For a trimmer waist, it’s time to target your obliques, those side abdominal muscles that are often overlooked during your workout.
Wany Misban, a pilates instructor from The Moving Body Group, has the perfect plan to do just that. Here, she demonstrates five effective exercises that will firm up your obliques and define your waistline. Besides the obliques, your important postural and surrounding muscles will get fired up too.
Do eight to 10 reps of each exercise in a slow, controlled manner. Repeat on the other side. The slower you go, the greater the burn.
1. Side lying leg lift
Improves shoulder and pelvis stability; works abs, obliques, glutes and outer thighs
Lie on left side with body in a straight line. Prop yourself up with left forearm, elbow directly under shoulder.
Resting right hand on hip for support, engage core and glutes as you lift right leg to about shoulder height. Slowly lower it without shifting hips. That’s one rep.
2. Side lying banana
Works obliques and inner thighs
Lie on left side with body in a straight line, head resting on left forearm. Place right hand on ground, in front of chest for support.
Exhale as you raise left arm and shoulder, as well as legs off ground to form a curve. Avoid shifting hips. Inhale as you lower yourself to ground to return to starting position. That’s one rep.
3. Side plank with bend
Works obliques; improves shoulder stability and mobility as well as hip mobility
Get into side plank on left side. Lower hips so they hover a few inches above ground to start.
Exhale as you reach right arm up and overhead to stretch the right side of torso. Inhale to return to starting position. That’s one rep.
4. Kneeling side tilt
Works abs, inner thighs and glutes; improves lateral strength and pelvis stability
Rest left knee on ground and extend right leg to the side, toes pointing forward. Extend arms to the sides, and lean to the left so your head forms a straight line with right leg.
Exhale as you slowly raise arms overhead. Inhale as you lower arms to chest height. Avoid moving torso. That’s one rep.
5. Side plank with twist
Works obliques and upper body; improves shoulder as well as hip mobility and stability
Get into side plank on left side, left hand directly under shoulder and right arm extended to start.
In a smooth motion, reach right hand downwards towards left shin, twisting your torso and hips. Return to starting position. That’s one rep.