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Obliques & Serratus: How To Get EXTRA DEEP Cuts!

Five Exercises To Help You Build The Core of Your Dreams!

Posted by Scott_Herman - November 12th, 2013

If you’re having a hard time bringing out your obliques & serratus it could be due to a few reasons. The number one reason will always be diet and bodyfat percentage. If you have a thick layer of bodyfat around your core, you are never going to achieve that shredded six-pack look. If you need help putting together a meal plan that will get on track and shred unwanted belly fat, check out the SHF meal planner.


However, for those of you who have been training hard and already dropped your bodyfat percentage low enough to begin to see greater definition throughout your entire body, I have put together five exercises to help your abs & obliques really POP! Some of the exercises listed below are very challenging and I do not expect you to do all of them in one day. In fact, I would recommend that you add only one or two of the suggested exercises to your current abdominal routine.


The five exercises are listed in order by level of difficulty. Start with the beginner movements and as your core becomes stronger you will be able to master the more advanced ones. Be sure to read the descriptions below and watch the videos attached to this article to ensure you learn proper form to help avoid an injury. A general rule of thumb I like to stick to with all my abdominal exercises is to do 3 – 4 sets of 15 – 20 reps per exercise. Now get to work and let’s see some results Nation!


Beginner

  1. Standing Oblique Crunch

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  2. Side Oblique Crunch

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Intermediate

  1. Floor Wiper

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  2. Wood Chopper

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Advanced

  1. Advanced Windmill- Torso Twist

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WOOD CHOPPER



Starting Position:

  1. Use an adjustable pulley cable machine for this exercise.
  2. Put the pulley at waist level and grab the handle by interlocking your fingers.
  3. Next, take a couple steps away from the machine so the weights will not touch throughout the exercise.
  4. Your rear foot should be firmly planted on the ground, and your front foot should be pointed forward.
  5. Keep your knees slightly bent, your arms straight, and maintain a neutral spine while looking in the same direction your front foot is pointing.

Action:

  1. Once in position swing your arms forward keeping while them straight.
  2. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat.

Special Note: It is very important to make sure that you are facing forward at all times. This way when you return back to the starting position there will be constant tension on your core keeping your obliques engaged during the entire movement.


STANDING OBLIQUE CRUNCH



Starting Position:

  1. Hold a plate or dumbbell by your side with your feet about shoulder width apart.
  2. Keep your chest up and maintain a neutral spine throughout the exercise.

Action:  

  1. Begin the exercise by leaning toward the arm you are holding the weight weight.
  2. While contracting your core, slowly begin to lean to the opposite side until you feel a nice stretch up and down your obliques.
  3. Return to starting position and repeat.


SIDE OBLIQUE CRUNCH



Starting Position:

  1. Begin by laying down on your side with your feet together.
  2. next use the elbow of one arm to hold yourself in the air and put the hand of your other arm behind your head.

Action:

  1. Once in place, begin to raise your hips off the ground while keeping your core tight and maintaining a neutral spine.
  2. Slowly return to the starting position without letting your hips touch the ground and repeat.


ADVANCED WINDMILL - TORSO TWIST



Starting Position:

  1. Find a stable bar that you can hang from.
  2. Hold the bar with a firm grip and slightly pull yourself up so that your shoulderblades are retracted and there is a bend in your elbows.  

Action:

  1. While keeping your legs together lift them up so that your feet are as high or just above your head.
  2. From here you are going to hold your upperbody in place as you rotate your legs as far as you can to the right.
  3. Once you have gone as far as you can, you are going to continue to hold your upperbody in place as your bring your legs back up to the starting position and then down as far as you can to the left.
  4. Continue to rotate your legs back in forth in this 180 degree motion until you have completed the desired reps.  

Special Note:If you do not have the core strength to keep your legs straight throughout the entire movement you can bend your knees to help lessen the load on your core.


FLOOR WIPER



Starting Position:

  1. Begin the exercise lying on your back on the floor with your arms out to the sides of your body.
  2. Keep your feet together and core contracted throughout the entire exercise

Action:

  1. Once in place, elevate your feet so they are just a few inches off the ground.
  2. While keeping your legs straight and feet together, begin to rotate your body bringing your feet to your left hand.
  3. As soon as your feet reach your left hand change direction and complete a semi-circle thus bringing your legs around to your right hand.
  4. Continue this motion until desired reps are reached.

Special Note: Do your best to keep your feet as close to the ground as you can throughout the entire movement.


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MEMBER COMMENTS
johnsalonika95
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Awesome article, nice ab exercises!!!

 

Artdel
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These are my favorite core exercises. So far, I've done the Standing Oblique using kettle bell, Floor Wiper on the floor here at home and on the abs sit up bench in the gym at work, and my favorite of them all: Wood Choppers--high and low cable. The high setting is all the way up, and then I would pull the cable down diagonally. I'm working towards the windmill torso twist. I don't do much crunches, it's causing my abs muscles to cramp when I sneeze. Lol
Scott_Herman Edit Delete Close
Oh no! haha we have all had the "sneeze cramps" If you feel like that you might need more water. Usually I cramp up when dehydrated. Drink some H20 Artdel! :)
Artdel Edit Delete Close
I will do that and then get back on the crunches.
TonyPham
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I love standing oblique crunchs
Scott_Herman Edit Delete Close
Yeah Tony! They are my FAVORITE exercise for obliques next to wood choppers. I actually usually superset those two. AMAZING burn! :)
bigboiler42 Edit Delete Close
Those woodchoppers look incredible! trying them tomorrow at the gym, you are the best Scott!
Zeb
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Great article! Im definitely going to start throwing these into my workouts. Question: On woodchoppers Ive seen guys set the cables up top and rotate downwards and then vise versa. Is this more effective in targeting or does doing it the way you do it just as effective?
Scott_Herman Edit Delete Close
Hey Zeb! Great question brotha. In my experience if you were to theoretically cut your torso in half.... putting the cable high would target more of the upper half and putting the cable low would target more of the lower half. But I will say with the cable low you definitely feel it more throughout your waist. I tend to feel it more in my arms when I go high with the cables. In the end I usually do it with the pulley hip level or low. I don't bother doing them with the cable high. :)
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