Hi, just wanted to ask about exercises for obliques. I’m near a point where doing longer side planks would be useless (my goal is 3x60s isometric hold per side, I do them on my elbow) and would like to progress to a more difficult exercise. I know windshield wipers and the human flag (which is, obviously, the ultimate goal) but nothing in between and to be honest I find windshield wipers a bit too difficult and I don’t have a good pole around to train for the flag. Any suggestions would be much appreciated!
Well the clutch flag is a good one, but also “requires” a pole (I’ve done it on a doorframe but it was cumbersome to say the least).
Make the side plank harder by elevating your feet so that there is a straight horizontal line Down your spine to the insides of your ankles (where they touch). Tuck the top leg so that as much of the weight as possible is around your hips, and try to relax the top half of your body while flexing the bottom half of your body more, and specifically focus on flexing the bottom obliques really hard; you want that focal point to be the main thing keeping your body aligned. Think of like if someone dropped a sheet of plastic on you (like a tarp) and you have one arm straight up holding the tarp off of you like a tent. Imagine your entire body is the tarp with the exception that your bottom obliques are like the arm keeping your limp body elevated.
But honestly, working L sits, levers, and advanced bridges should give you plenty of abdominal work, including the obliques. It’s kind of like calves and biceps. Sure you can work them independently, but they already get reasonable work from other exercises. Work the obliques if you are specifically lacking strength there…but the exercises I mentioned will prepare all of your abdominal muscles for the flag adequately.