Muscles Targeted: The fingers to heel oblique touchers target the obliques which are the muscles running parallel from just under your rib cage to the pubic area. This pair of muscles is composed of the external and the internal obliques. The former is composed of the top muscle, while the latter is the muscle underneath it. The oblique muscles are more commonly known as the love handles.
Exercise Instructions: Begin by lying on your back on a mat on the floor with both feet flat on the floor as well. Keep both arms laid flat on the floor by your sides. Start this exercise by having one hand reach to touch your heel on the same side. The motion will be similar to a regular crunch. Repeat this step on the opposite side. This exercise is designed to target your oblique muscles.
Why This Exercise is Important: Although toning up the stomach and love handles is the number one reason people go to the gym, they often overlook the oblique muscles in their quest for a lean and sexy stomach. Other than aesthetics, oblique muscles have a very important function in the body. They act like a lever allowing you to bend and twist your core. People with weak obliques tend to have poor posture because there is a lack of strong support in the middle of their core. Not only does poor posture look bad, it can also cause back issues. The fingers to heel oblique touchers is an exercise that will strengthen your core extremely well.
Things To Avoid: As with all abdominal exercises, form is very important when performing the fingers to heel oblique touchers. Focus on technique over the number of reps you can do every workout. Improper posture can cause injury, so pay attention to what you are doing at all times. Lie flat on your back and remember to keep it relaxed as you move from side to side. Avoid hunching forward or curling your shoulders. Don’t use momentum to propel yourself, otherwise you might just be swinging wildly about without engaging your core muscles. Do not draw power from your back or your neck. Instead, tighten your core and use it to move your body. This exercise utilizes your upper body, so movement in your lower body should be kept to a minimum. To do this, build a strong triangle by placing both feet firmly on the mat and spreading your legs a little. One repetition is composed of one twist on your left and another on your right. Always return to the starting position after every repetition before proceeding to the next repetition. Finally, raise your back a little when doing the movement so as to create additional tension on your abs.
Reps and Sets: For beginners, do not obsess on the quantity of reps until you master the form and technique. Start with with 8-10 reps for 2-3 sets and then work yourself to 20-25 reps for 3-5 sets. Don’t rush each movement and always feel the contraction in your abs.
Other Exercises To Use: For a complete abdominal workout, combine the fingers to heel oblique touchers with bent knee ab hip raises for your lower abdominals, and abdominal butt raises for your middle and upper abs. View our extensive database of exercise guides for a comprehensive list of exercises that target the abs.