External Obliques Training

External Obliques Training

If you suffer from urinary incontinence when squatting, deadlifting and jumping rope, then start doing these 3 Strongfit exercises (as seen in the video) to strengthen your external obliques. If you want to improve your running, deadlifts, double unders, toes-to-bar and more, then do these 3 exercises on a regular basis.

  1. External Obliques Opener AMRAP 60s: contract 2 secs, relax 1 s, repeat.
  2. External Obliques Opener leg raise variation: How far can you lower your legs while maintaining your external obliques maximally activated.
  3. T-spine opener: The mobility of you external obliques determines your T-Spine (thoracic spine) mobility. The external obliques "freeze" the lumbar spine, allowing extension of the T-spine. The purpose of this opener is to teach you how to keep your pecs engaged (which saves your shoulders) while keeping your external obliques engaged in an overhead position. So if you want to improve your mobility in an overhead position, then consistently do this opener!

 

There was a time when I couldn't jump rope without suffering from urinary incontinence. I fixed that problem by doing the external oblique openers daily. The external oblique openers strengthen the external obliques and low abs, but they also strengthen the pelvic floor. Now I can do 200 unbroken double unders without suffering from urinary incontinence. So if you have urinary incontinence when you deadlift, jump rope, or squat, this is why: You are likely overusing the external torque chain (i.e. your 6 pack and your erectors), and you are neglecting your internal torque chain (external obliques, transverse abdominus, lower abs and pelvic floor). So there is an imbalance between your external and internal torque chains. Your 6-pack and erectors are generating a lot of tension that is pushing down into the weaker external obliques, transverse abdominus and pelvic floor ... hence urinary incontinence.

BREATHING: I didn't demonstrate this in the video, but this is how you breathe during these openers: Inhale through your nose during the eccentric portion, and exhale through pursed lips during the concentric portion. Your mobility ends when you can no longer inhale through your nose. So breathing = mobility.

For the external obliques opener leg raise variation: Inhale through nose as you eccentrically lower your legs. When you can't inhale anymore, stop lowering your legs and then immediately exhale through pursed lips as you concentrically raise your legs.

For the T-spine opener: Inhale through nose as you eccentrically lower your arms overhead. When you can't inhale anymore, stop lowering your arms and then immediately exhale through pursed lips as you concentrically raise your arms back to the starting position.

When doing these 3 exercises, do NOT let your low back come off the floor. Use your external obliques to press your low back into the floor the entire time.

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Dr. Sara Solomon is the creator of the Fat Loss Fast System about Intermittent Fasting and Flexible Dieting. She has degrees from McGill University in dentistry (DMD) and physical therapy (B.Sc. PT). She is also a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, ACE personal trainer, NASM fitness nutrition specialist, Mad Dogg Spinning Instructor, Certified Level 2 Buddy Lee Jump Rope Trainer and Ambassador, a Team Bodybuilding.com and BSN athlete, and a retired PRO Fitness Model. Her passion is teaching others how to fuel and move well.

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