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Thoughts on Training Obliques?


Quoting Arnold "I'd like to talk about oblique training. While some will argue against this, I believe that obliques should never be trained with additional weight. My reasoning? Adding weight increases the size of the oblique muscles, which leads to a thicker midsection. That's the last thing for which a bodybuilder should strive. Train your obliques using only your bodyweight."

I have done the weight training and have developed some beastly obliques, I can't seem to find middle ground. What is everyones take on oblique training, I'd rather honestly have a leaner looking midsection and I on the other hand have developed some obliques through training that stand out and take away from lats and shoulders if that makes sense.


Personally, I am still new to weight lifting. I see some people doing focus work on obliques and that is not appealing to me. I think having large lats and abdominals would create a very nice V-shape. I'm not saying to just ignore the obliques, but I'm going to let them develope on their own through doing my compound exercises.

Functionality wise my obliques will likely develope when I begin Muay Thai training and in that respect it will be good to have big ones to protect the side from kicks and to provide that rotational power that they are good at.


I don't see what great benefit there would be to develope beastly obliques. Unless they are going to be used, like in Muay Thai or other martial arts, because they provide good rotational stability and power.

I think you are right that they would take away from the V shape slightly, however that can be remedied by increasing the size of lats and abdominals, right?


How would larger abs improve your v-taper?


I use weighted planks and weighted leg raises to increase the strength and stability of my external obliques and lower abdominals. This is primarily for strength-related purposes. I don't train torquing motions, so it may not be what you're looking for.

I'll admit that this may add maybe an inch to my waist. This is absolutely worth it to me for the trade-off in safety I recieve when I'm squatting and cleaning.

As far as aesthetics, I don't really cee the point of training abs outside of safety concerns. I certainly don't see the point in training obliques. An awesome midsection comes from low bodyfat than from developed obliques.

That's my take, at least.


Well I can say personally that I train my obliques with heavy side bends and kettlebell movements and it does produce a thicker core region. I am not a bodybuilder and don't desire or care about how thick my sides are just so long as they're muscular. I believe that training your obliques with heavy weight can lead to increases in deadlift and squat because it greatly increases core strength and stability.


Thanks for the help guys. It does seem to me after a couple sets of dumbell sidebends that my obliques just swell. I understand the core strength concern but to be shallow, it's not aesthetically pleasing.