Lateral twisting is one of the many exercises for the press, which allows you to work out the oblique muscles with emphasis. It is they with a low percentage of subcutaneous fat that form beautiful curved lines on both sides of the abdomen. Consider the exercise in more detail.
To understand how lateral twisting affects your waist and abs, let's briefly go over the structure of oblique muscles.
The oblique muscles of the abdomen are internal and external. External ones are visible on the sides of the body (they create spectacular bends of the waist), while internal ones, as the name implies, are hidden under them.
The oblique muscles, one way or another, are affected when performing many basic exercises. The functions of these muscle groups are stabilization of the body, right-left turns and bending the spine to the sides. Accordingly, in order to make these muscles work, we need to bend and rotate the body. Lateral twists are perfectly suited for these purposes.
As for the effect of the exercise on the spine, we can say the following: if your back is healthy, then if done correctly, it is absolutely safe and even useful exercise. The development of oblique muscles of the abdomen stabilizes the lumbar. However, if you have a spinal disease, refrain from twisting without consulting a doctor. This is due to the fact that the bending of the spine occurs in a twisted state, which increases the load on the intervertebral discs.
There are several variations of lateral twisting.
Consider the most universal and simple version of the movement - lying on the floor:
- Lie on the floor and bend your knees. Bring your knees to the side, for example, to the left, so that one leg rests on the floor. Put your right hand behind your head. Bend the left one and place your palm on the right side. So it will be more convenient for you to feel the work of the oblique muscles. Or you can remove it behind the head along with the right one.
- As you exhale, tighten the lateral abdominal muscles and twist the body, lifting your shoulders up. Do not try to reach in the direction of head or elbow movement. Focus on raising the shoulders and on the work of the oblique muscles. There is no need to strive to raise the body to the maximum height. If your legs are deflected to the left side, you lift the body until the left shoulder is 1-2 cm off the floor. It is the oblique muscle tension that is of key importance. Also try not to strain your neck and not press your chin to your chest.
- On inspiration - return to starting position.
This exercise, like other twisting on the press, is performed in a multi-repetitive mode, additional burdening is not used. That is, you can do 20-25 repetitions alternately in each direction in 3 sets. There is no pause between sets.
There are various lateral twist variations. For example, you can lie on your side and fix your legs in any way possible. In this position, you lie on one shoulder, and the second is initially torn off the floor. Twisting is performed almost in the lateral plane. In this case, the rectus abdominis muscle is less involved than in the classical version of the exercise.
Another variation is to perform lateral twists on the simulator for hyperextension. To do this, you need to stand sideways in the simulator. Put the leg that will be on top in front, the one that is behind - behind. Hands are removed behind the head. Strictly controlling the amplitude of the movement (when executed in the simulator, it is practically unlimited), begin to lower and raise the body. Do not bend down too much - it is dangerous for the spine. Keep your press energized all the time.
How to achieve a relief and not "swing" a waist?
When you include lateral twists in your training program, you should consider a number of features of training the press, and oblique muscles in particular.
The beautiful relief of the abdomen and sides is 20% developed muscles and 80% a thin fat layer in the waist area.
In other words, you can do twists and turns for a long time, but you can’t see any changes in your figure if you do not follow a diet. Perhaps the abdomen will become a little flatter due to the fact that the toned muscles “compress” the internal organs. Therefore, if you want to achieve a perfect body, fight fat in the first place. Then the relief press and the drawn contours of the sides are guaranteed.
Another important fact. Twists, including side twists, are usually not performed with weight. This is explained simply. When do we do weight training? Then when we want the muscle to grow. What happens if the oblique muscles of the abdomen increase in volume? The waist will expand. Do we need this? In most cases it is not necessary. Therefore, the exercise is performed not in mass mode, but, as they say, on the terrain. Many repetitions (from 20), the pace is average, there is no burden or it is minimal.
And finally, I add that the lateral abdominal muscles to one extent or another participate in many movements. Therefore, emphasis is precisely on their training is not necessary. Perform lateral twisting as an additional exercise on the press. Subject to the above recommendations, the result will not be long in coming!