Exercise Instructions:

  • Sit on the floor on a mat and hold a weight plate with both hands out in front of your abdominals with your arms slightly bent.
  • Lean back slightly with your upper body and elevate your legs off the floor.
  • Rotate from side to side and touch the plate on the floor on either side.
  • Remember to contract your midsection throughout the entire exercise as you twist from side to side.

Muscles Targeted:

Strong abdominal muscles are great for functional daily movements like picking up your child or moving heavy things. This is an ideal core exercise as all major core stabilisers are involved during the performance of this exercise. This rotational exercise primarily targets all your abdominal muscles, with an emphasis on your oblique muscles. Moreover, it also works on your lower back and hips as you rotate your body and targets your shoulders and arms as well, depending upon the weight of the plate that you are using.

Why This Exercise is Important:

During oblique plate twists your rectus abdominis, and back muscles must work together in order to support your spine, while your rib cage is rotating. This process helps in strengthening and tightening your abdominal muscles, especially the oblique muscles and rectus abdominis. These muscles are part of your core and they are primarily responsible for twisting and bending movements. By making these core muscles stronger and tighter helps in maintaining movement in the trunk of your body, which is necessary for physical health and fitness. This exercise also has sports applications for athletes playing football, basketball, golf, baseball and tennis.

Things To Avoid:

Select the correct weight for the plate that you are going to use before starting this exercise. If you are a beginner, you can begin with using a plate with minimum weight. You must remain cautious with the weight if you have shoulder problems. You must make sure to keep your motion fluid and slow in order to avoid any back injury. Always remember to rest between sets to allow for recovery. If you are not comfortable performing it on the floor, you can use an exercise mat for extra comfort. Don’t just focus on one side, instead perform this exercise equally on both sides to get the best results.

Reps and Sets:

Rotating your rib cage towards the right, then waiting in that position for a second or two and subsequently twisting all the way back towards left completes one repetition of this exercise. You can begin with doing 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps. As you get more comfortable with this exercise, you can increase the amount of reps to 15-20 or do the exercise for a set period of time, like 30-60 seconds before stopping. Make sure you do this exercise with proper technique and form at all times in order to place maximum tension on the core muscles and to avoid injury. Perform this exercise 2-3 times per week and eat a balanced diet in order to get the best results.

Other Exercises To Use:

This exercise itself is a variation to traditional oblique twists or Russian twists. You can remove the weight plate to cut the resistance or add more weight in the form of a dumbbell or other weights to increase the level of difficulty. You can also use a kettlebell or a medicine ball and twist your upper body by applying the same technique. There are other exercises you can use which target the oblique muscles very well also. These include bicycle crunches, barbell side bends and oblique decline crunches. Mix up your exercises with each abdominal workout to achieve the best results.