Directions To Exercise Oblique Muscles

Directions To Exercise Oblique Muscles thumbnail
Oblique crunches differ from regular crunches because they are performed at an angle.

The obliques are located on both sides of the body just above the hips and extend to your rib cage. The oblique muscles are divided into two pairs -- the external obliques, which form the top muscle, and the internal obliques, which lie underneath the external obliques. Effective oblique exercises should maximize involvement of the obliques while minimizing the involvement of other nearby muscles, such as the hip flexors. Strong obliques help support the lower back and can help prevent posture problems, fitness expert Cyndi Targosz says.

Things You'll Need

  • Medicine ball or weighted plate
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  1. Oblique Crunches

    • 1

      Lie on your back and bend your knees at a 45-degree angle so that your feet are flat on the floor.

    • 2

      Place your hands over your ears and crunch your midsection while bringing your left elbow to your right knee. Your elbow does not need to touch your knee but your shoulder blade should be off the ground.

    • 3

      Slowly return to the resting position. Switch by bringing your right elbow to your left knee. Repeat, alternating which elbow you bring to your knee.

    Lying Oblique Leg Raises

    • 4

      Lie on your side keeping your upper leg over your bottom leg.

    • 5

      Bring your midsection and upper leg toward each other by lifting your leg and tilting your body upward.

    • 6

      Hold and squeeze this position for a couple of seconds and slowly return to the starting position. Repeat using your other side and leg.

    Oblique Twists

    • 7

      Sit on the floor holding a medicine ball or weighted plate with your hands in front of your abdomen. Use an amount of weight that you can move comfortably without it being too easy.

    • 8

      Lean back slightly and elevate your legs approximately a foot off the floor.

    • 9

      Rotate from side to side by twisting your body while holding the weight. Contract your stomach as you twist for stability.

Tips & Warnings

  • Exercise your obliques at least three to five days a week for results, according to Len Kravitz. You should perform enough reps during exercise to feel some muscle fatigue. Practice proper breathing by exhaling during the exertion part of an exercise.

  • Be careful not to over strain your spine during the oblique twist by using too much weight.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images

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