Crissy/crossy bendy tummies. What are they? They are diagonally-running muscles around our waistlines Where are they? The external obliques run diagonally downwards from the bottom ribs where they intersect with ribcage (serratus anterior) and side of body (Latissimus Dorsi) muscles to the pelvis. They fix into many parts of our pelvis, connective tissue and our ribs.
What do they do? They help us pull the ribcage downwards to protect the viscera which means they hold in our organs and intestines (yeugh). They assist with rotating the torso, leaning forward and to the side. Our External Obliques also help us control the pressure within our abdomen, a function we use to pee, poop and sing (all at the same time?).
How do I activate them? Think of engaging your belly muscles to sing (or poop!). You've activated them. Now turn to the side, lean to pick something up or bend forward - they're helping you out
Why do we need them? As these muscles are connected to so many others and used for such a variety of trunk movements, injury to the external obliques can be debilitating. Even walking would be difficult without these muscles to continually control the torso position.