Your abs are up there with some of the most used muscles in your body, and a massive part of that comes from your oblique muscles. But, sadly, your obliques, in particular, are also up with the most easily forgotten about muscles. We’re here to change that, and we have some of the best oblique exercises imaginable to help you do it.
Your obliques are a pillar of core strength, believe it or not. They’re capable and responsible for way more than most people know about because you use them in almost every exercise and movement you do, even without knowing about it. So they can help your performance in everything, not just ab exercises.
With this in mind, we have compiled 5 of the best oblique exercises you could ever ask for to help you maximise their potential, boost your core strength, and give them the attention they truly deserve. They’re all hardcore, and they’re all worth doing.
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Single Leg Side Plank
Every good list of ab or oblique exercises needs some sort of plank variation. It’s a tried and tested method of pushing your abs to their limit with isometric exercise. That’s perfect for testing their strength and still adding some definition at the same time.
This time though, instead of the classic plank and hold type technique, this variation focuses on you taking a side plank position. You raise whichever leg is higher until you’re in a split position, holding for the duration you choose, and then bringing it back down and changing sides. The leg movement and the body rotation make this one of the best oblique exercises you can find.
Russian twists are potentially the best way to train your obliques from the whole list because of their practicality and how effective an exercise they are. However, they train both sides of your abs simultaneously, meaning that it’s an efficient workout and it’s extremely variable.
You can use almost anything to get it done, from kettlebells and dumbells to medicine balls and bodyweight. It all works wonders for your core.
With or without added weight, you need to put yourself in a crunch-like position or even just contract your abs whilst you are positioned on a stability ball. Then, you slowly rotate your body from side to side before returning to the centre. It’s all in the twist, so take it slowly and carefully.
The spiderman is a hard-hitting oblique exercise that uses the same technique as mountain climbers, but with more attention to the sides of the abs rather than the lower abs alone. It’s better to do this for timed sets rather than monitored reps, but it’s all about whatever works best for you.
You need to get into a plank position and bring your knees toward your elbows as you would with mountain climbers, as we said above.
The difference is, though, this time, you bring your legs from the side rather than from under you, which is where your obliques really feel the burn! Again, don’t hit your elbows; use the sideways motion as your guiding point.
Cable wood chops are not always as accessible as the other items on this list, but they’re definitely worth talking about in terms of their oblique effectiveness.
The addition of weight and the change of movement range that the equipment offers means that you hit the muscles from a completely new angle and maximise the contraction that you’re giving them.
The idea is a lot like the name would suggest and involves you holding a cable above your shoulder and swinging downwards and sideways as if you were swinging an axe. But, of course, this means that you’re going from the top through to the bottom and getting the best results you can do on each side. Variation is everything, after all.
Decline Oblique Crunches
Is it really a good ab workout without some crunches in there somewhere? Of course not, but this really takes it to the next level. Decline exercises, in general, are some of the most difficult that you can do, but if you can manage them, you’ll see the benefit in no time.
Lying on a decline bench and in a safe position to carry on, you must crunch and twist your torso from side to side. Although this will hit your who ab group, it targets the obliques in the last angle, they need to be hit and will put you to the test.
Putting these moves together in your ab workout is not a bad idea, but make sure that you don’t overdo it and that you can perform all of the other exercises safely too.
Training your obliques doesn’t mean you don’t need to train your upper and lower abs too, remember, so structure your workouts as effective as you can and mix things up from time to time for the best results.
Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.
If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.