Oct 132013

The oblique muscles (light blue in the diagram at right) are used for all rotational activity around the spine.

  • Lateral mark for side step, ocho, and giro
  • Pivots

The oblique muscles will only work at their optimum strength when their insertion points are stable. That mean that we need to keep the base / arc stable while using the obliques. Do not yank or hurl shoulders or the free leg to initiate rotation, as this will destabilize the base.


Anatomical Function: The Oblique musclesrotate the torso.

Tango Function: Shows intention lateral to the Mark. This is the muscle that drives all pivots for both partners.

Obliques Exercise with partner

Stand perpendicular to one another with weight on both feet.

The partner whose faces the other is the exercise machine.

The exercising partner raises the hand closer to the machine. If it’s left, the machine-partner grips it with their left. Both partners put shoulder joints into a strong external rotation. The machine-partner will provide enough resistance to allow the exercising partner to rotate about 5cm.

We have four oblique muscles, two on each side of the body, so that we can always use the obliques attached to the base leg, which work stronger.

First, the exercising partner will contract the obliques on the side far from the machine-partner to rotate the body away from the machine=partner.

Second, try contracting the obliques on the side closer to the machine-partner, turning in the same direction as before. These are the internal oblique muscles!

Change sides, then change roles.

Do this first kneeling, then standing, then standing on one foot – the one corresponding to the obliques you are using.

 13 October 2013