you again.
  • Continue this movement for 20 seconds.
  • If you’re having a tough time keeping your hips stable, take out the arm movement and just hold for 20 seconds.

 

Tabletop Resistance:

How to:

  • Lie face up with your legs raised in a tabletop position (knees bent 90 degrees and stacked over your hips). Extend your right leg out straight, and squeeze your butt as you hover the leg a few inches above the floor. Flex both of your feet.
  • Contract your abs to press your low back into floor. Place your left hand on the front of your left quad.
  • Drive your left quad into your left hand while simultaneously pressing the quad away with your hand. There should be no visible movement in your body, but you should feel the battle and intense tension in your core.
  • Hold for 20 seconds.

 

Sprinter Sit-up:

How to:

  • Lie face-up with your arms by your sides and legs straight.
  • Engage your core and roll your torso up while driving your right arm forward and your left knee to your chest.
  • Reverse the movement to roll back down to the floor in a controlled motion, letting your leg and shoulders briefly touch the floor.
  • Immediately move into the next rep to maintain engagement in your core.
  • Continue for 20 seconds.

 

Bicycle Crunch Pulse:

How to:

  • Lie face up with your legs in tabletop position (knees bent 90 degrees and stacked over your hips).
  • Place your hands behind your head, elbows bent and pointing out to the sides.
  • Use your abs to curl your shoulders off the floor.
  • Twist to bring your right elbow to your left knee, while simultaneously straightening your right leg.
  • Hold this position for a second (right elbow and left knee touching or almost touching), and then slowly pulse the knee and elbow apart just a couple of inches, and then back together.
  • Continue this in-and-out pulsing motion for 20 seconds.

 

Straight Leg Pulse:

How to:

  • From the bicycle crunch position, extend your left leg straight into the air so the bottom of your left foot is facing the ceiling.
  • Extend your left arm out to the side and reach your right arm up toward your left foot, crunching your torso up a few inches as you do.
  • Slowly pulse your upper body and right arm up toward your left foot a couple of inches, and then back a couple of inches.
  • Continue this up-and-down pulsing motion for 20 seconds.

 

Cross-Body V-up:

How to:

  • Lie face up in a starfish position with your legs extended and right arm extended overhead on the floor.
  • Extend your left arm out to the left side of your body.
  • Contract your abs to press your lower back into the ground.
  • Engage your thighs and glutes and simultaneously lift your left leg, right arm, and upper back off the ground, reaching across your body to touch your right hand to meet your left ankle.
  • Use your left arm to help maintain balance as you rise.
  • Keep your core engaged as you lower to return to the starting position.
  • Continue this movement for 20 seconds.

 

Forearm Side Plank Pulse:

How to:

  • Start in a forearm side plank by propping your body up on your left forearm, with your elbow stacked underneath your shoulder and your hand in front of your body.
  • Extend your legs and stack your right foot on top of your left, and then squeeze your abs and glutes to lift your hips off the floor.
  • Extend your right arm overhead (as pictured) or place it on your left hip.
  • Your shoulders, hips, and feet should all be in one line.
  • Slowly dip your hips toward the floor, keeping your core tight and your back flat.
  • Then, lift your hips back up.
  • This is 1 rep.
  • Do 10 pulses and then 10 seconds of full hip dips (all the way to the floor) on one side.
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