Why Does This Hurt Wednesdays? Edition 5

It's been requested, you guys want it. So here it is-- delving into the world of abdominal exercises.  First up is Obliques.

What are known to most obliques are actually made up of both internal obliques and external obliques. The internal obliques run under the external obliques but run on top of the transverses abdominus (another abdominal muscle-- who knew there were so many right?)

The obliques help with various motions of your trunk (hips to shoulders) as well as protect your organs and back  and I like to think of them as anatomical waist cinchers.

Here's a diagram from the good old inter web of the abdominals to show you how they are layered:

abdominals

Internal Oblique

Origin: 
  1. Thoracolumbar fascia ( fascia covering the deeper muscles of the back
  2. Iliac Crest (part of your pelvis-- posterior (back) and superior (top)
Insertion:
  1. Lower 3 or 4 ribs and costal cartilages
Action:
  1. Add strength to abdominal wall because of various fiber directions
  2. Protection of abdominal contents
  3. Hold in abdominal contents
  4. Support posture – lumbar stabilization especially via transverses abdominus and attachment to thoracolumbar fascia
  5. Forced expiration ( exhaling quickly)
  6. Bowel movement – muscles compress abdominal contents
  7. Movement of trunk
    1. Simple flexion (bending forward at the hips)
    2. Pelvic tilts
    3. Oblique flexion or rotation: internal oblique on one side and external oblique on the other side work together to create a motion-- aka turning towards the right side while keeping your hips and lower body facing forward

External Oblique

Origin: 

Lower 8 ribs

Insertion:
  1. Aponeurosis fuses at linea alba (AKA that line right down the middle of your abs separating your 6 pack..... you all have it FYI)
  2. Iliac crest (part of your pelvis-- posterior (back) and superior (top)
  3. ASIS (part of your pelvis-- what you think/feel when you feel your "hip" bones sticking out)
  4. pubic tubercle (part of your pelvis in the front of your body)
  5. pubic crest (part of your pelvis in the front of your body)
  6. pubic symphysis (part of your pelvis in the front of your body)
Action: 

Yes this is the same as above but repeating it so there is no confusion.

  1. Add strength to abdominal wall because of various fiber directions
  2. Protection of abdominal contents
  3. Hold in abdominal contents
  4. Support posture – lumbar stabilization especially via transverses abdominus and attachment to thoracolumbar fascia
  5. Forced expiration ( exhaling quickly)
  6. Bowel movement – muscles compress abdominal contents
  7. Movement of trunk
    1. Simple flexion (bending forward at the hips)
    2. Pelvic tilts
    3. Oblique flexion or rotation: internal oblique on one side and external oblique on the other side work together to create a motion-- aka turning towards the right side while keeping your hips and lower body facing forward

Exercise:

Side Planks

There are a few side plank variation ranging from beginner to advanced.

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Place your elbow under  your shoulder, press down through your forearm and elbow. Stack your feet on top of each other. Press through the outer edge of your foot and your elbow to lift your hips up off the ground.  Keep your hips, shoulders and feet stacked the whole time.  Hold for 20 seconds!

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Stack your shoulder over your elbow over your wrist so your upper body is in a straight line.  Press the edge of your bottom foot on the mat as your lift your hips up off the mat.  Cross your top foot in front of your bottom leg and press through your entire foot as you lift up.  The front foot acts to stabilize and create a bigger base of support. Hold for 20 seconds.

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Stack your shoulder over your elbow over your wrist so your upper body is in a straight line.  Press the edge of your bottom foot on the mat as your lift your hips up off the mat. Place your top foot on your inner thigh lightly.   This version is a bit more intense and requires a bit more balance to keep your hips lifted and high.

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The final and hardest version of side plank. Stack your shoulder over your elbow over your wrist so your upper body is in a straight line.  Press the edge of your bottom foot on the mat as your lift your hips up off the mat. Engage your top glute to lift your top leg up off your mat.

Bicycle Crunches

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Start with your legs at 90- 90-- knees stack over hips, shins parallel to the mat. Interlace your hands behind your head, bring your elbows out to the side.  Lift your shoulder blades off the floor, look up to the ceiling.

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Bring your left elbow to your right knee, keeping your shoulder blades lifted off the ground.

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Switch to the opposite side.

Boat Pose (for more of a total abdominal workout)

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Grab behind your knees. Pull your belly button into your spine, bring your chest through your upper arms, lift your heart. Shift your weight back and left your shins are parallel with the floor. Stay here and breathe.

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If you feel stable here, take your hands off your legs and extend your arms an elbows. Keep your chest pulling through your arms and your back flat.

Russian Twist

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From Boat pose, Bring your hand stop pray at your belly, twist and tap your hands to the right. Come back

Stretch 

Child's pose Side Stretch

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Bring your toes to touch, knees out wide, rest your head on the ground, reach your arms out long.  Walk your hands over to the right side of the mat. Press your left hand into the mat, pull your left hip back and breathe into the space between the ribs.

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Bring your toes to touch, knees out wide, rest your head on the ground, reach your arms out long.  Walk your hands over to the left side of the mat. Press your right hand into the mat, pull your right hip back and breathe into the space between the ribs.

Standing Side Body

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Standing up nice and tall, reach up to the sky. Taking your left wrist in your right hand reach up and over to the right. Try to lift up and out of your hips and reach across the room.

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Standing up nice and tall, reach up to the sky. Taking your right wrist in your left hand reach up and over to the left. Try to lift up and out of your hips and reach across the room.

Give it a try and let me know how you feel!

Disclaimer: I am currently NOT A medical professional (although soon enough ) but I am a personal trainer, yoga instuctor and Doctorate of Physical Therapy student.  This is where I have compiled all this information from. If you are concerned about starting a physical fitness regime please contact your doctor first.  If you have any questions at all please contact me at nothingwithoutyoga@ gmail.com or my instagram @nothingwithoutyoga.

Namaste you all!