Whenever I am on a podcast 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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!
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