The cable oblique twist is an absolute gem to anyone who is looking to work the hard-to-reach oblique muscles located at the side of the abdomen.
Your obliques are responsible for rotating, flexing and laterally bending your lower body.
This movement is one of the very few exercises that exclusively target your obliques in addition to your other core muscles to give you a total-core workout.
Required equipment: Cable pulley machine, rope attachment
How to do it:
- Adjust the cable pulley machine to about shoulder height.
- Attach a rope attachment e to the machine and then hold it with both hands.
- Stand sideways to the weight stack and lift the heel closest to the machine. Keep your elbows lifted and your shoulders locked in place.
- Keeping both hands straight, slowly twist your upper body to one side and go back to the starting position.
- Repeat the steps on the other side.
- Do as many reps as you desire.
WHAT MUSCLES DOES THE CABLE OBLIQUE TWIST WORK?
This muscle groups consists of the internal and external oblique muscles.
They are located on either side of your rectus abdominis (aka six-pack muscles) and are responsible for rotating your trunk and flexing it laterally.
Although not the main target of the cable oblique twist, the iliopsoas also get fired up as you perform this movement.
This muscle is a hip flexor that helps with several functions such as walking, running and posture support.
TENSOR FASCIAE LATAE
The tensor fasciae latae lies on the lateral area of your thigh. Together with other muscles in the thigh area, it facilitates movement in your lower body and stabilizes your knee and hips.
Apart from the muscles mentioned above, the cable oblique twist also works your serratus and your upper and lower abdominals.
Your serratus is located on your thorax and are responsible for rotating your arm and pulling your scapula forward.
The upper and lower abdominals help with stabilizing your lumbar spine.
CABLE OBLIQUE TWIST BENEFITS
IMPROVES POSTURE AND BALANCE
The cable oblique twist helps improve your overall balance and posture by strengthening your obliques which in turn stabilize your spine and reduce pressure on your lower back.
IT IS A FUNCTIONAL MOVEMENT
The cable oblique twist is performed on your feet. Not only does this offer better functionality by mimicking real-life movements but it also improves your ability to perform most athletic activities.
IMPROVES LIFTING PERFORMANCE
A stronger core will improve your performance in lifting exercises and help you progress more effectively and faster.
ALTERNATIVES TO THE CABLE OBLIQUE TWIST
CABLE RUSSIAN TWIST
The cable Russian twist is almost a hundred percent similar to the cable oblique twist in terms of performance, except you perform it while lying on an exercise ball or a stability ball.
It mainly targets your obliques but also works your rectus abdominis, iliopsoas, transverse abdominis and deltoids.
- Attach a single grip handle to the pulley at a height where you can extend your arms fully. The pulley should be in line with or at a higher level than your fists.
- Place a stability ball next to the pulley and then lie on it. Your position should be in such a way that your chest is at the same level as the pulley.
- Use the hand closest to the handle to grip it.
- Extend your arm over your chest and then place the other hand on top for a firmer grip.
- Keeping your hips high and your midsection tight, rotate your body away from the cable machine using your core. Your arms should be straight and extended throughout this exercise.
- Slowly return to your original position as you resist the weight on the pulley from pulling you back quickly.
- Complete as many reps as you desire then repeat the steps on the other side.
Note that this exercise requires more stability and balance than most exercises. Therefore, make sure you use a weight you can comfortably control through a full range of motion.
CABLE WOOD CHOP
This exercise mimics the chopping of wood and engages both your core and arm muscles.
It could fit well both in a core-strengthening routine and a total-body workout.
- Attach a hand grip to a cable machine.
- Position the anchor next to the top of the frame then set an appropriate weight on the machine that would provide enough resistance.
- Your body should be positioned in such a way that the cable movement will be downward then across your body, almost like a wood/tree chopping action.
- Slightly bend your knees and extend your arms to grab the handle with your hands above one of your shoulders.
- Pull the handle downward and then diagonally across your body. Do it slowly until it goes past the opposite thigh while rotating your torso as you pull.
- Hold this position for two seconds.
- Perform the above steps in reverse until you return the handle to the starting position.
CABLE OBLIQUE TWIST MISTAKES TO AVOID
USING YOUR ARMS
It is important that you use your core rather than your arms to generate the driving power for this exercise.
This helps you focus on working your obliques rather than your arm muscles.
NOT TIGHTENING YOUR CORE
If you aren’t tightening your core during this exercise then you’re better off not doing it at all.
This is because for starters, the target muscles are located within your core and second, your core should be the source of driving power for this exercise.
PERFORMING THE REPS TOO QUICKLY
This will make you focus on momentum instead of your target muscles and you might end up doing all that hard work for no reason.
Slower and more controlled motions will be of more benefit to your muscles.
WIDE OR NARROW STANCE
Find the perfect stance that will ensure your body is properly balanced and you can move comfortably.
Using a stance that is too wide or too narrow might affect your balance and mobility during the exercise, which will most certainly affect your form and ultimately, the effectiveness of the movement.
If done correctly, the cable oblique twist is a fantastic core-strengthening exercise that also improves your posture and balance.
This will, of course, depend on your consistency and most importantly, the form you use while performing it.
Now that you are well aware of its amazing benefits, how about you add this exercise to your workouts today and get to working those obliques!