When it comes to toning the muscles around the tummy, people focus on crunches which target the rectus abdomen. However, here we will focus on exercises that cover side abdominal muscles, also called external obliques and transverse. People who have issues related to the spine or other problems can seek professional advice before starting the workout.
Side knee tuck (standing)
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointed outwards. Bend your elbows and put your hands behind your head. Bend sideways at the waist, bringing your knee up and your elbow down simultaneously. Return to the start position and repeat on the other side.
Wide squat side crunch
Take a wide stance with your toes pointed out. Lower your body in a wide-squat position. Bend your arms at the elbow to place your palms behind your head. Stay in the squat position, bend on your right side, and bring your right elbow towards your right knee. Return to the centre and crunch to the left.
Walking lunge with rotation
Stand straight with your feet together and your arms out in the front. Lunge forward with your left leg until your thigh is parallel to the ground. Then twist your torso over your left thigh. Stand again, twisting your torso back to the centre. Step forward with the right leg, repeating the movement.
Lie on your back on the ground with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Arms should be down on the sides with palms facing inwards. Lift your head and upper back off the ground. Reach to your left side, tapping your heel with your left hand. Repeat this on the right side — as if you are doing side crunches.
(Note: Please seek expert advice before starting a new routine)
(The writer is ACSM and Yoga Alliance certified personal and group trainer)
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