If you're looking to get your abdominals into shape, one area that many people like to target are the obliques, the muscles that run down each side of the abdomen. This is where the dreaded "love handles" form that many middle-aged people want to get rid of. A great way to work the obliques is by doing the broom stick twist.
Place a broom stick behind your neck, across your shoulders. Place your wrists loosely over the broom stick. Make sure your arms are wide apart, more than shoulder width.
Sit or stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart.
Twist slowly to one side. Keep your head forward, do not turn your head in the direction of the twist. For an extra stretch, turn your head in the opposite direction of the stretch.
Rotate to the other side. This is one repetition. Repeat up to 100 repetitions.
Tighten your obliques throughout this motion to best target these muscles.
Hold your torso at the end of each twist for approximately three to five seconds to best target the obliques.
Tips & Warnings
- Start slowly, but as you get better at this exercise, increase the speed at which you twist.
- Try variations of the broom stick twist by leaning slightly forward, slightly backward, raising the opposite knee toward the opposite hand at the end of each twist or using a weighted pole such as a bench press bar.
- Keep the movement of the broom stick twist controlled, even when twisting more quickly as you get better at this exercise.
- Rotate at the hips. Do not move the pelvis during this exercise.
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