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Oblique Exercises Are The Next Glutes

Whenever I am on a podcast (like yesterday’s if you missed HERE) I get asked, “what do you see happening in the future of fitness?” Of course my first response is if I could see in the future I would be retired working with my dog rescue because I would be pretty rich;) In all seriousness, many things about fitness have surprised me over the years, but I think one thing I can see coming is how oblique exercises will become the new glutes. 

What I mean by that is for years training glutes was pretty much reserved for aerobics classes with light dumbbells and let’s call it how it is, women. Over the years we learned how everyone would benefit from training their glutes (even though cosmetic goals still dominate) and when glute training was shown to help power and low backs, people cared more! 

As I wrote about the other day (you can read HERE) muscles like the glutes have something in common with the lats and obliques. That is they are giant diagonal shaped muscles. That means they are meant to perform many jobs including production and resistance of force. So, why do I say obliques will be the next glutes? 

Once we see that the obliques have a close tie in with the lats and glutes as far as how our body functions, people are going to realize that the old time bicycle crunches and horrible Russian twists aren’t the way we build strength in oblique exercises. Instead, we are going to find teaching the obliques to connect with muscles like lats and glutes are essential. 

oblique exercises

Good oblique exercises realize that the connection the obliques make a similar to that of other big diagonal muscles.

The obliques are extremely important in helping control how much movement our trunk allows and is an important transmission system for upper to lower body and vice versa. That is why oblique exercises have to change as well in how we think about performing and progressing them. 

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Helping people understand how our body works empowers us to use better workouts and exercises to achieve our #fitnessgoals . That’s why how #DVRT master @corymcripe breaks down better exercises to train one of the most important but overlooked muscles the obliques! ….. These powerful muscles are a huge player in core stability and power development. The fact they are such huge muscles with a diagonal design means they are meant to perform multiple jobs at once and their interaction with other muscles of the trunk and pelvis are key in preventing unwanted movement. These Ultimate #Sandbag drills teach how we train these muscles as they are designed to function in life!

A post shared by Josh Henkin's Ultimate Sandbag (@ultimatesandbag) on

When you see so many of the great oblique exercises that DVRT Master Cory Cripe shows it gets easy to get caught up in doing everything. The key is knowing where to start and learning to resist rotation in more stable environments is key and that is why drills like our Bird Dog series are so important in using the strength that those oblique exercises transition to real world movement.

You see that opens up the door for a lot of ways we can progress our oblique exercises. Of course we couldn’t have this discussion without discussing our MAX lunges or MAX series in general. I am sad that people misunderstood that when we use to call them “Rotational Lunges” I was referring to the movement of the Ultimate Sandbag and NOT the body. These are actually strong anti-rotational movements and a great example of how the best oblique exercises tend to also integrate the lats and glutes. You can see how physical therapist, Jessica Bento, demonstrates some great progressions in our series of options.

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Our MAX (multiple axis) movements are some of the most popular of our #DVRT system. Maybe because they look so unique, hopefully because they work so well for people. The most important part of doing these movements is understanding the intent behind them. If you don’t know the why, then not only do these become just “another” set of exercises, but you won’t get the results from them. That is because people miss the techniques that makes them so impactful to #functionalfitness programs. 💪 The whole idea of these MAX DVRT drills is that we are keeping the lumbar spine, hips, and lower body stable as we have some SLIGHT movement of the thoracic spine. Since many life and sporting movements requires mobility at the thoracic spine while stability at the lumbar spine and lower body, it makes sense we would progress our #strengthtraining in this manner. 💪 The fact our body likes to work in diagonals also helps the value of these exercises. However, how we build progression is key. While people are more familiar with the swinging of the Ultimate #Sandbag during our MAX drills, we actually start the series in the front loaded position. That is because we want to create tension in trying to “break” the Ultimate Sandbag apart and use our #plank to teach our body how to resist unwanted movement. We can do these through a series of progressions as you see as learning how to resist movement is one of the toughest, but most beneficial parts of such training. 💪 When we do move the more hip loaded position, we take advantage of the type of grip we can create by “pulling apart” the handles to give us that stability as we move to more reactive strength. Not relying on tension is a higher level of strength and that eventually takes us to our suitcase MAX series where we use the grip of the Ultimate Sandbag and the core tension of the #kettlebell to give us some stability as we move to higher levels of strength. 💪 The point is to see how everything has building blocks, but it all comes back to purpose and intent. When we have the why’s we give so much more power to our #workouts but we the knowledge behind the movements give us so much more power💪🏻

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Lunges aren’t the only movement pattern that we learn these valuable concepts of better oblique exercises. In our hip hinges we have a lot of ways to build in our ability to both resist unwanted rotation through body position or loading position, as well as knowing how to keep stability in the lower body while mobility in the upper body as in our MAX hip hinges.

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Isn’t the best exercise we can use the MOST weight in performing? At first glance that would make a lot of sense as most of us are taught that strength training is about how much you can lift. However, the more we learn about the body we realize there is far more happening when we move than just producing force. …… 💪 Exercises like the #deadlift are great examples of how we if we are looking, we can see so much more about how we move and perform in life. Sure, we want to pick up and move good weight, but muscles like our lats, #glutes , and many of our core muscles are designed to resist force as much as they are to produce force. That is why the higher level #deadlifts actually give us a combination of both. ….. 💪 What we see in these #DVRT deadlifts is by changing the direction we move, the level of stability we have, and introducing more complex patterns not only are we training the body as it is designed to function, we are really tapping into the chains of the body and developing strength that will make us great in and out of the #gym . Great work by @peretzthetrainer , @dvrtfitness_uk , @jackofallfitness , and @corymcripe showing what real world #strengthtraining can and should be in improving our power, stability, and mobility all at once! Isn’t that what great training is suppose to achieve?

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When people think of oblique exercises they tend to think of rotational movements. While the obliques play a big role in rotational exercises being done well, they aren’t going to be used in the same way that most people think. I discuss these ideas in the video below where people OFTEN go wrong in their oblique exercises.

The REAL point of this post is to show how we shouldn’t be calling exercises glute, lat, or oblique exercises, but rather realize the chains and movement patterns that train all these muscles to work together. That is how we gain strength and mobility that makes us great in AND out of the gym!