Which exercises strengthen the external oblique muscles?

Why training the core muscles is so essential

Contrary to popular belief, the "abs" and the "core" are not one and the same. The abdominal muscles, made up of the rectus abdominis and the internal and external obliques, flex the spine. In contrast, the core includes the entire trunk muscles and the pelvis, which have a stabilizing effect on the spine. The core muscles therefore include very important tasks. In this article you will find out everything you need to know about the core muscles and how you can best train them.

What is defined by the core muscles

The core is a group of muscles that stabilize and control the pelvis and spine (thus affecting the legs and upper body). Core strength is less about strength and more about the subtleties of keeping the body in an ideal posture and thus relieving the joints and promoting freedom of movement.

For the average person, this means getting up and playing with their children on or off the floor, getting up from a chair and sitting comfortably at a desk. For athletes, a well-trained core promotes more efficient movement, prevents injuries and improves performance.

A strong, stable core can often prevent overuse injuries and help increase resilience and facilitate rehabilitation after acute injuries.

The problem of a weak core:

With increasing age, degenerative changes develop, often in the spine. The structures of the bones and the respective cartilage are subject to wear and tear.

Very often we are able to completely control and eliminate the symptoms with the appropriate core exercises. Scoliosis, a curve or rotation of the spine, can often be controlled to some degree with proper posture exercises. An unbalanced core can cause problems up and down the body.

Knee pain is often caused by insufficient pelvic stabilization. Some runners develop neck and back pain while running because the "shock absorbers" in their core could use some work. These complaints are prevented or reduced / eliminated through well-organized, specific core training

The components of the core muscles

Strong, stable core muscles help coordinate the movements of your arms, legs and spine effectively and efficiently. This means less risk of injury, better balance and coordination, improved performance in sports and better posture.

Developing a strong and stable core requires a combination of movements to target each of the muscle groups. Each of these muscle groups has a unique physical function and reacts to an equally unique training stimulus. The core muscles are located deep in your torso and extend from the base of your head to your pelvis. They include:

Multifidus and Erector spinae (located along the spine from the head to the pelvis)


Well-trained back muscles (or multifidus and erector spinae) can prevent lumbar instability. Such instability can result in a loss of rigidity of the spinal segment of motion under normal external stress, which can lead to pain, deformity of the spine, or damage to the neurological structures.


How to activate and train your rear core muscles:

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent
  2. Put your hand under your lower back.
  3. Tense your back core muscles. You should feel extra pressure on your hand.

Transverse abdominal muscles

This muscle is often referred to as the "deep abdominal wall" and is the key to a strong core and a shapely six-pack. This muscle sheet rests under the other abdominal muscles and wraps around your upper body to keep your core stable.


  • Lowering the ribs
  • Compression of the abdomen
  • Internal organs are protected


The most effective exercises for strengthening the transverse abdominal muscles are side plank variants. When your belly button is pulled in, you train your obliques.

So what happens when the transverse abdominal muscles are underdeveloped? Bad posture and increased risk of injury due to poor stabilization of the spine.

Oblique abdominal muscles

The oblique muscles run along the side of the trunk. The two main functions of the slopes are to provide the strength to twist the torso and to keep the rib cage stable at the correct angle


  • External and internal oblique abdominal muscles incline and flex the torso sideways
  • Important for tensioning the upper body and protecting the spine


To work out the slopes, both twisting movements and exercises that require the chest to be kept down and stable are most effective. (Plank variants)

Straight abs (the real six-pack)

These run vertically up and down the trunk. The rectus abdominals connect the pubic bone and rib cage and are responsible for curving the spine behind them. This is the outermost group of abdominal muscles, which is why it is visible above the oblique and transverse abdominal muscles.


  • Rolling up the trunk or lifting the trunk from the supine position
  • Stabilization of the pelvis
  • Straightening the pelvis and lifting the lumbar lordosis (hollow back)


Every "crunch-like" movement stimulates these muscles. (e.g. leg raises hanging / lying)
Do you have any questions about further exercises for a stable core? Our staff from a cleverly fit fitness studio near you is always available for you.

Why should you train the core muscles?

Core exercises improve your balance and stability
Core exercises train the muscles around your pelvis, lower back, hips, and abdomen to work in harmony. This leads to better balance and stability, whether on the field or during daily activities. In fact, most sports and other physical activities depend on strong core muscles.

Core exercises do not require special equipment or a gym membership

In general: Any exercise in which you use your abdominal and back muscles in a coordinated manner is considered a core exercise. If you z. For example, by using free weights in a way that requires you to maintain a stable core, you can exercise and strengthen several of your muscles, including your core muscles. As mentioned before, great success can also be achieved through exercises with your own body weight such as plan variations. These can be easily addressed from home.

Strong core muscles make most physical activities easier

Strong core muscles make many activities easier, such as B. swing a golf club, get a glass from the top shelf and bend down to tie your shoes. Strong core muscles are also important for athletes, such as B. runners, important because weak core muscles can lead to more fatigue, less endurance and injuries.

Weak core muscles, on the other hand, leave you vulnerable to poor posture, lower back pain, and muscle injuries. As a result, strengthening the core muscles can also help improve back pain.

Whether you have just started exercising or are advanced, a well-rounded fitness program is the best way to meet your fitness goals. This also includes the incorporation of core training. Pure muscle building is of course a worthwhile goal, but you should also optimize your overall health. After all, a healthy body can also perform better.

We, from the clever fit fitness studio in Linz center, hope to have helped you with this article and wish you a lot of fun while training. If you feel like a free trial training session, click here to register.