Having a strong core is key to body stability and translating strength from the ground through your legs to your upper body. The core is used to hold your body steady, rotate and accelerate forces. The core requirement depends on the function you are performing. If you are throwing a ball, your core must rotate and translate power from your legs up to your hand. If you are holding a plank or fixed position, your core is used to stabilise and stop unwanted rotations.
The oblique crunch is an excellent exercise to train the obliques, strengthening the predominant rotators. But what are the obliques and how do you train them? Yes, you can gain incredible strength using resistance bands.
The obliques are the muscles either side of your abdominals. They are called the obliques as they lay at an oblique angle to the abdominals.
They are responsible for controlling the twist of the trunk, compression to each side and pulling the chest downwards. The obliques are key to maximising a powerful punch or throw and resisting unwanted rotations.
The oblique crunch
The oblique crunch is one of the best ways to isolate the obliques. There are other exercises which are extremely beneficial, like the pendulum crunch. However these can bring in other muscle groups which may take over the emphasis. Isolating the obliques means you can really focus on targeting the correct muscle groups. It differs from a normal abdominal crunch as the body movement is not directly forward-backward, but at an angle.
How to do the oblique crunch
Use a Dynamic Band to increase resistance and maximise the concentric contraction.
Mount the Anchor at a high anchor point. Grab the handle of the Dynamic Band and walk away from the anchor point until there is tension on the band.
Turn side-on to the band, with the handle in both hands.
Lean towards the anchor point to stretch the leading side – this is the starting point. Contract the leading side for an oblique crunch.
Repeat this for 10-15 reps, then turn around and repeat on the opposite side.
For more exercises on increasing your rotation power click here.