You don’t need to be aiming for a six-pack to do oblique crunches! They are actually an excellent exercise for anyone trying to burn fat, build lean muscle and get healthier.
Doing oblique crunches properly ensures that your body is getting the best possible benefit from this exercise. However, you should remember that one exercise is not enough. Oblique crunches should be part of an overall workout plan. A great place to start is with the old school muscle program. Add your oblique crunches to this to really feel the benefits across your body.
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The Benefits of Oblique Crunches
You probably won’t be surprised to learn that oblique crunches work your abdominal muscles. This will improve muscle definition if you are aiming for a six-pack. Depending on where you're starting, you’ll need to adopt the right approach to food if you want to achieve this goal. For a good start try the perfect plate approach to eating.
Oblique crunches engage your abdominal wall muscles and the obliques. This will actually help you to have a slimmer-looking and more defined waist. It can even strengthen your back.
Oblique crunches effectively strengthen your core muscle, providing you with better balance, flexibility, and improving your ability to complete virtually any other exercise. This is the often overlooked benefit that shows just how important it is to add oblique crunches into your routine; especially as this exercise places very little strain on your back.
They will also help you to improve your posture!
How To Do Oblique Crunches Properly
The most important thing to remember when learning and completing oblique crunches is to ensure that you hold the proper form throughout the exercise.
This means keeping your fingertips on the back of your head, rolling your knees from side to side and focusing on your abdominal muscle while you complete the exercise.
You can check out a great video guide to oblique exercises here.
Step 1 – Assume the Position
The first step is to take the standard crunch position on the floor. This means lying on the floor with your back touching the ground and your feet flat against the floor. Your knees will be bent to allow your feet to stay flat.
Now roll onto one side; your lower arm should be straight stretching away from your body (helping you to get your balance and be comfortable). You should now rotate your trunk slightly back; opening it up. In effect, you’ll have created a straight line from your chin through the middle of your thigh and the middle of your calf.
Step 2 – Getting Ready
Before you start crunching, you can move your lower arm in so that your hand rests on your abs. This will allow you to feel them moving as you complete your oblique crunches.
Make sure you are comfortable before you start and place your upper hand behind your head, ideally with your fingers behind your ears. This will provide support and help to ensure your body follows the correct line.
Step 3 – Do the Crunch
Slowly lower your head down to nearly touch the floor. Your chin should be up and needs to remain on the imaginary line through your legs.
When you’re nearly touching the floor bring your head back up. The movement needs to begin in your abs. You’re not looking to simply lift your head up and down.
However, you should be aware that the movement does not need to be large. Squeeze your abs as you do the oblique crunches. You’ll feel your stomach muscles working which means you’re lifting your head and body enough.
Step 4 – Switch Sides
Once you've done your reps on one side, you need to switch positions and put the other side of your body closer to the floor.
This will help to ensure you are working all your muscles equally.
Step 5 – Reps
This is a low movement exercise, so you’ll be looking to do 3 sets of 20 or even 30 reps. You may want to start lower and build up your reps. You can also add weights to the reps in the future as your abs get stronger.
It’s a good idea to make oblique crunches your finishing exercise after you've completed the old school muscle program or an array of core strengthening exercises. This is because it will target the obliques after you've already worked on your core.
As already mentioned this is a great exercise to add in at the end of a workout. In fact, it follows the following exercises perfectly:
- Ab Wheel Roll Outs
This simple exercise can be completed at home or even in the office. It will work all of your abs muscles; both the visible 6 pack abs and the important core muscle behind.
Check it out here!
- Hanging Leg Raises
These are very effective at working your lower abs; it also won’t do any harm to your arm and shoulder muscles!
Check it out here.
- Dumbbell Squat
You can do this without the dumbbells, but it is more effective with the extra weight.
Check out the video instructions here.
- The Plank
When doing this, the secret is to focus on all your muscles and squeeze them all. You’ll feel the effect in your quads, glutes, back and of course your abs.
Check it out here.
- The Bear Crawl
You may not have heard of this one, but it is designed to work your chest, legs, shoulders, and glutes. It will also give your core a serious workout.
Again, you’ll need to make sure you adopt the proper form. Here’s a guide to get you started.
The Power Of Support
By now you should have tried some oblique crunches and perhaps the old school muscle program. If done properly you’ll feel the benefit straight away although you won’t have a visible 6 pack overnight!
The key to success is to create your habit and stick to it. A great way to achieve this is to enlist the support of the Fit Father Project. The project is devoted to helping men achieving their weight loss and muscle building goals. Join the FF30X today and get the support you need to feel inspired just as you can inspire others to reach their own goals.
Oblique crunches are just one small step along this journey.
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