Abdominals – or six pack – tend to be second only to the biceps in the ‘favourite muscle’ competition. In their zeal to develop a calved midsection, people use a whole variety of exercises. Some exercise they use to develop their abs, though, also hit another less-known muscle group, called the obliques. Now, this can either be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your goals and physical dimensions, as I’ll explain in this article. In light of this, it’s also important for you to know which ab exercises also hit the obliques.
Why would I say some people may want to avoid hitting the obliques?
After all, surely any muscle worked is good, right? Well, yes and no. It really depends what you are training for and your physical proportions. Let me explain. The obliques are the muscles which run up the sides of the body from the hips up to the serratus anterior muscles. Now, some people are blessed (or cursed) with a tiny waist. For physique competitors, a tiny waist is a Godsend, because it enhances the wanted V shape all the more. Physique competitors which are wider at the waist, developing the obliques will diminish the effect of the V taper, making the physique look more square. If you are very narrow at the waist, you may be able to develop the obliques to some degree and still retain an impressive V taper.
Those who train for strength or sporting performance, well, in this case there really is no such thing as a useless muscle, and obliques should be trained.
Now you know the why and wherefore, I’ll tell you which ab exercises hit the obliques.
Basically – all of them; however… the ones which really hit the obliques are any which involve a twist at the waist. Twisting motions really emphasize the obliques. Also, any which involve a direct bend to the side at the waist – again, this is obliques.