Doing core work is satisfying not only because of the burning you get in your abdominal muscles, but it’s also important for a number of reasons. Building a strong core helps prevent injury along with your overall strength and mobility. And that main umbrella includes your oblique muscles, the muscles that wrap around either side of your abdomen. These muscles help to tilt your torso forward and sideways, rotate your torso, and provide stability to your hips and lower back.
That said, not only will any ab exercise work your obliques; A regular plank or crunch won’t do the trick. Next, these oblique exercises work the sides of your abs as well as other important core muscles, such as your transverse abdominis (your deep core) and your rectus abdominis (the sometimes visible muscles on the front of your abdomen). Overall, these oblique exercises will help you build a powerful core so you can move more efficiently.
Bookmark this list of oblique exercises—which include lots of bodyweight moves as well as weighted oblique exercises—for the next time you want to add something to your workout. If you want to put together an oblique-focused ab circuit, try this simple setup: Choose three of these oblique exercises; Do each for 30 seconds, repeating on both sides if necessary; Do three more rounds, resting as needed between rounds. No matter which move you choose, you’ll feel it in your obliques tomorrow.
1. Oblique Crunch
This twisted crunch works more on your oblique muscles than your rectus abdominis, which runs to the front and center of your abs that you repeat over and over again.
- Begin by lying on a mat with your knees bent and your feet flat on the mat. Your heels should be about a foot away from your glute muscles.
- From this position, lower both the legs on the right side of your body. Your right foot should be touching the ground, and your left foot should be facing the right side. Your upper back and shoulders should be flat on the mat.
- By crossing your hands behind your head or in front of your chest, engage your core (gently brace your abdominal muscles) and slowly lift your shoulders and back off the ground while performing a crunch.
- With control, lower your body back down to the starting position. That’s one rep and repeat the process 20 to 25 times daily.
2. Side-Plank Leg Lift
This variation of the plank targets and strengthens your shoulders, waist, abs, back, outer thighs and glutes.
- Begin with a side elbow plank, keeping your right elbow down and your left hand on your hip.
- Keeping your abs engaged and your lower hip lifted, lift your left leg slightly above your upper hip.
- Slowly lower it back to your lower leg. He is a representative.
3. Russian twist squat with weights
If this oblique exercise is too difficult for you, you can try it without weights. You can also use a kettlebell or medicine ball instead of a dumbbell.
- Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your heels on the floor. Lean back slightly without rounding your spine, and hold the dumbbells horizontally with both hands in front of your chest.
- Keeping your core engaged, twist your upper body to the right, taking care not to move your hips or knees.
- Return to center, then turn to the opposite side and repeat this process 20 to 30 times.
4. Bicycle Crunches
You may have done bicycle crunches countless times without knowing that they are an oblique exercise. Focus on rotating your rib cage (not just your elbow) to make sure you’re actually engaging those muscles.
- Lie on the floor with your legs extended and fingers intertwined behind your head. Keeping your lower back pressed into the ground, draw both knees in toward your chest and lift your shoulder blades off the ground.
- Straighten your right leg so that it’s just off the floor while turning your upper body to the left, bringing your right elbow toward your left knee. Make sure your rib cage is moving, not just your elbow.
- Repeat on the opposite side: Extend your left leg, draw your right knee in, and bring your left elbow to your right knee.
- He is a representative.
5. Twisted Bosu Plank
If you don’t have a BOSU ball (or it’s too hard with your hands on the ball), you can do this oblique exercise with your hands on the floor.
- Begin in a high plank position with your hands on top of the BOSU, with your BOSU flipped so that the flat side is facing up.
- Without dropping your hips, draw your right knee in toward your chest. Then, bend your hips to the left, reaching your right knee toward your left elbow.
- Untwist to bring hips back to center, then extend your right leg to return to plank. Repeat in opposite direction. He is a representative.