By: Mary Richard/Health Fitness
Fall has arrived and you discovered those dreaded “love handles.” It’s time to work on getting back into shape before the holidays are here.
Oblique exercises play an important role in core strengthening. It is important to move the spine in all directions - forward, backwards, side bends to the right, left, twisting to the right, left. Try this move to help tone and strengthen your obliques (the thin, flat muscles forming the middle and outer layers of the lateral walls of the abdomen). Play fun music and move to the beat!
Oblique Crunch: Lie on your back, bending your knees. Keep your shoulders flat on the floor. Exhale as you lift your shoulder blades off the floor.
Slowly rotate your legs to the left. Even though your knees are turned to the side, keep your upper body moving straight up and slightly to the left side. Place your right hand behind your head and your left hand across your abdomen. Hold at the top for 1 second and slowly lower.
Repeat 8-15 times and switch sides.
Look up at the ceiling, tighten your abs, exhale as you crunch straight up. Try to maintain tension in your obliques as you lower yourself back to the starting position. Do this exercise at least 3 times a week.
Variation: Bend knees, place arms straight out to side and move bent knees side to side. Do this at an even pace.
Hula Hoop Crunch: Another “fun” way of whittling your waist is to use a hula hoop (yes, you can get them in the kid’s toy department or discount supersaver stores) and use the hula hoop while watching television! I try to do this at least 3-4 times a week. Move at an even pace so as not to injure your spinal column.
Remember, in any exercise – especially something that you are doing for the first time, do it in moderation, then gradually increase the intensity. Always check with your doctor if there is any doubt for any exercises.
Positive attitude and good health to all!
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