A toned-up six-pack has always been a symbol of an athletic body, so it's not surprising that most trainers are constantly chasing that ideal. What is unfortunately all too often forgotten in this context, however, is the importance of having pronounced lateral abdominal muscles for the appearance of the characteristic washboard abdomen. Due to this obvious neglect of an important muscle part, a majority of amateur athletes will never reach the perfectly defined six-pack. In order to achieve your goal, this article will introduce you to some of the exercises that will help you achieve your goal lateral abdominal muscles maximum load and build up.

Lateral abdominal muscles are often neglected

Unfortunately, the information found in numerous fitness magazines far too often suggests that the training of the abdominal muscles consists exclusively of crunches, sit-ups and other exercises that primarily address the anterior abdominal wall musculature (Musculus rectus abdominis and Musculus pyramidalis). Especially if you have the goal of developing an aesthetically designed and strong abdomen, you should also put your training focus on the lateral abdominal muscles (abdominal external oblique muscle, abdominal internal muscle and traversal abdominis muscle), as these not only contribute to a complete overall picture but also play an important role in the stabilization of your upper body. In addition, the lateral abdominal muscles are the antagonists of the lower-lying spinal musculature and thus help to avoid malposition, such as avoiding the hollow cross that is widespread in our modern "sitting society". The fact that lateral abdominal muscles count as respiratory aid muscles in humans makes the training of this part of the body especially interesting for endurance athletes, who can thus improve their individual oxygen supply in the area of ​​greatest effort.

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Hanging side kneeling lift & windshield wiper

Admittedly, the "hanging lateral knee lift" is an exercise that is difficult to handle, but there is hardly a second that effectively loads the lateral abdominal muscles. In order to perform the so-called "Oblique Hanging Knee Lifts", you will need a chin-up bar and, ideally, loops in which you can hang your elbows, so that your arms are relieved. As soon as you have taken the basic position and your body is under tension, you turn your hips to about 30 ° to the side and pull your knees as high as possible. At the apex of the exercise, you hold the muscle tension for two to three seconds and then release your knees again. For the purpose of avoiding mistakes, you should pay particular attention to performing the exercise without momentum, otherwise the effectiveness of the exercise will decrease rapidly. Another equally demanding exercise, which can only be performed with a chin-up bar, are the so-called "windscreen wipers", which due to the existing risk of injury are only recommended for experienced athletes. Before you start the first repetition, pull yourself up on the chin-up bar so that your upper body is parallel to the floor. Now you also pull your legs up to head height at a 90 ° angle and start to rotate with your hips while your upper body continues to float parallel to the ground. Again, if you work with momentum, wasting your time trying to gain impressive lateral abdominals!

Lateral upper body lift & Wood Chops on cable pull for strong lateral abdominal muscles

A much simpler exercise is the lateral upper body lift on the "Roman Chair", which is no less effective for your lateral abdominal muscles. Similar to hyperextensions associated with back training, you position your upper body upright in the unit, except that you bend your trunk sideways. In any case you should make sure that you use the maximum range of motion and do not work with momentum, so that the lateral abdominal muscles can be used optimally. To make the exercise more challenging, you can also use an extra weight to help, which makes the movement much more challenging. In our latitudes much less common are the so-called "Wood Chops", which are performed on the cable and make your lateral abdominal muscles to burn. To get lateral abdominal muscles like a Canadian woodgrain, place the cable at waist height, grasp the handle with both hands, turn sideways to the device, and extend your arms as if you were about to strike with an ax. Now pass your arms sideways without momentum on the body, taking care to keep them stretched at all times to best meet your lateral abdominal muscles. After about 15 to 12 repetitions you change sides.

Conclusion - Lateral abdominal muscles need training

So if you want to have perfect lateral abdominal muscles, as part of your abdominal training you should be careful to do the right exercises so that the focus is not just on the straight portion of your abdominal muscles. Should you follow this advice, you will not only come closer to your dream of the six-pack, but also put off bad posture and the closely related wear and tear of the spine in the best possible way.


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