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5 Oblique Exercises to Improve Your Posture and Running Efficiency

Solid form starts with strong obliques.

There’s no secret weapon for staving off fatigue, but incorporating oblique exercises into your strength-training routine will help you maintain proper form and posture for longer—even when you’re dead tired.

Your obliques—the muscles that stretch from your ribs down to your hips—control pelvic rotation, explains Raj Hathiramani, certified running coach at Mile High Run Club in New York City. “Your running stride depends on a neutral, stable pelvis to allow your legs to fully extend back so they can pull forward into the next stride,” he says. “Strong obliques enable better form and stability when running, allowing you to conserve energy, run efficiently, and prevent injury.”

That’s why Hathiramani created this oblique workout designed to help you improve your running posture and prevent the excess torso rotation that tends to happen when your run is long or the course is challenging.

How to Use This List: Perform each exercise below for the number of reps listed, resting for 30 seconds between exercises. Repeat the full circuit a total of 3 times.


Forearm Side Plank Dip

Start on your side with your right forearm on the ground, forming a straight line from head to feet, feet stacked on top of each other. Make sure your right elbow is directly under your shoulder and place left hand on left hip. Engage your core and slowly dip your hips and tap them on the ground. Return to plank and repeat, keeping your hips stacked the entire time. Do as many reps as possible in 30 seconds, then switch sides.


Forearm Plank Hip Rock

Start facedown, then prop yourself up with elbows under shoulders, forearms on the ground, hands in fists. Lift hips off the mat, keeping back straight and abs tight, so your body forms a straight line from head to heels. Engage your core as you rotate your hips to the right and tap your right hip on the ground. Return to plank, rotate hips to the left and tap left hip on the ground. Continue alternating. Complete 10 reps per side.


Cross-Body Mountain Climber

Start in a high plank position, shoulders over wrists, core engaged so your body forms a straight line from shoulders to heels. Engage your glutes and thighs to keep your legs straight. Drive right knee across chest toward left arm, then quickly step it back to plank position. Immediately drive left knee across chest toward right arm, then quickly step it back into plank position. Continue alternating. Complete 10 reps per side.


Russian Twist

Start in a seated position with legs together, knees bent, heels hovering just above the ground. Clasp hands in front of chest. Twist torso to draw hands to right hip, engaging your core to maintain balance on your tailbone and keep your chest lifted. Return to center and repeat on left side. Continue alternating. Complete 10 reps per side.


Bicycle Crunch

Lie faceup and place fingertips behind your ears, elbows out wide. Engage your core to crunch up as you bend right knee up to chest while simultaneously rotating to the right so left elbow comes toward right knee. Return to the starting position and repeat the crunch on the other side with left knee drawing up to right elbow. Continuing alternating. Complete as many reps as possible in 60 seconds.

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