Your oblique muscles are part of your abdominals and are located on the sides of your midsection, under your rib cage. The obliques are used a lot in sporting movements such as bending and twisting. It’s not hard to pull, strain or tear a tight oblique muscle, so it is wise to stretch your obliques regularly to keep them flexible.
For a relaxed, gentle stretch of your oblique muscles, start on your back with your hands out to your sides. Place your legs together and bend them up so your feet are flat on the floor. Slowly twist your lower half over to the right, so your knees are pointed to your right. Hold the stretch for several seconds and repeat on the other side.
A bar twist movement is done from a standing position, with your feet about double your shoulder width apart. Hold a bar or broom handle across your shoulders and keep your back straight. Slowly twist your torso over to the left and hold the position for a few seconds, feeling the stretch in your obliques. Repeat the same movement on the right side.
To do a bending motion with a bar or broom handle, start in the same position as with the bar twist. Keep your back straight and slowly bend over to the right, so your elbow moves toward your hip. Hold the stretch for a few seconds, feeling the stretch in your left obliques. Repeat on the other side.
Using a stability ball is a good way to safely stretch your oblique muscles. To do the stretch, lie on the ball on your left side, with your left hand on the floor. Keep your feet on the floor and reach up over your head with your right hand to feel the stretch in your right obliques. Hold the stretch for a few seconds and repeat on the other side.
When you are stretching your obliques from any angle, avoid sudden or jerky movements that might pull or tear muscles. Breathe throughout each stretch, and use gentle movements.
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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.