21 Best Oblique Exercises For A Strong Core

If you are seeking oblique exercises to tone and strengthen your side ab muscles. Oblique muscles are also known as “love handles” and are visible when someone has excess fat on the sides of their body.

These often-overlooked muscles play a crucial role in providing stability, improving posture, and enhancing athletic performance.

Obliques are an important part of your entire core that comes in handy during rotational exercises and balancing your way through everyday life.

An Oblique workout helps shape your waist, improve posture, and reduce the risk of back pain. Strengthening this set of muscles will also help prevent injury during other activities, such as running or lifting weights. Oblique exercises are challenging, but with persistence, they can be easily performed at home or in a gym.

In this blog, we will explore the following Topics:

  • Know About Obliques Muscles
  • Benefits of Targeting the Obliques
  • How To do the Oblique Exercise
  • Best Oblique Exercises
Table of Contents

Know About Obliques Muscles

Your waist is made up of two muscle groups: the rectus abdominis (“six-pack” muscles) in the front and the obliques on each side.

Only focusing on your six-pack muscles is a very narrow scope of practice. For a balanced core, you’ll need to train your oblique muscles, too.

The oblique muscles consist of two distinct muscle groups, the external obliques and the internal obliques. They are responsible for flexing, rotating, and laterally bending the trunk.

Rectus Abdominis and Obliques

External Oblique

The external oblique is the outer visible layer that passes run diagonally on each side of the rectus abdominis. They can be found between the lower rib region and the pelvis. These muscles help in side-to-side bending, flexion of the spinal column, torso rotation, and compression of the abdomen.

Internal Oblique

The internal oblique muscles lie under the external obliques and run into the lower back or erector spinae. The fibers of the two muscles pass at right angles to one another; therefore, they are often referred to as opposite-side rotators.

Transversus Abdominis

The deepest part of the abdominal is the transversus abdominis, which lies horizontally across the abdominal wall. The primary role of transversus abdominis is to assist with breathing, especially exhalation from the lungs. It also helps with the stabilization of the spine.

Benefits Of Obliques Workout

You might have heard about the benefits of an Oblique workout, but what exactly is it? Sounds strange, right? Oblique exercises emphasize the sides of your midsection to help you build lean, strong core muscles.

The oblique muscles don’t get much attention in most strength-training programs because they are not visible like the biceps and triceps. However, they play an important role in keeping your body safe from injury while playing contact sports or engaging in strenuous activities like running and jumping.

Curious to know more? Read on.

  • An oblique muscles are located on the sides of your upper body and help to balance and stabilize you when walking, bending over or lifting heavy objects.
  • An oblique workout will help you get rid of that stubborn fat around your midsection by strengthening these muscles.
  • Even if you’re not an athlete, strengthening your obliques can help you avoid back pain by supporting your spine and protecting its vulnerable vertebrae.
  • Working out the side muscles helps balance out strength in your body, improves posture and reduces stress on your spine from carrying excess weight in that area.
  • The core is a group of muscles that work together to keep you balanced, stable, and strong. In order to effectively train the core, you need to challenge it from different angles and from different positions. This exercise helps to work different muscles from different angles.
  • An oblique workout focuses on strengthening and toning side abs muscles, so they look visibly toned and feel much stronger than before.

Working your obliques can be challenging, especially if you do not know which exercises will target them best. Luckily, this article has all the best oblique workout ideas so that you can begin targeting those hard-to-reach sides today!

How To Train Oblique Muscles

The obliques are the muscles underneath the fat deposit, commonly referred to as love handles. There are many ways to strengthen your obliques. Often, people think that the best way to build these muscles is through side crunch or side bend.

You just have to look beyond conventional oblique workout routines and think creatively about how you can challenge your obliques in a new way.

To effectively train your oblique muscles, follow these science-based principles and techniques:

1. Focus on Specific Oblique Exercises

Perform exercises that directly engage the obliques, such as bicycle crunches, Russian twists, side planks, woodchoppers, and standing side bends.

2. Add Rotational Exercises

Include exercises that involve twisting or rotating motions, like cable rotations, medicine ball twists, and landmine rotations, to effectively train the obliques.

3. Do Functional Movements

Include exercises that mimic real-life activities, such as farmers walks, suitcase carries, and rotational lunges, to engage the obliques while promoting stability and balance.

4. Core Stability Training

Strengthen the entire core, including the obliques, rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, and lower back muscles, with exercises like planks, bird dogs, and dead bugs.

5. Add Variation and Progressive Overload

Increase the intensity of your workouts gradually by adding resistance, using heavier weights, or progressing to more challenging variations of exercises.

Oblique workouts focus on two main things—Intensifying and expanding.

  • Intensifying means increasing resistance and shortening the time for each workout by reducing the rest periods or increasing the number of repetitions per set.
  • Expanding means performing more sets with varied repetitions, so you can switch things up from one workout to another.

6. Cardiovascular Exercise

Combine oblique training with cardio exercises like running, cycling, or HIIT to reduce overall body fat and reveal toned oblique muscles.

Feel free to incorporate these moves into your workout as instructed, or combine three to five of them for a powerful obliques circuit.

Use Our Calculator To Know Your Body Fat Percentage

Best Oblique Exercises For Beginner To Advance

Below, we’ve listed beginner, intermediate, and advanced routines to help you get the most out of your oblique workout. Dive in and give those “side abs” some love.

Here are 21 of the best oblique exercises you should add to your core workout routine.

  1. Oblique Crunches
  2. Dumbbell Side Bend
  3. Cable Side Bend
  4. Hanging Windshield Wiper
  5. Side Plank
  6. Twisting Sit-Up
  7. Bicycle Crunch
  8. Russian Twist
  9. Landmine Twists
  10. Side Plank with Hip Abduction
  11. Side Jackknife
  12. Lying Bent-Knee Oblique Twist
  13. Alternate Heel Touches
  14. Pallof Press
  15. Cable wood chop
  16. Cable Down-Up Twist
  17. Cable Twist
  18. Cross-Body Mountain Climber
  19. Bird dog
  20. V-Up
  21. Dumbbell Farmers Walk

1. Oblique Crunches

The oblique crunch is one of the best bodyweight exercises that target your core muscles—specifically the obliques on the sides of your abdomen.

It is the best exercise that strengthens your obliques as well as the other muscles of the core, including your transverse abdominus and medial glute.

Oblique Crunches

How To Do Oblique Crunches

  1. Lie on the floor on your right side with your hips and knees bent.
  2. Place your left hand behind your head and place your right hand across your body and on the obliques.
  3. Placing your hand on your obliques can help you feel the muscles contract and enhance the mind-muscle connection.
  4. Contract your obliques to lift your shoulder off the floor.
  5. Hold this position for a second, contracting your side as hard as possible.
  6.  Then return to the start position. Complete all reps on the left side and then repeat on the right side.

Tips For Proper Form

  • To make this exercise more difficult, hold a weight plate on your chest.
  • To work the oblique muscle, perform these exercises slow and steadily.
  • Your torso crunches 30 to 45 degrees upward from the floor.

2. Dumbbell Side Bend

The dumbbell side bend is effective at targeting the internal and external obliques, strengthening the lateral flexion of your spine, improving spinal mobility, and helping to develop a strong and stable core.

It is an easy core exercise to practice at home. If you’re new to the exercise, practice the movement with your bodyweight alone.

For a more challenging oblique exercise variation, use a kettlebell or a pulley machine for the cable side bend variation.

Dumbbell Side Bend

How To Do Dumbbell Side Bend

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart while holding a dumbbell with a neutral grip in your right hand with your arm hanging at your side.
  2. You can place your free hand behind your head.
  3. Bend sideways at the waist to the left as low as possible, using your oblique muscles to pull your torso down.
  4. Hold for a second and return to the starting position.
  5. Complete the desired number of reps and repeat on the other side.

Tips For Proper Form

  • Keep the dumbbell close to your side, your elbow very slightly bent, and your hips still.
  • Perform these exercises slowly and steadily in order to properly train the oblique muscle.
  • Avoid using a heavy dumbbell for this exercise. Large, overdeveloped oblique muscles will make your waist appear bulky.
Read More: How To Do Weighted Side Bends & Its Benefits

3. Cable Side Bend

The cable side bend is simply a variation of the side bend typically performed using dumbbells.

It’s utilized to build the oblique muscles of the core, which gives the midsection a more aesthetic appearance and helps to create the V-taper look.

Using cables allows you to change the point where the load is maximized. Cable side bends are more controllable, you can achieve more with less weight, and they allow you to stay within an active range of motion for your obliques.

Cable Side Bend

How To Do Cable Oblique Twist

  1. Attached D-handle to a low pulley and stood side-on to the weight stack.
  2. Grasp the D-handle with your right hand and stand with the pulley to your right side.
  3. Your torso should be laterally flexed (bent sideways) towards the pulley, and your arm should be straight and close to your body.
  4. Bend your torso away from the pulley, pulling the D-handle upward.
  5. Slowly lower the D-handle back to the starting position by bending your torso towards the pulley.
  6. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions. Turn around and repeat the cable side bend with your left side.

Tips For Proper Form

  • Keep your arm close to your body and your hips still throughout the exercise.
  • Perform this exercise slowly and steadily to work the obliques.

4. Hanging Windshield Wiper

The hanging windshield wiper is one of the most advanced oblique exercises for strengthening your core and the twisting movement pattern of your body.

This is an advanced variant of the Hanging Leg Raise, so before attempting it make sure you have good grip strength, flexibility, and balance.

The goal is to rotate the torso from one side to the other, whilst maintaining a horizontal position.

Hanging Windshield Wiper abs Exercises

How To Do Hanging Windshield Wiper

  1. Grab a bar with an overhead grip, with the hands slightly wider than shoulder-width.
  2. Keep your core and glutes tight to keep your back and hips in the correct position.
  3. Lift your legs towards the bar. Keep your arms and legs straight. Your legs are perpendicular to your torso. Now, rotate your legs to one side until they are parallel with the floor, roughly 90 degrees.
  4. Slowly and with control, rotate your legs to the other side. Keep your legs as straight as possible. Continue for the desired reps.

Tips For Proper Form

  • Do not lower your legs beyond feeling a mild stretch in your side.
  • You can make the move easier by bending your knees.
  • Don’t use momentum to aid you, use your core strength.

5. Side Plank

The side plank (oblique plank) is one of the best core exercises for strengthening the oblique abdominal muscles, which don’t get worked as much during abs exercises such as crunches.

Strong obliques can be quite useful as core stabilization muscles.

If you’re new to planking, you should master the basic forearm plank before moving on to the side plank variation.

Forearm Side Plank

How To Do Side Plank

  1. Get in a side plank position by lying on your right side on the floor, with your left foot resting on top of the inner side of your right foot and your left arm resting on top of your left side.
  2. Raise your body by placing your right forearm flat on the floor so that it’s perpendicular to your torso.
  3. Lift your torso until your right upper arm is straight underneath you, with your elbow bent 90 degrees and your forearm flat on the floor.
  4. In this position, only your right forearm and the outer side of your right foot are contacting the floor and your body forms a diagonal line that is at about a 20-degree angle to the floor.
  5. Keep your abs pulled in tight and hold this position for as long as you can, and then repeat on the left side.

Tips For Proper Form

  • Keep your legs and body straight.
  • During these oblique exercises, avoid letting your hips sag.
  • Squeeze your abs and glutes throughout the movement for stability.

6. Twisting Sit-Up

The decline twisting sit-up is an abdominal and oblique exercise made to strengthen your core and build muscle. It’s a great exercise for intermediate to advanced lifters because it’s moderately challenging but very effective for its intended purpose.

Make the decline twisting sit-up easier by either crossing your arms on your chest or performing the exercise on a flat bench.

Twisting sit-up

How To Do Twisting Sit-Up

  1. Sit on the decline bench, hook your feet under the pad, lean back, and position your hands behind your head.
  2. As you sit up, twist your torso, directing your right elbow toward your left knee.
  3. Reverse the motion and lower your torso to the starting position; during the next repetition, direct your left elbow toward your right knee.
  4. Keep repeating and alternating the side to which you twist your waist.

Tips For Proper Form

  • Keep your neck in a neutral position.
  • Use a slow, controlled motion to target the muscles. 

7. Bicycle Crunch

In a 2001 study by ACE, it was found that in compared to the standard crunch, the bicycle crunch produces 148% more mean activity in the abs and 190% more mean activity in the obliques.

To make it easier to do the exercise you can make the angle that your knees make smaller and to make the exercise harder you can make the angle between your legs bigger.

Bicycle Crunch

How To Do Bicycle Crunch

  1. Lie on the floor with your legs straight and lower back flat on the floor.
  2. Place your hands behind your head and raise your feet and upper back a little off the floor.
  3. Slowly start raising your knees at about a 45-degree angle.
  4. Go through a bicycle pedaling motion with your legs as you alternately touch your elbows to the opposite knees, twisting back and forth.

Tips For Proper Form

  • Keep your neck neutral and your lower back pressed against the floor.
  • Make sure that you don’t pull your neck with your hands, else you can get a neck strain.

8. Russian Twist

The Russian twist engages and strengthens your core muscles as well as your lower back. This exercise helps to tone and tighten your abs and obliques and to trim your waist.

It also helps to improve your balance, stability, and posture.

A more advanced way of performing the Russian twist is to raise your feet a little off the floor and a weighted Russian twist.

Russian Twist oblique

How To Do Russian Twist

  1. Lie down with your knee bent at the knees and feet flat on the ground.
  2. Elevate your upper body so that it creates a V shape with your thighs.
  3. Begin to twist side to side while maintaining balance on your buttocks, keeping constant tension on the abs.
  4. Repeat this movement until the set is complete.


  • Keep your back straight at all times and twist your torso only from the ribs up.
  • Don’t move your head side to side.

9. Landmine Twists

Landmine twist is another best exercise for your oblique workout. When you add a landmine twist to an exercise, your obliques will work hard.

The landmine twist is a rotational abdominal movement performed using an angled barbell anchored at floor level in a landmine device. It can also be performed by sticking a barbell in the corner of a room.

It targets the deep muscles of the core, including both the obliques and the transversus abdominis.

Landmine Twists

How To Do Landmine Twists

  1. Position a bar into a landmine or securely anchor it in a corner. Load the bar to an appropriate weight.
  2. Raise the bar off the floor, taking it to shoulder height with both hands with your arms extended in front of you. Adopt a wide stance.
  3. Rotate the trunk and hips as you swing the weight all the way down to one side. Keep your arms extended throughout the exercise.
  4. Reverse the motion to swing the weight all the way to the opposite side.

Tips For Proper Form

  • Keep a slight bend in your knees as you rotate, this should help take a bit of tension off your lumbar spine during the movement.
  • Try to keep your arms straight.

10. Side Plank with Hip Abduction

The side plank hip abduction is an advanced variation of the side plank exercise that you can do to target the obliques and outer thighs.

The hip abductors move the legs away from the body and rotate them at the hip joint, so this plays an important role in keeping your knee and hip joints stable.

Side Plank with Hip Abduction

How To Do Side Plank with Hip Abduction

  1. Lie on the floor on your left side, side with your elbow directly beneath your shoulder and legs stacked. Place your free hand on your hip.
  2. Straighten your body and legs. Your feet should be together, and your hip should be resting on the floor.
  3. Brace your abs and lift your hips off the floor until you’re balancing on your forearm and feet and your body forms a diagonal line.
  4. Lift your right leg at least 6 inches. Slowly bring your feet back together and lower your hip to the floor. Repeat on your right side.

Tips For Proper Form

  • Do not let your hips or shoulder sag, do not let your body rotate.
  • Keep your core tight, so that your upper body remains stable, maintain your top leg straight.
  • Breathe out as you lift your top leg and squeeze the outer thigh.

11. Side Jackknife

One exercise that trains both the internal and external obliques, as well as other abdominal muscles, is the oblique V-up, also known as a side jackknife.

Once you master the basic oblique V-up, you can increase the difficulty of the exercise by raising both legs off the ground.

Side Jackknife

How To Do Side Jackknife

  1. Lie on your left hip, legs together and right leg on top of your left.
  2. Place your right hand behind your head and your left elbow stays close to your body for support.
  3. Use your oblique muscles to raise your top leg while simultaneously raising your torso to meet it.
  4. Lower in a controlled motion and repeat, until you complete your set. Then switch sides and repeat.

Tips For Proper Form

  • Don’t rest your leg and your torso at the bottom of the movement.
  • Make sure you get your upper body off the floor. Don’t just move your head.
  • Hold a total contraction at the top of the movement for a count of two.

12. Lying Bent-Knee Oblique Twist

Lying Bent Knee twist is a bodyweight exercise that builds muscle and strength in the obliques.

This is a great oblique workout when done correctly, it can effectively target your core and waist.

The lying bent-knee oblique twist is an isolation exercise you can do the weighted version of the exercise with a ball in between your legs.

Lying Bent-Knee Oblique Twist

How To Do Lying Bent-Knee Oblique Twist

  1. Lie on your back on the floor or mat with arms extended out to the sides to keep your body stable during the exercise.
  2. Bend your legs and raise bent legs at a 90-degree angle, so thighs are vertical and lower legs are horizontal.
  3. Keeping your shoulders in contact with the floor, slowly lower your legs to one side until you feel a mild stretch in your lower back.
  4. Now, rotate your legs all the way to the right. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Tips For Proper Form

  • Exhale as your legs rise, and inhale as they descend.
  • Keep your core tight during the movement to activate your obliques against resistance.

13. Alternate Heel Touches

Alternate heel touches also known as lying oblique reach is an at-home workout exercise that targets the oblique and also involves abs.

It is one of the great oblique exercises that can be done easily by beginner and advanced athletes to activate and grow their midsection.

The exercise mimics other oblique exercises such as the dumbbell side bend and oblique crunch.

Alternate Heel Touches

How To Do Alternate Heel Touches

  1. Lie down flat on the floor, while your back and hips touch the ground.
  2. Bend your knees and place your hands extended along your torso.
  3. Now, contract your abs by pulling your belly button towards your spine and crunch your torso to the right until you can touch your right heel with your right hand.
  4. Pause for a second and feel the stretching in your abdominal muscles.
  5. Come back to the starting position, touch your left hand to the left heel, do the recommended number of repetitions every time with alternate hand side.

Tips For Proper Form

  • Be sure not to strain your neck when doing any ab crunch work.
  • Don’t jerk from side to side, focus on oblique muscles while doing touching exercises

14. Pallof Press

If you’re looking for a way to get more creative with your oblique workout, why not try Pallof Press?

It is a full-body exercise that can increase overall stability and activate many large muscle groups in the body.

The beauty of the Pallof press is that it challenges and strengthens the stabilization action of your abs.

It is a valuable movement prep and core strengthening exercise for nearly every lifter. It helps to establish proper spinal alignment under load and increase core stability.

Pallof Press

How To Do Pallof Press

  1. Attach a handle to a chest-high cable pulley. Stand on the side cable machine with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Grasp the handle with the hand nearest the pulley, pull the handle to your chest, and place your free hand over the hand holding the handle.
  3. Engage your core and press the handle out with both hands, so your arms are extended in front of your chest.
  4. Hold this position, resisting the pull of the cable and not letting your torso rotate towards the machine, for five to ten seconds, then bring the handle back in to your chest.
  5. Repeat the exercise on your opposite side.

Tips For Proper Form

  • Maintain a forward chest and straight back throughout the entire exercise.
  • Use a challenging weight, but only to where you can maintain a straight body position. 
Read More: Most Effective Abs & Oblique Cable Exercises & Workout

15. Cable Wood Chop

The cable wood chop is also known as the cable up-down twist, you must add these oblique workouts to your oblique exercises arsenal.

This is great for strengthening the twisting movement pattern of your torso, as well as improving your torso’s ability to resist twisting forces.

It is a compound pulling motion and a functional exercise. While it primarily targets the abs and obliques, it also employs the shoulders, back, and glutes.

Cable wood chop

How To Do Cable wood chop

  1. Attach a handle to the top of the cable pulley.
  2. Grasp the handle with both hands, with either your fingers interlaced or with one hand over the other.
  3. Stand next to the machine with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  4. Keeping your arms straight, pull the handle in a diagonally downward motion until your torso faces away from the pulley and your hands are knee height.
  5. Hold for a count of two. Then slowly reverse the movement to return to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions. Repeat the exercise on your opposite side.

Tips For Proper Form

  • Stop and hold the handle for a few seconds halfway through some reps, thus forcing your body to resist the twisting force.
  • Don’t lock the knees and hips. Allow the hips and knees to rotate slightly.

16. Cable Down-Up Twist

The Cable down up twist is aka low to high Cable Wood chop.

It is a variation of the wood chop and an exercise used to target the muscles of the abdominal complex and obliques.

Use the cable down-up twist to strengthen and stabilize your core, and to strengthen the rotational movement pattern of your torso.

Cable down-up twist

How To Do Cable Down-Up Twist

  1. Attach a handle to the lowest of the cable pulley.
  2. Grasp the handle with both hands, either with your fingers interlaced or with one hand over the other.
  3. Keeping your arms straight, pull the handle in a diagonally upward motion.
  4. Hold for a count of two. Then slowly reverse the movement to return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions. Repeat the exercise on your opposite side.

Tips For Proper Form

  • Stop and hold the stirrup for a few seconds halfway through some reps, thus forcing your body to resist the twisting force.
  • Don’t lock the knees and hips. Allow the hips and knees to rotate slightly.

17. Cable Twist

The cable twist is one of the best isolation exercises that works the oblique muscles of the core.

It’s unique in that it not only helps to strengthen the core muscles, but it’s a functional exercise because it is performed on the feet.

It is a great idea to stop halfway through some reps, hold the stirrup, and try to resist the twisting force. This will strengthen your torso’s ability to resist twisting forces.

Cable Twist

How To Do Cable Twist

  1. Attach a handle to a cable pulley that is shoulder-height. Grab the handle with both hands, either by putting your fingers together or by crossing one hand over the other.
  2. Move your body from one side to the other until your body is facing away from the pulley.
  3. Hold for two seconds and then slowly reverse the movement.
  4. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions. Repeat the exercise on your opposite side.

Tips For Proper Form

  • Keep your arms straight, shoulders locked in place.
  • Don’t lock the knees and hips. Allow the hips and knees to rotate slightly.
  • Control the weight the whole time.

18. Cross-Body Mountain Climber

The cross-body mountain climber is an explosive bodyweight exercise that engages multiple muscle groups at once helping to improve your balance, agility, coordination, strength, flexibility, and blood circulation almost like getting a total-body workout with just one exercise. This workout needs to be added to your arsenal of oblique exercises.

Cross Body Mountain Climber

How To Do Cross-Body Mountain Climber

  1. Start in the push-up position with your arms completely straight and directly beneath your shoulders.
  2. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles.
  3. Squeeze your abs, lift one foot off the floor and bring your left knee towards your right elbow while keeping your body in as straight of a line as possible.
  4. Return to the starting position and repeat the movement with your opposite leg.

Tips For Proper Form

  • Don’t round your lower back.
  • Don’t lift your hips too high. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles.

19. Bird Dog

The bird-dog is a bodyweight floor exercise that strengthens the core—more specifically, the abdominal, oblique muscles, lower back, butt, and thighs.

It is a real stability exercise that ensures a stable trunk. It owes its name to the position, which alternates between sitting on hands and knees (dog) and stretching the arms and legs (bird).

Bird Dog Exercise

How To Do Bird dog

  1. Get on your knees and place your hands on the floor in front of your body at shoulder width.
  2. Keep your spine in a neutral position and contract your abs and lift one hand and the opposite knee slightly off the floor.
  3. Now extend your arm and leg all the way out. Try to form a straight plane from your hand to your foot.
  4. Hold this position for about 10 seconds and then return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat the exercise with the other side.

Tips For Proper Form

  • Don’t raise your leg and arm higher than your back.
  • Keep your spine neutral and engage your core to prevent your back from sagging.
  • Keep your hips level and don’t rotate your pelvis.

20. V-Up

The V-Up, also known as a jackknife, is a full-body move. This exercise designed to burn out the obliques and abs, including the upper and lower abs muscles simultaneously.

The V-up is an advanced core exercise. To make it more difficult, hold a weight plate or medicine ball in your hands and wear a pair of ankle weights while you perform the standard V-up.

V – Up

How To Do V-Up

  1. Lie down on the floor on your back with your arms extended straight back behind your head. Your legs should also be extended.
  2. Exhale and bend at your waist while raising your legs and arms to meet in a jackknife movement. Try to hold the contracted position.
  3. Lower your arms and legs back to the starting position, inhale as you do so.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Tips For Proper Form

  1. Keep the movement slow and controlled.
  2. Try to keep your back as straight as you can during the V-up.

21. Dumbbell Farmers Walk

Finally, if you’re looking for one more effective oblique exercise, try the dumbbell farmer’s walk. It is a great exercise for improving your grip strength and building your abdominal and oblique muscles.

It also improves your overall strength and functional fitness by strengthening your core, back, glutes, legs, and gait.

The farmer’s walk exercise also called the farmer’s carry, is a strength and conditioning exercise in which you hold a heavy load in each hand while walking for a designated distance.

Dumbbell Farmers Walk

Muscles Worked

Primary: Traps, Rhomboids, Erector Spinae, Abs, Oblique.

Secondary: Glute, Hamstrings, Quads.

How To Do Dumbbell Farmers Walk

  1. Deadlift a pair of dumbbells from the floor.
  2. Reach down, bending at the hips and knees, and grasp the dumbbells in each hand.
  3. Hold the dumbbells at your side with a firm grip. Stand tall, keeping your shoulders, back, and core tight.
  4. Take small steps and walk forward at an even pace with your eyes focused straight ahead of you.
  5. Complete the desired number of steps, come to a stop, and place the dumbbells down while keeping a tight core and neutral spine.

Tips For Proper Form

  • Focus on squeezing your shoulder blades and tightening your abs.
  • Keep a neutral or straight spine throughout the movement to avoid injury.

Common Misconceptions About Oblique Exercises

Many people avoid including oblique exercises in their workout routines because of misconceptions surrounding them. Let’s address these misconceptions and clarify the truth.

1. Oblique exercises will make my waistline wider.

Many women worry that working their oblique muscles will make their waist look bigger. However, this is far from the truth. While oblique exercises can build muscle, they do not cause significant muscle hypertrophy. Instead, they help tone and define your waistline, giving you a more sculpted appearance.

2. Oblique workout is only for advanced.

Another misconception is that oblique workouts are only for experienced fitness enthusiasts. In reality, there are numerous beginner-friendly oblique exercises that can be modified to suit any fitness level.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced athlete, there are exercises that will challenge your oblique muscles effectively.

3. Oblique exercises are only for aesthetics

While oblique exercises can certainly help you achieve a more defined waistline, their benefits go beyond aesthetics. Strengthening your oblique muscles improves your overall core strength, improves your athletic performance, and reduces the risk of lower back pain.

So, don’t think of these exercises as just cosmetic; they have many other benefits as well.

Complete Oblique Workout Plans

If you want to create a balanced abs workout, you should add two or three of the following oblique exercises to each routine.

Sets And Reps

Of course, the number of sets and reps will be determined based on your fitness journey, but here is a great starting point:


  • Beginners: ~10 sets per week.
  • Intermediate: ~15 sets per week.
  • Advanced: ~20 sets per week.

When a certain amount of volume stops being effective and your progress stalls, you can add sets to increase volume and use that as a driver of renewed progress. 


The best rep ranges and loads to work with.

  • 10-12 reps with moderate load
  • 15-20 Bodyweight

Find the workout that suits your experience level and goals.

Beginner Oblique Workout Plan

If you are a beginner or new to the task, do not worry. This beginner-friendly oblique workout routine is a great place to start.

When this gets easy, choose a free weight. When you feel strong in the movements below, move on to the intermediate routine. Until then, you can follow this beginner oblique workout plan.

Beginner Workout Plan 1

  • Oblique Crunches: 4 sets of 10-15 reps.
  • Side Plank: 3 sets and 30-60 sec hold.
  • Russian Twist : 3 sets of 8-10 reps

Beginner Workout Plan 2

  • Alternate Heel Touches: 3 sets of 12-15 reps.
  • Side Jackknife: 4 sets of 8-12 reps.
  • Lying Bent-Knee Oblique Twist: 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Intermediate Oblique Exercises Plan

If you are an intermediate level or have outgrown the beginner routine, try the intermediate oblique workout routine below.

Regardless of how many reps your programming is calling for, you should be unable to complete the last one with proper form.

Intermediate Workout Plan 1

  • Twisting Sit-Up: 4 sets of 8-10 reps.
  • Cable Wood Chop: 4 sets of 8-12 reps.
  • Dumbbell Side Bend: 3 sets of 8-10 reps
  •  V-Up : 3 sets of 12-15 reps.

Intermediate Workout Plan 2

  • Pallof Press: 3 sets of 8-10 reps.
  • Bicycle Crunch: 4 sets of 8-10 reps.
  • Dumbbell Side Bend: 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Cross-Body Mountain Climber : 3 sets of 12-15 reps.

Advanced Oblique Workout Plan

If you are an advanced level athlete or have already completed the beginner and intermediate oblique workouts, give the advanced routine a try.

Here, you’ll challenge more of your balance, stability, and strength.

Advances Workout Plan 1

  • Cable Side Bend: 3 sets of 8-10 reps.
  • Hanging Windshield Wiper: 4 sets of 8-10 reps.
  • Pallof Press: 3 sets of 8-12 reps.
    • Side Plank With Hip Abduction: 3 sets and 60-90 sec hold.

Advances Workout Plan 1

  • Cable Down-Up Twist: 4 sets of 8-12 reps.
  • Hanging Windshield Wiper: 4 sets of 8-12 reps.
  • Landmine Twists: 3 sets of 8-10 reps.
  • Bicycle Crunch: 3 sets of 12-15 reps

Frequently Asked Question

Do oblique workouts slim your waist?

Only an oblique workout won’t slim your waist size, Fat doesn’t convert to muscle. So performing oblique exercises alone will not result in a reduced waistline. But oblique exercises along with Consistent cardio will, most likely, yield the most successful fat loss, resulting in a slimmer waistline.

How can I tone my obliques fast?

Choice, 3-4 exercises from the mentioned above list and do 3-4 set of each to tone your oblique muscle. And remember, you should never train oblique muscles more than 3 times per week.

If you’re incorporating heavy weight with some of the moves, do lower reps. It is advisable to modify the workout according to intensity and duration.

How do you lose oblique fat?

To lose the extra subcutaneous fat around your waist, lift three times per week to include moves such as squats, deadlifts, chest presses and rows. Use a weight that makes eight to 10 repetitions feel hard. Work up to three sets of each exercise you include in your workout. And also add cardio exercises to your workout regime.  

You should also limit sugary foods, make 25 to 30 percent of your daily You should limit the amount of sugar you eat, reduce the number of calories you consume from sugars, and eat a healthy fat to lose oblique fat.

Can I target my obliques without using any equipment?

Yes, there are many effective oblique exercises that can be performed without equipment, such as bicycle crunches, side planks, and standing side bends.

Can I train obliques everyday?

No, it is not recommended to train obliques every day. Training them every other day or 2-3 times a week is usually enough to build and recover muscles.


An oblique exercise can be used for beginners or advanced exercisers. The benefits of strengthening these muscles are too many to pass up. So start exercising—and specifically, crunching, bending, and rotating, and planks.

A balanced workout routine should include a variety of different exercises that target different muscles. This will help prevent overuse injuries by preventing your body from getting used to the same routine every day. An oblique workout routine can be an effective way to strengthen these muscles without sacrificing the strength of any other part of your body.

Thank you for Reading, enjoy these Oblique Exercises.

Know More about Abs and Oblique Training

12 Best Standing Oblique Exercises

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