Exercises for the Obliques

There are different ways to strengthen the oblique muscles; you can choose between the following abdominal exercises or combine and complete them all as a routine
Exercises for the Obliques

Last update: 03 July, 2018

Through an abdominal routine, you can work different areas of your body. Everything depends on the movements we make. Therefore, in this article we will tell you the best exercises for the obliques.

Which exercises for the obliques should you do?

The oblique muscles are located on the sides of the abdomen, just beneath the ribs down to the pelvis… And can be very difficult to define! For these muscles, we recommend the following exercises:

1. Captain’s Chair Leg Raise

For this exercise, you will need a bar hanging horizontally over your head. Grab the bar with both hands and stretch out your arms. Cross your legs and raise your knees to your chest. In this position, rotate them to the right. Go back to the center and extend your legs again. Do the same for the left side.

This is a very tiring exercise but the best thing of all is that it is very effective for defining obliques. Remember that your movements must be slow and well-controlled in order to achieve the desired effect.

2. Lateral Leg Raise

Lie on a mat on your side, making sure, that your entire side is touching the ground. Bend your lower leg and leave your upper leg stretched. Without bending your knee, raise your left leg up enough for it to form a 90 degree angle with the ground.

The goal is that with each elevation, your obliques are being worked. However, it will also tone your hips and of course, your legs. Do 10 repetitions with the left leg and then change sides and do 10 more with your right leg.

3. Bicycle Crunch

man doing bicycle crunch exercises for the obliques

Surely you recognize this exercise, but did you know that bicycle crunches are among the best exercises for obliques? Lie on your back on a mat, bend your knees, and leave your legs suspended in the air.

Stretch your right leg while you lift up your torso and twist it towards your left knee (which remains static). Then lift your right leg while you lower your left and bring your chest and right knee together.

The movement of your legs should look as if you were pedalling a bicycle. Remember, that the upper part of your body must go against the stretched knee. Try to do it in slow motion at the beginning. Once you learn the technique you can increase the speed, but do not neglect your posture.

4. Side Plank

Woman doing side plank at the gym

It’s time to make things a little harder, but if you want to have some defined obliques, it is worth the effort. Lie down on your side with your legs stretched out. Lift your body so that only your forearm and the side of one foot is touching the ground. The rest of your body should be suspended in the air!

Try to keep your balance for a few seconds and rest. When you have mastered the technique, make the exercise harder: lift your upper leg as high up as you can and then bring it back down, and do not forget to leave it stretched at all times. After 10 repetitions, change sides.

5. Russian Twist

To do these exercises for the obliques, we recommend that you use a dumbbell or a disc (or any object you have at home). Sit on the mat, lean back so that your back is diagonal to the floor, and lift your legs (you can leave them extended or bent).

Grab the dumbbell or disc with both hands and hold it at chest height. Then twist your torso to the right, carrying the weight to that side. Go back to the center and do the same for the left side. In total, you must do 20 repetitions (10 per side).

6. Side Crunch

This exercise is very effective for defining the obliques. Start by lying on a mat on your back. Bend your knees and rotate your legs to the right, until your closest knee is touching the ground.

Place your hands behind your head and turn your torso slightly to the left. Raise your torso towards your hips as much as you can. Instantly, you should feel the area you are working on! Repeat 10 times and change sides.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.