Did you watch the Billboard Music Awards last week? Or maybe you just saw the red carpet reports in the media in the days afterward. Either way, you’d then know that the biggest winner on the night (well, maybe equal first with Taylor) was the cut-out clothing trend.
With the likes of Taylor, Rita Ora and Taraji P Henson (from the hit series Empire) showing off their curves at the Billboards in outfits that were cut out at the sides (who isn’t still talking about that white jumpsuit?) it got us thinking here on the easiest ways to tone that oblique region – and fast!
So we asked four of our fitness experts, including Sporteluxe founder Bianca Cheah (who’s also yoga instructor) for their best advice on targeting that region to give ourselves a quick bare-side confidence boost…
Start in a high plank position with hands directly under your shoulders and feet hip width apart. (Tip: don’t arch your back, but instead try to puff your kidneys up to the sky as this will activate your core)
Move your right hand to the middle and gently transfer all your weight onto your right hand.
Turn your body to the left and subtly stack your hips onto each other while you rest your left foot on top of your right. For the more advanced, grab your toe and reach it to the sky. This will test your balance!
Reach your left hand up to the sky and push your hips upward too.
Now float your left foot off your right foot.
Hold here for as long as you can and then repeat the following side.
“My favourite oblique exercise would have to be agility running, as studies have shown that integrated, rather than isolated, abdominal training is the most effective. Change of direction running causes more muscle activation than isolated crunches. So if you really want those defined obliques, incorporate some running agility drills into your routine.”
“I actually love ‘lying side reaches’ for developing these oblique muscles. It’s a great simple exercise that requires no equipment and can be tweaked for both beginners and advanced. This movement is flexion, combined with lateral flexion and slight rotation, all of the movements that engage the oblique muscles. It also gives your upper Rectus Abdominis (otherwise known as the illusive six-pack) a great work out.”
How do to it:
Lie on your back in a sit-up position with your arms by your side, then crunch up until you shoulder blades are just off the ground (in a quarter sit-up).
Slowly reach down your side and try to touch your heel (hold and squeeze).
Keeping your shoulder blades up off the ground, come back to the starting position and reach down the other side.
“This move involves torso rotation which incorporates not just the obliques, but all of the muscles down the side of the torso, making it great for those ‘cut-out’ muscles.”
How to do it:
Seated, lift both legs to form a ‘V’. Take your knuckles in front of your chest, elbows high, and rotate the torso aiming to touch the alternating the elbows on the ground.
Be sure to keep the chest lifted and legs as straight as possible. Holding the legs in the air also provides greater core stability to shape the midsection and improve posture.
An easier options include one, or even both, feet down.
Now ladies, it’s time to go shopping for an outfit to inspire you to put these moves into regular practice!