Standing Banded Oblique Twists or “woodchoppers” is one of the best exercises to enhance overall oblique and core strength. The core helps us stay balanced, stabilize our back, and honestly perform any form of physical activity. Now the obliques are a part of the core, but the obliques are the muscles that run along the waist’s sides (from the ribs to your hips). Since they are connected, they influence each other. Any form of rotation and side bending relies on the obliques, so it is critical to encourage muscle development, activation, and maintenance. This is my favorite exercise for working these muscle areas, so I would recommend that you integrate it into your workout routine as quickly as possible.

Train FTW’s video called “Standing Banded Oblique Twists” shows you how to complete this exercise. You can use any weight you are comfortable with for the rubber band, but make sure you do not use a dumbbell to complete this exercise. You can either twist with your hands close to your chest or keep your arms straight and perform the same movement. Before anything, you will want to attach a rubber band against a device and hold the rubber band in both hands – interlocking your hands makes it much easier.

  1. Slightly bend your knees with your legs a little further than shoulder-width apart
  2. Then, tighten your core and obliques as much as you possibly can
  3. With the band held in both your hands (either have your hands close to the torso or extend the arms straight to have hands further away), rotate your torso in the opposite direction of where the rubber band is (to help visualize it, it is as if you want to wrap the rubber band around you by moving your chest)
  4. Your head needs to remain straight but makes sure it moves with the torso to stay in that straight position
  5. You will rotate as far as you can in that direction and then return to the original position in which you will repeat the exercise as many times as you want. When you return to the initial position, move as quickly as possible to reduce eccentric movements.

I usually perform this exercise for three sets of ten reps. As I always say, make sure you never reach a point of exhaustion during any of the exercises. As your obliques gradually increase in strength, you will notice differences in your ability to balance, perform exercises, and you may notice reduced tightness/pain/inflammation in the back and hips. The obliques work with the glute to stabilize your back, which has enormous benefits for your overall physical health. If this does not lead to exhaustion, try to perform his exercise at least 2-3 times a week. I promise that you will notice the positive influences on your health, so once again, utilize this exercise in your fitness program.