If you’re looking to build a stronger core, you’ll have to focus on more than just your six-pack muscles.
Your obliques, which run along the sides of your core, are majorly important. The external abdominal oblique muscles are actually the largest of all your ab muscles — so if you ignore them to focus on crunching away your rectus abdominus, your core routine will be far from efficient and effective.
The oblique muscles are tasked with a variety of functions. They help you bend your torso to the side, help rotate your torso to the left and right, and perhaps most important, actually act to resist your torso from rotating, which helps to stabilize and protect your spine. If you’re moving, you need these muscles. If you’re aiming for high-level performance, you need them to be strong.
The following 25 exercises train your obliques in all the ways they function, by using uneven loads, instability, or rotation. The result: You’ll challenge your obliques from every angle. Tack on these moves in your workout as is appropriate, or pair three to five of them together for a killer oblique circuit.
And for a complete fitness program that will not only build your abs muscles, but also melt the flab that covers them, try Anarchy Abs from Men’s Health. You’ll get five 30-minute calorie-torching workouts that employ a unique blend of metabolic training, traditional strength training, and gymnastics fundamentals to strip away fat from head to toe.