If you had to name the two most forgotten muscles in most men’s training regimen, lower abdominals & obliques will be somewhere on the list.
Most guys (and gals) treat these 2 muscle groups like their mother-in-law coming into town; they avoid them at all cost!
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Making a concerted effort towards building your lower abs and obliques will put you ahead in the “I want a six-pack” pack.
What I mean is by building these 2 muscle groups, your six-pack will be more defined. Nonetheless, these two muscle groups are more than cosmetic, beach muscles.
They play an important role in maintaining balance within your physique. Here is why it is important to efficiently build each muscle group (along with exercises to work them).
The Importance of Building Efficient Obliques
Enables you to twist or turn your torso
Strong obliques help support the back; thus alleviating back issues
Slims your waist
Exercises That Build Efficient Obliques
When it comes to building strong obliques, it is about quality, not quantity. Therefore, you don’t need to do endless sets of 100 reps to build them. Instead, doing between 8 to 20 reps for 3-4 sets should work. Here are 2 exercises that will build strong, efficient obliques:
If you’ve seen any of those Rocky movies, you know what this exercise is. While you may not have a boxing match to get ready for, these will prepare your obliques like that’s the case!
How to do Twisting Crunches:
Get into sit-up position on the floor with your hands behind your head
While having your feet secured, bring your right elbow to your left knee and lower back down; Repeat with your left elbow to right knee
Repeat for predetermined reps
Note: Squeeze your abs hard as possible while coming up on each side
Side Planks with Knee Pulls
This exercise is perfect, especially if you’ve been nodding off lately while doing regular side planks.
How to do Side Planks with Knee Pulls:
Start by supporting bodyweight on left arm, while raising the right arm straight up in the air. (Raising the opposite arm stretches out and isolates the obliques)
Stagger your feet so that the top foot is in front of your bottom foot.
While keeping your body perfectly straight, bring your bottom knee to your chest. (Hold your knee in your chest for 1 second and lower leg back to position.)
Repeat for predetermined amount of reps.
When finished, repeat movement by supporting bodyweight on right arm with left arm in the air
The Importance of Building Efficient Lower Abs
Easier time giving birth (for women of course)
Helps flattens the stomach
Improves protection and prevents sagging of the internal organs
Exercises That Build Efficient Lower Abs
In actuality, the lower abs is a part of the entire rectus abdominal muscle (i.e. six-pack). Nonetheless, there are exercises that specifically target the lower abs. Like obliques, the lower abs just needs 3-4 sets of 8-20 reps. These 2 exercises that will help build efficient lower abs.
While most think of this as a cardio exercise, it’s also an effective lower-ab builder.
How to do Mountain Climbers:
Shoulder width apart, place your hands on floor (in a push-up position)
Keeping the push-up position, put one leg forward underneath torso while keeping other leg straight
Alternate legs back and forth in a rapid while maintaining stability in upper body (as if you are running in place)
Keep doing the movement for allotted interval time(example: doing 15 second mountain climbers followed by 30 second rest)
Doing crunches in reverse is a great way to target your lower ab muscles.
How to do Reverse Crunch:
Lie on your back with hands tuck under your butt
With your legs raised in the air, bring them back until thighs are touching belly
Hold position for 1-2 seconds and slowly lower back to starting position
Repeat for predetermined amount of reps
In conclusion, that is why it is important to build obliques and lower ab muscles. So start incorporating these exercises into your workout regimen if you desire to be ahead of the pack….six-pack that is!