Abs And Obliques!

I happen to have genetics (thank God!) for abs, so they usually do not need a lot of work. If you are somebody that does have trouble with them, then you might have to hit them more.

Let's admit it, we all want to have a nice six pack for the summer, right? Some of us are even worried about the competition that you may have coming up and want those obliques to be shredded.

Obliques are the muscles on each side of your torso and look like fingers when dieted down. Well I am here to help you do that. I was reading one of my most recent Flex magazines and read an article about abs and obliques.

It said that people getting ready for a competition expected their abs and obliques to come in with the last few weeks of their diet. The fact is, if you are a teen that rarely ever works out those obliques, then they will not be there when you want them to be.

Core & Abdominal Training: Get Great Abs! Core & Abdominal Training: Get Great Abs!
Abdominal training is very misunderstood. Many people place a lot of emphasis on abs without understanding how the abs function or why they are even training in a certain way. Let's explore the correct way to train abs for the results that you want!
[ Click here to learn more. ]

The obliques have to be worked just like the abs. Now I used to do abs about 3 times a week, I would never do obliques. However, when I decided to do the Great Lakes Classic I started to do them.

I would hit the abs 3 times a week and then obliques on two of those days. Just like I said, in the last few weeks of my diet they began to show. Now though I really do not need to do abs but more than once every two weeks in order to keep them in good shape.

I happen to have genetics (thank God!) for abs so they usually do not need a lot of work. If you are somebody that does have trouble with them, then you might have to hit them more.

Shrink Your Stomach To Reveal Your Sixpack! Shrink Your Stomach To Reveal Your Sixpack!
While trying to achieve that clearly defined six pack during the course of a lean-down program, it is usually the goal to preserve as much muscle mass as possible, while simultaneously reducing the level of bodyfat and water retention.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

Ab Workout

Well, here is the workout that I would recommend for someone who is looking to get those abs and obliques in shape.

Roman Chair Crunch

The first exercise that I hit is for the abs, more specifically the upper abs. This exercise is known as Roman Chair crunches. If your gym does not have a Roman Chair Machine, then you can do these sitting backwards on a hyperextension machine.

Roman Chair Crunch Roman Chair Crunches
Click Image To Enlarge.
Roman Chair Crunches (Using Roman Chair Machine).

With your feet securely tucked underneath the pad, lay back so that you are parallel with the ground. Now slowly crunch up so that you feel you're abdominal tightens and then release slowly back to the start position.

Decline Crunch

The second exercise that I like to do is crunches on a decline bench. Decline Crunches are performed by securing yourself on a decline bench and with just your lower back touching the bench.

Click Image To Enlarge.
Decline Crunch.

Using your abs, crunch until your lower back is off the pad and then slowly return back to the start position. It is important that your movement is controlled and that you are not swinging like a monkey.

Seated Leg Tucks

The third and last movement that I do for my abs is known as the Seated Leg Tucks. This can be performed by sitting crosswise on a bench and securing yourself by holding the sides of the bench. Once you do that, pull your knees up to your chest. The movement begins with you lowering your torso as you straighten out your legs, this has to be done at the same time.

With you now stretched out slowly bring your knees back into your chest as you pull your chest up to meet them. You must keep your abs tight during the entire movement. Breathing is done by exhaling when you are in the tuck position.

Oblique Workout

The obliques are the next muscles I like to hit. While I do this my serratus and intercostals are also worked. These are the muscles that are right above the obliques.

Oblique Crunch

The first oblique exercise, Oblique Crunches, that I'll explain will require a hyperextension machine. This time you will have to secure yourself so that you are on your side parallel with the ground.

I will explain it with you doing the right side first. Lying on your left side on the hyperextension machine, place your left hand on your right oblique and your right elbow behind your head. Now, with your oblique, crunch your body up and toward your legs.

Click Image To Enlarge.
Oblique Crunches (Shown On Floor).

Crunch it does not mean bring it up all the way, this will take the stress off the obliques. Once you have done the crunch, slowly bring your torso back down to the start position.

Cable Crunch

The other oblique exercise that I like to perform is the Cable Crunch to the side. This is done the same way as regular cable crunch. I will explain. Grabbing the rope attachment for the cable and getting on a short stack of weights attach the rope to the shortest stack in the gym. Place the pin in the stack to where you will be able to do about 20 easily.

Bringing tension to the cable pull yourself away from the stack and get on your knees (if there is not a short stack in the gym you can perform these on a lat machine, you will just have to stand in stead of getting on your knees). Place each end of the rope on each side of your head, near your ears. Now instead of facing the stack head on, tilt yourself a little bit to the left so your body is going to be crunching with the obliques.

Click Image To Enlarge.
Cable Crunch.

Slowly crunch the weight down until you feel your obliques taking the stress. Once you feel this flex them and then go back up slowly, again exhale as you tuck. Once you have performed the required amount of reps turn your body so you are slanted to the right to hit the other side.

Workout Summary

  • Roman Chair Crunches - 2 sets x 12 reps
  • Decline Crunches - 3 x 15
  • Seated Leg Tucks - 3 x 15
  • Oblique Crunches (on a hyperextension machine) - 3 x 15
    Cable Crunches for obliques - 3 x 15

Click Here For A Printable Log Of This Routine.

I usually perform this about once a week, however if you are really looking to tear it up, you can hit this about 3 times a week and do obliques 2 of those days. With a good diet and lot of intensity you should be seeing some good results!

Remember, though these things take time, stick with them and you will get those abs looking like they have been etched out of rock. Always remember to train like a warrior!

Aaron Ciak