Anytime you twist during your typical ab workouts, you hit your side abs—aka your obliques—a little. But in the latest episode of Good Moves, instructor Brian Spencer of East River Pilates gives them all the attention they deserve in a sweat session where they’re the star of the show.
Oblique core workouts are a favorite of Spencer. “I love working my obliques. They help to support healthy twisting of the spine, among many other things,” he says. In addition, strengthening your core can reduce low back pain, provide stability and help with balance, prevent injuries, and generally help your body move better. So aside from strengthening your muscles, doing this 10-minute session regularly can give your general health and well-being a boost, too.
“I love working my obliques. They help to support healthy twisting of the spine, among many other things.” —Brian Spencer, Pilates instructor
Throughout the Pilates-style oblique core workout, you’ll be doing small movements that make a big impact. Take knee side plank dips, for instance. Even though it’s a modified, gentler version, it still digs deep into your obliques. “Side planking is so good for helping us support the spine as we strengthen those side bodies,” says Spencer. And doing an add-on—like a thread the needle, in this case—only helps you out even more. “It helps us get a little bit of mid-back mobility while we’re strongly stabilizing through that supporting side.”
There are a lot of other ways Spencer targets your side muscles during this oblique core workout, too. You’ll light up your muscles with toe taps and leg extensions, side bends, tiny twists, and angled roll-ups. It’s safe to say your obliques will be sorer than ever before.
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