To strengthen your abdominal wall and protect your spine, you don’t just have to do hip lifts or leg raises. There are also some oblique exercises that can work on these areas just as well.
The abdominal wall is the part of your body that connects the upper and lower body parts. During your day to day activities, this area is used in the majority of movements that we do without us even knowing it. This part of your body is important for bulking up, strengthening your core, having good mobility, but also for protecting your spine.
Of course, there are a lot of exercises that you can do to start working on your abs and your lumbar extensions. But did you know that it is also possible to work on them by using your obliques? Oblique crunches for example, are perfect exercises for strengthening the front of this abdominal wall, as well as obviously the obliques. However, these exercises don’t focus on the waist enough and therefore don’t protect your spine.
The Pallof press
Unfortunately for some people, this is a sheathing exercise. The Pallof press gets its name from physiotherapist, John Pallof. Thanks to its lateral movement, which is done while you’re standing (or on your knees), the lumbar and neck aren’t involved in the movement, which guarantees that it is safe. What’s more, the movement is simple, which means that there is little room for error, although you should also pay attention to your technique and form. You’re trying to strengthen your obliques and your entire abdominal core, so you have to keep a constant, upright posture while doing this exercise. But be careful, it’s not as easy as it might seem.
Execution technique: Standing up with your knees slightly bent (or on your knees), bring the cable that should be to your side to your chest. Stretch your arms out in front of your chest and then bring the cable back to your chest. Try to keep your body as still and tight as possible whilst doing this exercise and don’t forget to change sides so you work all your core.
Samuel’s version of the hollow rock
We know quite well that Ebenezer Samuel, one of the leaders of our American colleagues at Men’sHealth.com, likes to create his own little exercises, such as the finisher for your biceps, or even this endless push-up challenge. This time, the American coach has come up with a special and unique way to do the hollow rock. Using his version, you can strengthen your entire abdominal core, work on your balance and also work your obliques of course. But we wouldn’t recommend it for everyone, you have to have a certain level of fitness to be able to do it properly.
Execution technique: With two light weights in hand, do 8 classic hollow rocks. Then hold the position for about four to five seconds. Next, place one arm by your side and do another 8 reps. Hold this position for four to five seconds and switch the position of your arms and do another 8 reps. This circuit is meant to be done three times through and without any breaks. Burning guaranteed.
Check out the video above for more on the perfect exercises to strengthen your core.