Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Great Article From Livestrong.com about finding and correctly using your oblique abdomen muscles! I love how they point out that you can flex your oblique muscles anytime--standing in line is a great one!


How to Flex Obliques
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Obliques typically refer to a group of two muscle sections, the external obliques and the internal obliques. The external oblique is a thin, broad muscle that stretches across either side of the abdomen. The internal oblique is located directly below the external, its fibers running nearly perpendicular. In most humans, fat deposits cover the oblique muscles, rendering them invisible. With dramatic fat loss and muscle toning, you can make your obliques visible. Flexing the obliques will aid in toning them and increasing their definition.


Flexing the obliques is not always as easy as it sounds, even if you know where they are located. Engage your abdominal region and suck your belly button in toward your spine. You should feel a contraction in the muscles across the front of your stomach. Hold this contraction and slowly bend to the right side, pulling your ribcage toward your hipbone. The flexion you feel across the right side of your abdomen is your obliques. Practice this to either side until flexing your obliques comes natural.


Sit in a chair with your back straight or stand with your feet hip width apart, shoulders back. Gently repeat the flexion that pulls your ribcage toward your hips, allowing as little movement as possible. Repeat this, flexing the right side, then the left, for about 30 seconds. Stop the back-and-forth flexion and rest a moment. Flex the obliques on the right side of your torso as though you will continue the back-and-forth flexion. However, this time, do not allow your torso to move, flexing the obliques only as much as your immobile abdomen allows. Practice in front of a mirror to ensure your abdomen is not moving. You might notice the side of your stomach pulling in or straightening as you flex; this is caused by the tightening affect the muscles have on the waistline.


Once the flexion comes natural to your muscle memory, you can do it anywhere. Any time you are sitting or standing, you can flex your obliquees, such as while waiting in line at the grocery store, talking on the phone, making breakfast or working at your desk. Flexing your obliques is a light isometric exercise that will help tone and strengthen the muscles. In addition, flexing them intentionally during an oblique exercise will make it more effective and will burn more calories.


Exercising your obliques can build mass, increase strength and allow you to flex the muscle group easily. Side dips, trunk twists, twisting crunches, side planks, knee-ups and many other exercises will tone the obliques over time. Before beginning any exercises, consult a certified physical trainer or ask your physician to show you proper form. Executing the exercises improperly can be less effective or cause injury. In addition, speak with your physician about altering your diet to support increased physical activity.


Article reviewed by OmahaTyppo Last updated on: Nov 20, 2011

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/551406-how-to-flex-obliques/#ixzz1eRwEP0nr

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