Introducing the Windshield Wiper Exercise – an easy yet effective core-toning move for anyone looking to build abs.
It will strengthen and tone your midsection, but you can also improve flexibility, posture, balance, and overall cardiovascular fitness. In this blog post, we'll delve into the many benefits of this exercise and how to do it correctly. Who's ready to bring out their inner windshield wiper?
What is a Windshield Wiper Ab Exercise?
Windshield wipers are ab exercises specifically targeted to the obliques. All it requires is to lay back on a mat and hold your hands to the sides. Proceed to move your legs from side to side like windshield wipers.
Here’s how to do it:
- Lie down on the ground and lift your legs to 90 degrees.
- Extend your arms straight out to your sides for support.
- Turn your legs to one side, stopping close from touching the floor, and then turn to the other.
- As your master, the pose, place your arms closer to your body, offering less stability.
- Try doing 3 sets of 10 reps (5 on each side).
The windshield wiper is a workout adequate for people with excellent fitness levels. Beginners or people with a weak core, lower back issues, or limited mobility should modify or not try this exercise because it can be performed incorrectly, which can further cause back strain or potential injury.
What Muscles Does Windshield Wipers Work?
Windshield wipers is an exercise that involves the whole body and activates muscle groups across your body. The following are the primary muscles targeted in this exercise.
The windshield wiper workout activates the upper and lower abs. It also builds core strength in your rectus abdominis. Rectus Abdominis is also known as a six-pack muscle.
If the exercise is performed accurately, the windshield wiper exercise activates the abdominal muscles on the side of your body and primarily works on your oblique muscles.
The windshield wiper workout helps build a strong core on both sides of your body by supporting your lower back muscles.
Your hip flexors are activated when you rotate your hips through a full range of motion during the windshield wiper exercise.
Variations of Windshield Wipers
Here are some variations for the windshield wipers to help yourself engage in challenging and healthy exercises.
The dead bug workout is an excellent move for people just beginning to perform this exercise because it has the lowest risk of injury. This exercise is effective primarily because the exercise has the back supported against the ground. Here’s how to do it:
- Lie with your back straight against the ground and your arms extended upwards. Raise your feet off the ground, so your legs are bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Place your lower back against the ground throughout the exercise.
- Slowly and with total control, extend your right arm and left leg away from each other.
- Lower your limbs as your lower back stays in contact with the ground.
- Tighten your abs to avoid arching your back.
- Exhale as you bring your arm and leg to the original position with the same slow and controlled movement.
- Repeat with the arm and leg, then return to the middle again. This counts as one rep.
Cable Wood Chop
The cable wood chop workout promotes the strengthening position for core muscles, glutes, and most of the upper body muscle groups. It targets the core stabilizers and the anti-rotational muscles. Here’s how to do it:
- Bend with your left side turning towards the cable machine, and hold the handle with both hands.
- Place your arms so they stay extended, and turn away from the anchor point to the right.
- Control your return to the original position to avoid the rotation slightly instead of getting pulled by the cable.
- Do all the reps on one side and then repeat and turn the sides.
Side Planks Rotation
Side planks rotation are a great way to work your entire core! Requiring balance, as well as strength, they are an excellent way to kick your workout up a notch or two. Not only will working this move provide you with an intense core workout, it'll also help strengthen those pesky stabilizer muscles you didn't know you had until you tried this exercise.
To do it:
- Start by lying on your right side, supported on your right elbow. Keep your elbow directly under your shoulder. Place your legs straight and your feet on top of each other.
- Raise your hips from the mat and keep your body in a straight line from your ankles to your shoulders.
- Extend your left arm towards the ceiling, then turn your torso forward and slowly reach your left arm under your body.
- Then brace your core and return to the original position.
- Do all your reps on one side, then switch sides and do the same number of reps.
This is one of the best ab exercises out there that targets all areas of your core, so treat it as a gift and don’t waste that opportunity. It may look easy, but slow and steady is the key with this one – no need to hit a personal best every time.
To do it:
- Start by lying flat on the ground with your lower back pressed to the floor and your knees bent. Your feet should be on the ground, and your hands should be behind your head.
- Contract your core muscle and draw in your abdomen to stabilize your spine.
- Use your hands to gently hold your head by pulling your shoulder blades back and slowly lift your knees to a 90-degree angle, raising your feet from the ground.
- Exhale and slowly go through a bicycle pedal motion, keeping one knee up towards the armpit and straightening the other leg. Keeping both higher than your hips.
- Turn your torso to touch your elbow to the other knee as it comes up.
- Then twist to the other side and draw that knee towards the armpit, the opposite leg extended until your elbow meets the other knee.
- Do 12 to 20 reps and 3 sets.
Benefits of Windshield Wiper
The windshield wiper exercise is more effective than the wipers of your car. It offers a variety of benefits to aid your body, muscles, posture, and mood.
The windshield wiper exercise is considered resistance training that builds your body's stronger core, back, and leg muscles. If the exercise is performed slowly, it stretches the muscles, giving excellent muscle strength.
Activates Hip Flexors
When performing the windshield wiper exercise, you use both the left and right sides of your body to activate your hip flexor muscles.
Better Sleep Quality
This exercise helps improve the duration and quality of your sleep as it activates the feel-good hormones that improve your mood and health.
Helps Losing Weight
The windshield wiper exercise requires plenty of energy to perform, which burns calories and aids in weight loss.
Reduces Back Pain
The windshield wiper exercise is beneficial for core muscles and helps reduce and prevent back pain. This is why it can also be added to the back workout routine.
Windshield wiper exercise is easy and effective; it can be performed anywhere and does not involve equipment.
Improves Balance and Coordination
This exercise effectively improves balance and coordination, the most significant aspect of daily activities. While using this exercise as part of your training routine might seem strange at first, it is pretty simple - each time you rotate back and forth, you engage various muscles on both sides of your body.
How to Work Out Safely and Avoid Injury
Exercise is a great way to keep yourself healthy, but if you have a pre-existing health condition, you must consult your physician before starting any workout routine.
Not only do you want to be sure you’re exercising with the correct technique, but you may need to modify some of the exercises based on your individual needs. When performing any exercise, pay close attention and stop immediately if something feels off or hurts.
Additionally, don’t forget the importance of warming up properly, resting between workouts, and eating right. All these components will help ensure continual progress and build body strength over time. After all the effort you put into your program, the results should show - if only we could get them without having to break a sweat.
1. What are the benefits of windshield wiper exercise?
This exercise is incredibly beneficial in strengthening and toning the obliques. Windshield wipers also burn fat, improve balance and coordination, and increase the core muscles' range of motion. The exercise can help improve rectus abdominis endurance, stability, and power by continually moving your torso up and down across various angles.
2. What is the windshield wiper exercise?
The windshield wiper exercise is a great way to help mobilize your hips and increase strength in your core. This exercise can be done in a lying position.
Engaging the muscles of your legs, abdominal wall, and lower back encourages the body to move with more control. As you get stronger in this move, you can challenge yourself by adding weights or making the swings bigger and faster.
3. What are the muscles worked in windshield wiper exercise?
Windshield wiper exercise is a great way to work out your core muscle groups. This exercise targets critical muscles such as the oblique muscles, hip flexors, erector spinae, and rectus abdominis. It requires both stability and endurance for this workout.
The Bottom Line
The windshield wiper exercise is an amazing exercise to add to your routine, not only because it provides the ease of no equipment but also because it adds plenty of benefits to your body. All you need to do is lean back against the floor and keep your hands to your sides. Then move your legs from side to side. It will improve physical health, build a strong core, promote blood flow, stay energized, and burn calories.
This exercise offers variations like a dead bug or cable wood chop to promote challenging routines. So next time you find yourself stuck in traffic, don’t let it ruin your day — use that time to squeeze in a quick workout.
- Akhtar, Muhammad Waseem, et al. ‘Effectiveness of Core Stabilization Exercises and Routine Exercise Therapy in Management of Pain in Chronic Non-Specific Low Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial’. Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences, vol. 33, no. 4, 2017, pp. 1002–06. PubMed Central, https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.334.12664.