OBLIQUES STRENGTH TEST (Can you hold this for 90 seconds?)
By VAHVA Fitness on July 6, 2020
Strong obliques? Let's see about that. Test your oblique strength with this 90 seconds hold!
Can you imagine that people can be training for years, some even decades and still have lots of weaknesses in their physiques?
This is more common than you think. It's necessary to make training simple but not too simple. Einstein said: "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler."
Your body is a fine piece of machinery and can do amazing things. Just repeating 4 movement patterns over and over again is not enough to bring the best out of your body.
One area that is commonly neglected is the obliques. Very few even know that your obliques (the muscles on the sides of your core) consist of two muscles: external and internal obliques.
Moreover, the upper and lower parts need to be trained differently. Your obliques have lots of functions in the body: They bend the waist (laterally), rotate and stabilize the core and help with the diaphragm breathing.
All of our programs cover the oblique training thoroughly because for the longest time the obliques were also a weakness of ours which hindered our physical development and performance.
Most athletic movements whether you punch, kick, throw or move in an agile manner involve the obliques in a significant role.
In the early parts of our training career, we focused too much on one-dimensional exercises that according to science "activated" the obliques (such as the pull up or back squat) but in the end did very little to actually develop them.
Over the years, we studied human physiology and various arts such as dance and martial arts and realized that well-developed and strong obliques are an extremely important part to develop if you want real athleticism and movement ability.
Now, let's get to the point. Here is a good test to see in what shape your obliques are.
Some people can be lifting for a decade and be strong in many lifts but still experience difficulty with this exercise.
And we are only scratching the surface with this one. Moreover, when it comes to imbalances in general, obliques are rarely the only neglected muscle or body part a person has.
Scroll down to learn more.
Other 90 seconds challenges:
Hold the exercise below for 90 Seconds.
A lot of people may think that this is only for endurance but 90 seconds is still in the realm of general strength training.
30 seconds is often considered ideal for strength, 60 ideal for muscle growth. In reality, they all develop strength. Especially the 90 seconds hold.
Long isometric holds ensure you are properly activating the correct muscles and that they are activated under resistance for sufficient amount of time (time under tension).
To truly develop the structure of the body and dig deep into the body, you need slow controlled repetitions or controlled isometric holds like this.
The 90 Second Side Plank
The easier version is to do the side plank on your elbows, it will target the core and make it much easier for your scapula (shoulder girdle) and wrist.
Surprisingly, it's often not only the obliques that are weak but also the scapula lacks supportive strength. If your scapula feels unstable and it's hard for you to hold the balance, it's a sign of weakness in the area.
Movement training such as crab walks and bear walks are great exercises to develop supportive strength in the scapula. These are some of the foundational movements of Movement 20XX.
Likewise, if your wrists feel sore they should also be strengthened. You may want to do a thorough wrist warm up before trying this exercise because it does put a lot of weight on 1 wrist.
The common mistakes include: not holding the body straight, collapsing the shoulder blade and moving the body a lot. Optimally, the hold should be a very still hold like all isometrics. Small bouncing movement or shaking makes it only easier and can also be a sign of weakness.
Side plank is one of the exercises we cover very thoroughly in Athlete 20XX. You will do different variations and even a stability exercise from the side plank. This regular side plank is really only the beginning.
Eliminating Imbalances and Focusing on Complete Development
Like stated earlier, your body is amazingly versatile and can be developed to do remarkable things.
We believe that just by eliminating weakness and building natural range of motion and strength everywhere in the body, you will already become rather athletic and strong.
After that, your body is very hard to break and injure which will allow you to progress to much higher levels than previously possible in anything you want to focus on.
If you look at any sport or strength training in general, it is the injuries and imbalances that prevent the person from soaring and continuing to make progress. When you have bulletproofed your joints, you can really push hard and produce the results you are looking for.
For most people, developing a naturally athletic body takes precision and focus. There are some people who have been lifelong athletes since they were children that can be rather strong everywhere but most people do not have this background (neither did we).
In fact, the later you have started training and the less athletic you were growing up, the more systematic and thorough the approach has to be. We are simply filling the holes.
We have worked hard to develop an approach that works for everyone, not just for the athletic few. However, even the athletic few often have imbalances and injuries that need to be addressed.
If you need to get more mobile and limber, Movement 20XX is the program to eliminate stiffness. If you are suffering from pains, aches or injuries, Athlete 20XX Phases 1/2 will surprise you.
You can read dozens of our testimonials here of people who have completely transformed how they move and look.
We also have a growing Facebook community (members only) with nearly 900 members who continue to break the limits. Here is Javier García displaying his great progress with Movement 20XX:
Interested in joining our ranks? You can sign up for a free mobility class below. Here is also our free physicality quiz you can do to discover your physicality type.