Oblique Exercises

Oblique Exercises

The obliques, located at the side of the torso, are primarily stabilizers. There aren't a lot of oblique exercise or movements you do in the gym or in daily life that call for a lot of bending from side to side. Therefore, the obliques (like the stabilizer muscles of the lower back) tire fairly quickly from a lot of full-range exercises and are relatively slow to recover.

There was a time when bodybuilders did a lot of oblique exercises, some of them using substantial amounts of weight. You rarely see successful bodybuilders doing those exercises today because the obliques, like any other muscles, get bigger when you train them with weight, and massive obliques tend to make the waist thicker and take away from the aesthetics of an outstanding V taper.

Of course, the obliques get an isometric workout whenever you do heavy training such as squats or shoulder presses, but since they are only acting as stabilizers and not working through a full range of motion these exercises usually don't cause them to grow the degree that you'd get from doing side bends, for example, holding on to heavy dumbbells. So bodybuilders who train obliques at all tend to stick to nonresistance movements, such as twists or side bends, using no weight, which tighten the muscles without causing them to become too big.

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