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The oblique muscles, which attach on each side of the abdomen at the lower and upper edges, respectively, are often neglected by exercisers in pursuit of six-pack abs. But strong obliques are important in helping you keep your balance and allowing you to transfer energy from your trunk to your arms and legs.
Try this simple sit-up variation:
Lie on your back with the left knee bent and left foot flat on the floor. Place the right ankle on top of the left thigh just below the knee and let your right knee relax outward. Place your hands behind your neck with your elbows on the floor. Lift your head and shoulders off the floor and rotate to the right in a fluid motion until your left shoulder blade is just off the floor, keeping your elbow in line with your shoulder. Hold for five seconds and slowly return to the starting position. Repeat for two sets of 8-10 repetitions.
Similar BOSU ball exercises also work the obliques.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|