The 5 Best Oblique Exercises For Your Routine

Working your side abs accentuates your waist, improves your posture and strengthens your spine. So, if you want to have a body with a great shape, you must start training your obliques.
The 5 Best Oblique Exercises For Your Routine

Last update: 30 January, 2019

Your abdomen is a very important area of your body, but we usually do the classic exercises and forget about oblique exercises. That’s often because when you perform intense or moderate physical activities, the effort is mainly from the middle area of your abs.

Oblique exercises

Working out your abs improves your metabolism and reduces the risk of being overweight. Having a toned abdomen will also make you look great. However, a fantastic abdomen means more than just a flat belly, you must also pay attention to the side part of your abs, more specifically: your obliques.

To work out your obliques, you must forget about the typical abs exercises that everybody usually does. Focus on these five oblique exercises instead:

1. Side plank with hip lifts

The plank is an isometric exercise, which means that you have to hold the position to keep the tension. This type of exercise is perfect to strengthen your muscles and burn fat.

Couple working their side abs

The side plank with hip lifts combines an isometric exercise (plank) with a physical one (hip lift). This makes it a hard exercise because it combines two goals. But at the same time, it’s actually effective and brings you many benefits.

Follow these steps to perform it:

  • Lay down on your side on the floor supporting your weight on your elbow; if you can, put a yoga mat or a rug down.
  • Straighten out your body and keep your balance by contracting your stomach.
  • You can point your arm upwards or put your hand on the back of your neck.
  • Now, lower your hips until you’re really close to the floor, and then lift them up again.
  • Do 12 repetitions and hold the last repetition for 15 to 30 seconds.

2. Windshield wiper

These oblique exercises are called this because the movements you do are similar to the movements of a car’s windshield wiper when it’s raining. Performing them is pretty easy. You’ll be working your side abs with a low-intensity exercise.

Windshield wipers will also help you to gain strength and control your balance. You can do 2 sets of 20 repetitions. There are two ways to do them, the ‘beginner’ and the ‘expert’. Next, we’ll explain what they consist of.

  • Beginner: this is the right option for people who are not in the best physical condition. It’s the ideal way to start gaining ability. To do it, lay on your back and extend your arms to the sides with your palms touching the floor. Now, flex your knees until they touch your chest and keep them together while you move them from side to side.
  • Expert: this modality is for people who have been working out for a long time, so they’re in the optimal physical condition. The execution is the same as in the beginner mode, but you’ll do it with your legs stretched out. This requires greater control over your body.

3. Plank with hip rotation

Once more, the plank is here to work your obliques. This exercise is ideal for girls because it’ll help accentuate their hips. To do it, get in the plank position (with your elbows on the floor and your body straight), and rotate your hips to opposite sides in order to touch the floor. Start with sets of 10 and add 5 repetitions periodically.

Girl doing oblique exercises in the park

4. Twisted curl

For this exercise, you’ll need a medicine ball or a light Russian dumbbell that weighs around 4 to 6 kilograms. Lay down on the floor with your knees slightly bent. Now hold the ball or dumbbell close to your chest and rotate your body taking the ball from side to side, alternating each time. This is a very popular exercise in CrossFit. Perform 4 sets of 20-25 repetitions.

5. Side leg lift

This exercise works your middle and side abdominals. It also stimulates and develops your flexibility. To do it, lay on your side, with your elbow on the floor. The next step is to lift your leg and touch your feet with your free hand. You can do 15 to 20 repetitions on each side.

Woman doing leg lifts

Having strong and defined obliques is really beneficial for your body. This is because doing all these exercises will give you endurance and body control. Don’t forget to warm-up before training and if possible, mix these exercises with a cardio routine for even better results!

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