Lying oblique leg raises is a perfect exercise for toning up the oblique muscles which are commonly referred to as the “love handles”. Not only is it an effective exercise but it doesn’t require any expensive exercise equipment to get a great abdominal workout. You can do this exercise practically anywhere since all you need is a gym mat. While it mainly targets the oblique muscles, it also works your core and abdominal muscles and helps to strengthen the area very well.
Exercise Instructions: Lie on your right side on a mat and place your left leg over your right, while placing your right hand in a comfortable spot and your left hand behind your head. Bring your torso and left leg toward each other as you pull with your obliques. Squeeze for a one-count and return to the starting position.
Muscles Targeted: Lying oblique leg raises trains your abdominals and obliques. The oblique muscle is a pair of muscles which extends from lower ribs to the hips on either side of the torso. These muscles perform a variety of different functions including flexing and bending the torso forward and sideways, rotating the torso to both the right and left, and helping to provide stability to the hips and lower back. Along with these primary muscles, this exercise also targets the front section of thighs and hip flexors as secondary muscles.
Why This Exercise is Important: Most abdominal exercises give their attention to the rectus abdominis but it is necessary to spend some of your energy on your obliques. This is why strengthening your oblique muscles is as important as working on your middle and upper abdominals. Oblique muscles help in bending and twisting movements and strong core muscles help to improve posture. Doing this exercise will help strengthen your midsection but to remove the extra layer of fat on your stomach you need to include cardiovascular exercise into your overall workout plan and eat a clean diet with lots of healthy foods.
Things To Avoid: There are a few things to keep in mind when performing this exercise. Keep your lower arm in a comfortable position either by keeping it on your waist or by extending it out onto the floor. Second, breathe properly while performing this exercise. Exhale when you lift your leg and inhale when you lower it. Make sure your shoulders, hips and neck fall into a straight line when you lower your leg. Switch sides evenly between sets.
Reps and Sets: The number of sets and reps depends upon your stamina and level of endurance. For beginners it is recommended that they start with lower reps and then advance to more reps in order to get better results. Start off with 3 sets of 10-12 reps. For a tougher workout you can do 4-5 sets of 25-30 reps. The most important thing is to maintain balance between each side to get the best results from this workout.
Other Exercises To Use: There are variations that can be added to this exercise which can provide additional benefits. You can attach ankle weights in order to add some resistance to your workout. There are various other exercises to strengthen your oblique muscles like flutter kick oblique crunches, fingers to heel oblique touchers and barbell oblique side bends. View our extensive database of exercise guides for a comprehensive list of exercises that target the abs.