While you have probably heard many times before that Pilates will help you to create strong abs and an overall strengthened core, you might have struggled to figure out how it (or any other workout) can help to target your obliques. Oblique are the muscles that run along your sides from the bottom of your ribs to the top of your hips.
There are actually two sets of oblique muscles, the internal and the external, that run in opposite diagonals to one another. They are engaged when you twist your body and when you bend sideways. They are also notoriously hard to work out, but when you learn how to engage them and work on them, you will see a huge improvement in the tightness of your core and the shape of your waist. Here are a few Pilates workouts that can help you to target those oblique muscles:
This is a commonly used move that you might have come across before, but you might not have realised how useful it is for engaging your obliques.
- Starting on your back place your hands behind your head with your elbows stretched out wide.
- Raise your legs off the ground while making sure that your knees remain bent in a tabletop position.
- With your head and chest slightly lifted pull in your right knee towards your left elbow as you twist your upper body to meet it. Keep your elbows wide throughout this. Repeat on the other side.
Side Plank With Hip Dips
This move is fantastic for the obliques, as well as the back and other ab muscles. It also helps to improve stability and can be easily adjusted according to skill or fitness level.
- Lie down on one side and then prop yourself up onto your elbow, palm flat into the ground.
- Stack your feet on top of one another (or bend your knees for more support).
- Lift your hips off the floor and raise your free hand for balance.
- Gradually lower yourself back to the floor and repeat for 10 reps. Repeat on the other side.
Curl Ups With Twist
This move is a great core exercise and adding the twist really targets your oblique muscles.
- Lie supine with your knees bent while your feet are flat on the floor.
- With your arms on the back of your neck (elbows out the sides) or using a small weight, curl your body up while keeping your lower back pressed into the mat and twist to one side.
- Maintain for a few seconds before you lower back down. Repeat on the other side.
These exercises will help to target your oblique muscles, helping you to tone and strengthen your waist. This will help to slim your waist and assist in building deeper core strength, that will improve your overall ability to perform in your daily workout routine.
Pilates exercises target far more muscles than just your obliques – it’s a full-body workout! To learn more about this exercise form, you need to become a Pilates Instructor. For more information on how to do this, please follow this link.