THE FOLLOWING EXERCISE work the external and internal obliques, which are the muscles that you use when you twist or rotate your torso from side to side. For these, in addition to thinking about bringing your sternum and pelvis together, imagine your sides working to rotate your torso. Toning this area can help provide support for the lower back.

Standing torso twist

Here is a good move for beginners. For this one, forget about bringing your sternum and pelvis together and just think about using your obliques to twist. Strengthen your obliques with this twisting movement of your trunk.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, with your hands behind your head and elbows straight out to the side.
  2. Rotate your feet torso 90 degrees to the left side, so that you are facing the left side with your upper body, but your feet and legs still face forward. Think about leading with your shoulder. Hold for a beat, tighten the abs, then return to the starting position.
  3. Repeat on the same side 15-20times, then do the same thing on the right side. Don’t rush through. Make sure you hold the twist position for a second before you return to center

Torso twist

This movement starts off like a bent-knee sit up or crunch expect that instead of bringing your upper torso straight up, you turn or twist your torso to the side during each repetition.

  1. Start out as if you were going a crunch, that is lie back on a mat (or towel), knees bent and feet hip-width part. Place hands behind your head with your elbows out to the sides.
  2. Pull up as if you were doing a crunch, but while lifted rotate one shoulder towards the opposite knee. don’t pull with your elbow or twist just your neck; rotate your upper body. Think about bringing your armpit to the opposite knee
  3. Come back down and repeat on the other side
  4. Work up to 20 reps; when that becomes easy.  try the harder version


Here’s a move that is a little more challenging, but it’s fun and very effective.

  1. Lie on your back on a mat with both knees bent at a 90-degree angle (shins parallel to the floor). Place your hands behind your head with your elbows pointed out. Keep your spine neutral (Don’t arch it) and abs tight
  2. Extend right leg out while pulling left knee in toward your chest. Simultaneously raise your shoulder and twist your trunk so your right shoulder and elbow approach your left knee. Hold for 1 second; then repeat with opposite side
  3. Alternate for 20 reps(two twists equals one rep)

Half sit-up with twist

  1. Lie on your back with your feet hip-width apart and flat on the ground. You can hook them under something or have someone hold your feet down, or just try to keep your feet on the floor. Cross your arms in front of you, with your left hand on your right shoulder and right shoulder and right hand on left shoulder
  2. Rise up and bring your left elbow to your right knee, go back down halfway, and rise back up and bring your elbow to your left knee.

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