If you’re after a strong, lean torso then you’ve got to torch your obliques in the gym – the muscles that run along the sides of your core.

This particular muscle group helps your torso to bend to the side, as well as rotating to the left and right – but can also stop your torso from rotating, so oblique strengthening can also stabilise and properly protect your spine. Winning! Here are a few exercises to try out in the gym this week.

Single arm overhead press

Start off simple with this one. Select your hand weight and stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Brace the core, squeeze your glutes and press the weight overhead, then bring it back down to the start position with the same kind of movement. Do your reps on one side, then do the other side.

Farmer’s walks

You can do these with one hand to work out one side at a time or both simultaneously. Use a heavy dumbbell in one hand and stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your palm facing inwards and the weight held a few inches from your body, then walk the distance you’ve set yourself. You can also use round training weights and carry one in each hand – whichever you prefer.

Side plank rows

Head to the cable machine and lower the pulley so it’s about a foot off the ground. Drop into your side plant position, facing the cable, then bend your elbow and pull towards your ribcage. Do your prescribed reps, then repeat on the other side. But make sure you’re good at side planks before attempting this one for yourself!

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