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10 Killer Oblique Exercises For Toned Abs


The reason you need to incorporate oblique exercises into your ab workout routine is because it helps complete the six pack look you are aiming for.

When working out abs, it’s not just crunches that gets you a toned core. In addition to weight loss, you also need to work out on the details.

Having a strong core goes beyond fitness. Your core supports your back, helps with balance and good posture. Danielle Burrell, a NASM-certified personal trainer, says “the obliques help stabilize us and keep our torso protected”.  

Oblique exercises help build a core that supports your lower back. This lowers your chances of straining your back during twisting or turning. “It is so important to train and build strong oblique muscles to help us perform better in exercise, sports and everyday functional movements” says Burrell.

This list of oblique exercises is mixed with bodyweight and weight movements. You won’t be requiring any equipment. You’ll just need a dumbbell and a weight plate.

These 10 oblique exercises don’t just work obliques, but work out your core and other supporting muscles

Read more:

The Best 8 Home Workouts
Build Bigger Forearms With These 5 Exercises
Get Rid Of Back Pain With This Guide 

1. Side Plank Dips:

A more intense variation of the side plank to start off this list of oblique exercises. This movement focuses more on your obliques. It also targets your core, hips and shoulders.

How to do side plank dips:

  • Get in a side plank position
  • Your feet should be stacked on top of each other
  • Your body should be in a straight vertical line going down
  • Now, lower your hips towards the ground
  • Next, raise your hips back to the starting position
Source: Amber Venerable

2. Sit-ups To Twist:

Now, we move on to working your entire abdominal section, this will also work your obliques.

How to do sit-ups to twist:

  • Lay down on your back like you would for a sit-up
  • Make sure your feet are flat and knees are bent
  • Now, place your hands behind your hand
  • Next, do a sit-up
  • Just as you are about to come up all the way, rotate your core
  • Now, touch your right elbow with your left knee
  • Lower down to resting position
  • Repeat the sit-up to twist with alternating elbow
Source: Amber Venerable

3. Trunk Rotations:

This list of oblique exercises is great for the core and upper body because obliques work in coordination with them.

Trunk rotations are perfect for the upper body, core and obliques.

How to do trunk rotations:

  • Start off in a high plank position
  • Now, twist your torso
  • And bring your left knee under your body towards your right elbow
  • Return back to resting position and repeat with alternating knee
Source: Amber Venerable

4. Bicycle Crunch:

The burn continues with another intense oblique exercise. The form is really important in this movement.

How to do bicycle crunches:

  • Start by laying down on your back and bring your legs back to your chest
  • Place your hands behind your head and bend your elbows
  • Engage your core and lift your upper body up
  • Now, connect your left elbow to your right knee while straightening your left leg
  • Finally, relax a bit and continue the movement with alternating elbow and knee
Source: Healthline

5. Russian Twists:

Russian twists engage your obliques and core. This move requires control and balance because both your upper body and lower body are off the ground.

How to do Russian twists:

  • Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet stacked
  • Now, lift your feet off the ground and lean slightly back
  • Balance this resting position
  • Next, twist your hips
  • If using a ball, drop the ball slightly down to the side
Source: AmyWhite/Healthline

6. Spidermans:

If you incorporate these oblique exercises in your ab workout, a strong core is just the first gain.

Spidermans are great for your entire core, the side crunch works out your obliques and your upper body is also worked out.

How to do spidermans:

  • Start in a high plank position with your arms straight
  • Now, bring your left knee up to your left elbow
  • Next, repeat with alternating knee and elbow
Source: Amber Venerable

7. Heel Taps:

This is the last bodyweight movement in this list of oblique exercises.

This is a very easy movement you can do.

How to do heel taps:

  • Lie down on your back with your knees bent
  • Keep your arms flat by your side with palms facing down
  • Using your core, raise your head and shoulders off the ground
  • Now, with your left hand, tap your heel by bending your side
  • Keep the movement going by using alternating hands on each feet
Source: Healthline

8. Side Bends:

This movement is done best with a dumbbell. You should start off with a lighter weight and then go heavier. Make sure you go slow and steady while exerting pressure on your obliques.

How to do side bends:

  • Hold a dumbbell in your hand
  • Stand shoulder-width apart
  • Bend to your side at your waist
  • Bend at the side and bring the dumbbell slowly down to your knee
  • Finally, return to resting position
Source: Amber Venerable

9. Core Stabilization:

This oblique exercise requires a weight plate. This is another movement that rotates your core, perfect for obliques.

How to do core stabilization:

  • Sit on the floor and keep your knees bent
  • Now, hold the plater in front of you at chest level
  • Next, rotate your arms to the right
  • Hold this position for a few seconds before going left
  • Finally, return to the resting position
Source: Men’s Health

10. Farmer’s Carry:

We wrap this list of oblique exercises with a dumbbell farmer’s walk. A farmer’s carry works more than your core, it works your lower body too. You can even stand on your tiptoes to work on your calves at the same time.

How to do farmer’s carry:

  • Grab a dumbbell in each hand
  • Now, stand shoulder width apart
  • Start walking
  • Set an appropriate distance  
Source: Men’s Health

Key Takeaway

Incorporate this list of oblique exercises into your ab workouts or choose 8 of these movements and turn them into a workout routine.

Getting abs requires working out, but showing off those abs requires weight loss. We have a natural storage of fats in our tummy. While these fats may be essential, you can still burn them off just by controlling your diet.

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