Oblique Exercises With Dumbbells

Dumbbell training can improve oblique function

Dumbbell training can improve oblique function

Your obliques work with other muscles in your torso and shoulders to rotate your body. Because these muscles are connected to other nearby muscles via fasciae and nerves, it would not be practical to isolate your obliques when you train. However, to get your torso more toned and stronger, fitness author Juan Carlos Santana suggests that you perform full-body exercises that move your torso and shoulders in various directions, such as pushing, pulling and turning. Dumbbells can be used to strengthen your body, and they are easy to learn and handle.

Standing Shoulder Press With Turn

Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart, and hold a 15-pound dumbbell in each hand over your shoulders. Keep your elbows close to your ribs.

Exhale and press the weights over your head, turning your torso to your right at the same time. Pivot your left hip and leg toward your right. Inhale and return to the starting position.

Inhale and lower the weights to the starting position. Perform two to three sets of 10 to 15 reps.

Bent-Over Row

Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and bend forward at your waist with your knees slightly bent. Carry a 15- to 20-pound dumbbell in each hand with your arms should be hanging down below your torso.

Exhale and pull the weights toward your ribs with your elbows close to your body. Pull your shoulder blades together, and do not round your spine.

Hold this position for one second and lower the weights back to the starting position. Perform two to three sets of 10 to 15 reps.

Chest Press on Stability Ball

Lie your upper back and head on top of a stability ball with your feet on the ground about hip-width apart. Position the 15- or 20-pound dumbbell in each hand near your shoulders with your elbows close to your ribs.

Exhale and push the weights away from you while keeping your hip level with your torso. Hold this position for one second.

Inhale and lower the weights to the starting position. Perform two to three sets of 10 to 15 reps.

Items you will need

  • Two 15-pound dumbbells
  • Two 20-pound dumbbells
  • Stability ball

Tip

  • Vary the exercises by performing with one weight instead of two. This can reveal if one side of your body is stronger or more coordinated than the other side. If so, physical therapist Gray Cook, author of "Athletic Body in Balance," suggests that you perform an extra set on the weaker or less coordinated side.
 

References

  • "The Essence of Program Design"; Juan Carlos Santana
  • "Athletic Body in Balance"; Gray Cook

About the Author

Nick Ng has been writing fitness articles since 2003, focusing on injury prevention and exercise strategies. He has covered health for "MiaBella" magazine. Ng received his Bachelor of Arts in communications from San Diego State University in 2001 and has been a certified fitness coach with the National Academy of Sports Medicine since 2002.

Photo Credits

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