Lying Oblique Reach

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Lying Oblique Reach (Fingers to Heel Oblique Touchers)

Lying oblique reach is definitely one of the most effective exercises to train (help strengthen) your oblique abdominal muscles. The obliques are essential in supporting the torso and back and allowing rotation and flexibility, which is important in any athletic endeavor. Obliques are also a part of your core. Being your core, these muscle groups are put to use for almost any physical activity. We suggest training you obliques no more than once a week, and there’s no need to use heavy weight.

Other names for this exercise: fingers to heel oblique touchers, alternate heel touchers, lying oblique reach, foot to foot crunch.

Perfect Lying Oblique Reach Technique

Lie on your back with your knees bent and together or slightly apart, your feet flat on the ground about shoulder-width apart (or slightly wider). Raise your shoulders and head in a way that keeps your abdomen constantly tensed up. This is your initial exercise position.

With your arms straight and slightly above the floor, crunch your torso forward and to the right until you can touch your right heel with your right hand. Hold for a count of one. Return to the starting position and execute the same movement on the other side. Crunch your torso forward and to the left until you can touch your left heel with your left hand. When you have completed the movement on both sides, you have done one repetition.

Exercise Video Demonstration

This short instructional video will teach you how to perform a lying oblique reach using perfect (correct) technique so you can get maximum results.

Lying Oblique Reach Key Points & Tips

As with all abdominal exercises, form is very important when performing fingers to heel oblique touchers.

  • Avoid hunching forward or curling your shoulders.
  • Raise your back a little when doing the movement so as to create additional tension on your abs.
  • Avoid using momentum to propel yourself.
  • Slow, precise movement is the key. If you move too quickly, you won’t work the abs.
  • Avoid drawing power from your back or your neck. Instead, tighten your core and use it to move your body.
  • This exercise utilizes your upper body, so movement in your lower body should be kept to a minimum.
  • Always return to the starting position after every repetition before proceeding to the next repetition.

Muscles Involved

Fingers to heel oblique touchers are great exercise to target your internal and external oblique muscles along the side of the torso.

Main muscles: internal and external obliques, transverse abdominis
Secondary muscles: rectus abdominis, quadratus lumborum, muscles along the spinal column
Antagonists: the same muscles on the other side of the body

Replacement Exercises

Try these other exercises targeting the same primary muscle group:

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