Muscles Used: Internal Obliques (Waist or Side), External Obliques (Waist or Side), Rectus Abdominus (Abdominals or Abs)
Equipment Needed: Mat or towel to lie on (optional)
- Lie with your back flat against the floor.
- Bend your knees and place both feet on floor.
- Place hands behind ears, gently supporting your head, but not holding or lifting your head up. Do not interlace your fingers together.
- Push your lower spine flat against the floor. Pretend there is a zipper holding your lower spine to the floor (starting position). (see photo A)
- Slowly lift your shoulders off the floor, using the strength of your abdominal muscles. As you lift, imagine you are squeezing your belly button into your spine (lifting position). (see photo B)
- At lifting position, twist to the left by angling right shoulder and right elbow towards left knee. Squeeze the left oblique muscles in your waist and side as you twist. (see photo C)
- Return to center lifting position. (see photo B).
- Exhale (breathe out) as you lift and complete the twist.
- Inhale (breathe in) as you slowly lower your shoulders back to floor (starting position).
- Repeat exercise for a set of 8.
- Repeat entire sequence (step 1-10) by twisting to the right and working the right oblique muscles.
- Do keep your spine flat on the floor.
- Continue to breathe.
- Do move slowly. Rushing to complete a higher number of alternating obliques sit ups could injure your back.
- Do use a controlled abdominal squeeze, without rocking or swinging.
- Do keep your fingers loose and unlaced behind your head.