Examples of Isometric Exercises of the Oblique Muscles

Isometrics can help shape and tone your entire core.
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Isometric exercises are a way of toning muscles through static contractions. Traditionally, isometrics that improve the abdominals are performed using your own body weight as resistance. Isometrics to target the oblique muscles can be especially beneficial, as the obliques support the spine and stabilize your torso. Performing oblique-building isometric exercises two to three times per week can result in improved appearance and strength. People with heart conditions or high blood pressure should consult their primary care physician before starting an isometric routine, as some isometric exercises can elevate blood pressure.

The Side Plank

Side plank tones the arms, legs, obliques and lower back.

The side plank works the internal and external oblique muscles, as well as the transverse abdominus. This move helps reduce love handles and the dreaded muffin top. Start on an exercise mat on your hands and knees. Extend your legs out behind you so you are in a pushup position. Make sure your arms are straight and under your shoulders. Gently pivot to the right side, supporting your weight on your right arm. Stack your legs so your thighs and feet are together. If you cannot hold your own body weight with both legs extended, drop your right knee to the floor. Hold this position for 30 seconds, or as long as possible. Return to your hands and knees and rest for a few seconds, and then perform the move on the left side.

Stomach Flattener

Stomach-flattening exercises can trim inches off your waist.

Stomach flatteners that involve isometrics work all muscles of the abdominals, including the obliques. Sit in a high-backed chair with your back straight. Take a deep breath and contract your stomach inward, almost as if you are trying to pull your belly button into your spine. Hold your stomach sucked inward in this position as you begin to breathe in and out. Do not allow the stomach to relax. As you breathe out, slightly rotate your pelvis upward toward your stomach. This is a very small movement. Rotate and release the pelvis 25 times, and then release the stomach muscles.

Body Extension

An isometric body extension elongates and improves the strength of the obliques and the muscles of the lower back. Start on your hands and knees on an exercise mat. Make sure your knees are hip-distance apart and directly under your hips; your arms should be straight and under your shoulders. Lift your right arm and stretch it directly in front of you. Lift your left leg and stretch it out behind you. Hold for 30 seconds, and then return to the start position and rest for a moment. Repeat with the left arm and right leg. Lifting opposite limbs forces your obliques to fire to support your body weight.

Oblique Side Twist

The oblique side twist, or ballerina twist, works the obliques by contracting and holding the muscles as you gently use your own body weight to support the twist in an isometric hold. Begin on an exercise mat sitting with your legs stretched out in front of you. Point your toes and rock your heels outward so your feet form a small V-shape. Your legs should be together with little distance between your thighs. Tuck your pelvis slightly, rocking it upward toward your stomach. Lean your lower body back to the point where you feel your abs and obliques engage to hold you in that position. Place your forearms and elbows on the floor with your palms facing down and resting on the floor; your arms should be supporting the weight of your upper body. Shift your body weight into your left forearm, lift your right arm straight overhead and gently twist slightly to the right side. Relax out of the twist back to the leaned-back position with your hips tucked, and repeat with the other arm. Perform 10 reps, alternating on each side. Rest, and repeat for another 10 reps.

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