The oblique muscles are situated along the sides of the torso. These muscles are composed of two separate muscle groups, which include the internal and external obliques. Both the external and internal obliques work to support the bending and rotation of your torso. Working out oblique muscles requires specific movements, while eliminating love handles from the waist requires regular cardiovascular exercise.
Dumbbell Russian Twist on a Stability Ball
The dumbbell Russian twist on a stability ball isolates the oblique muscles while fatiguing this muscle group through the use of added resistance. While holding a dumbbell in your hands, sit on a stability ball. Carefully walk your feet forward while simultaneously leaning back until your shoulders are supported by the ball. Your buttocks and lower back are off the ball. Position your feet wider than your shoulders for stability, and hold the weight with both hands directly above your chest. With your arms fully extended, turn your torso to the right until your right shoulder is resting on the ball. Carefully rotate your upper body back to the starting position and repeat the movement on the opposite side. During the movement, keep your arms straight and perpendicular to your torso. Repeat eight to 12 repetitions.
Bent-Knee Lying Twist
The bent-knee lying twist is an intermediate- to advanced-level exercise. Lower your body to the floor and lie on your back. Extend both arms out so they are in a straight line with the shoulders. Place your palms on the floor and lift your legs off the ground. Bend your knees so a 90-degree angle is created from your upper thigh to your lower leg. Keeping your abdominals contracted, lower your legs to the right side until your right thigh touches the floor. Carefully raise the legs back to the starting position and repeat the movement on the left side. Aim to keep your legs together throughout the entire movement. Repeat for a total of 10 to 15 repetitions.
Dumbbell Side Bend
The dumbbell side bend is designed to fatigue oblique muscles through the use of weighted resistance. Grab a dumbbell with your left hand and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the dumbbell by your left side so it is resting against your left thigh while your right hand is resting against the right thigh. With your chest and head facing forward, carefully bend your upper body to the left by hinging at the waist. Stop the motion when you feel a stretch in your right oblique. Return to the starting position and repeat the movement on the right side. One repetition equals four stops: bend, center, bend, center. Complete five to eight repetitions before switching the dumbbell to the right hand.
To eliminate love handles, or fat deposits, from the midsection you must engage in cardiovascular exercise. While isolating the oblique muscles strengthens and defines the sides of the abdominals, research outlined in the University of New Mexico’s essay “Super Abs Resource Manual” found performing abdominal-isolating exercises does not reduce abdominal fat. To eliminate body fat, engage in a minimum of 150 minutes of moderately intense cardiovascular exercise such as brisk walking, water aerobics or bicycling on relatively flat terrain. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests increasing weekly aerobic activity to 300 minutes of moderately intense or 75 minutes of vigorously intense exercise along with two days of full-body strength training for greater health benefits. Vigorously intense exercise includes jogging, swimming laps or riding a bicycle on uneven terrain.
- George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images