Standing Oblique Twist Benefits and Variations

Struggling with a weak core and searching for an effective solution? You’re not alone. Stronger core muscles are important for more than just a sculpted physique.

Standing Oblique Twists are a simple exercise that can be done with or without weights.

This move targets the hard-to-target oblique muscles along your sides and improves your rotational strength.

In this blog, we will learn what the Standing Oblique Twist is. Know the correct techniques and how to incorporate this exercise into your workout routine.

What Is Standing Oblique Twists

Standing Oblique Twists, also known as standing twists, side twists, or oblique twists, is a dynamic standing abs exercise.

It is one of the best exercises to target your core muscles. It is one of the few exercises specifically targeting the side muscles of your abs, also known as “obliques”.

The standing oblique twist movement engages and strengthens your muscles responsible for spine movements and stabilizing the core. This will help you build a strong core and make your abs look good.

Don’t underestimate the benefit of this standing oblique move. Ensure that you’re twisting your whole torso, not just your arms, to get the full benefit.

Standing Oblique Twist.
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Oblique Twists Muscles Worked

Your abs consist of three major muscles: the rectus abdominis, the obliques, and the transverse abdominis.

  • The primary muscle worked during standing oblique twists is the oblique.
  • Secondary muscles worked are serratus muscles, Gluteus Medius, Gluteus Minimus, Psoas Major, and abs

How To Do Standing Oblique Twists

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, and bring your arms to your chest.
  2. Keep your knees slightly bent.
  3. Clasp your hands together in front of your chest or place them behind your head, elbows wide.
  4. Brace your core and begin to twist your upper body to the left side of your body, then the right.
  5. Keep your body still during the motion; only your torso moves.
  6. Exhale on the turns, and inhale when coming back.
  7. Repeat until all reps have been completed.

Note: Do 3–4 sets and 10–15 reps for each side. For best results, do this standing oblique workout after your regular strength or cardio session, up to 2–3 days a week.

Key Tips for Proper Form

  • Avoid fast, jerky movements. The twist should be smooth and controlled.
  • Keep your hips facing forward; they should not rotate with your upper body.
  • Stand tall; do not hunch or crunch your shoulders. Keep your chest lifted and back straight, even while twisting.
  • Coordinate your breathing with your movements — inhale at the center and exhale on the twist.
  • Twist only as far as you can without straining. Overextending can cause back strain.
  • Align your neck with your spine. Avoid craning your neck forward or twisting it to the sides excessively.
  • If you’re placing your hands behind your head, be sure to keep your elbows wide and avoid pulling on your neck.
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Benefits of Oblique Twists

The Oblique twist is a traditional exercise found in most core workout routines and has many benefits.

  1. Strengthens your obliques Muscles— Isolating the side abs with a twisting motion helps build muscular endurance and power.
  2. Enhances torso rotation — As you continue practicing controlled twists, mobility in your trunk rotation will improve, which is helpful for sports and everyday movement.
  3. Supports lower back health — Strong obliques stabilize your core to alleviate strain on your lower back and prevent injury or pain.
  4. Aids in Fat Burning: This can contribute to burning calories and potentially reducing waist circumference.
  5. Improves performance: Increases your core’s speed and improves your performance when participating in sports such as football, netball, golf, etc.
  6. Improves balance and stability — Rotational movements like the standing twist require whole-body coordination, which carries over to better balance in fitness and daily life.
  7. Easily incorporated into workouts — As a bodyweight exercise, you can do it anywhere without equipment. Try the exercises below at home, in your hotel room, or at the gym — no lying on dirty floors is required.
  8. Accessible for all levels — Beginners can start doing this twist easily, while more advanced exercisers can progress over time with added resistance or reps.

Standing Oblique Twist Variations and Modifications

Standing oblique twist exercises come in different varieties. Oblique twists are versatile and easy to perform. In fact, there is no one way to perform an oblique twist.

Each oblique twist is unique and will keep any workout routine interesting.

You can easily and effectively do the standing oblique Twist with a Plate, Barbell, Machine, and Cable.

1. Standing Plate Twists

Standing Plate Twist (aka Torso Rotation) is best used to warm up the oblique abdominal muscles and mobilize the torso.

It’s important to know that this exercise won’t make your waist smaller, as this is a pretty popular myth. When you become lean, however, the exercise can help to make that area look a bit more toned.

Standing Oblique Twists with Plate

How To Do Standing Plate Oblique Twists

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, while holding the plate (weight) with both hands.
  2. Keep your arms to your chest, then, using your abs, twist your torso as you bring your arms to the left side of your body, then the right.
  3. Keep your body still during the motion; only your torso moves.
  4. Exhale on the turns, and inhale when coming back.


  • Keep your torso and arms straight and the movement under control.
  • Make sure to get a full range of motion, twisting from one side to the other and then back again.

2. Standing Barbell Twist

The standing barbell oblique twist exercise focuses on your obliques.

Use the barbell twist to strengthen your body’s twisting movement pattern.

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

Standing Barbell Twist

How To Do Standing Barbell Twist

  1. Grab a light barbell and rest it on your upper back, keeping your head facing forward.
  2. Stand up straight, with your feet firmly on the floor at a wider than shoulder-width stance.
  3. Slowly twist your torso to the right and then to the left. Twist as far as possible.
  4. Try to keep your abs tight throughout the whole set.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions


  • Make sure not to rest the weight on your neck.
  • Keep the movement slow and under full control.
  • Avoid using heavy weights because the momentum may become too difficult to control.

3. Standing Machine Oblique Twist

You can easily perform this standing Twist with a twisting machine. At the gym, abs machines make it easy to isolate your abs and hit them with different angles with targeted resistance. 

It strengthens your core, so it may help you avoid back injury. A strong core is also important for physical strength and balance.

Standing Machine Oblique Twist

How To Do Standing Machine Oblique Twist

  1. Stand on a twisting machine with feet and hips apart and hold the machine handles.
  2. Assume a normal posture, with your back straight.
  3. Exhale and twist the pelvis slowly to your right, as far as possible.
  4. Hold the stretch for several seconds and return to your starting position while inhaling.
  5. Perform the stretch on the other side, this time turning to your left as far as you can.


  • Keep your head and upper torso in their starting position – immobile.

4. Standing Cable Oblique Twist

The standing oblique cable twist is an isolation exercise 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.

Cable Twist

How To Do Standing Cable Twist

  1. Attach a handle to a shoulder-height cable pulley.
  2. Grasp the handle with both hands, either with your fingers interlaced or with one hand over the other.
  3. Pull the handle, twisting across your body to your opposite side until your torso faces away from the pulley.
  4. Hold for a count of two. Then, slowly reverse the movement to return to the starting position.
  5. Do 10–12 reps. Repeat the exercise on your opposite side.


  • 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.

5. Standing Dumbbell Twist

The standing dumbbell twist is an excellent rotational exercise that targets your core, especially your obliques. This will also help develop strength and flexibility in your hips and lower back during rotation.

It looks simple, but it’s a real challenge. If you are a beginner, keep a dumbbell close to the body. You can increase the difficulty by straightening your arms.

standing dumbbell oblique twist

How To Do A Standing Dumbbell Twist

  1. Hold a dumbbell with both hands and hold it vertically.
  2. With straight arms, raise the dumbbell in front of you, so it’s parallel to the floor.
  3. Contract your core and then twist to one side, just past your shoulders, without moving your lower body.
  4. Hold for a count of two. Then, slowly reverse the movement to return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat the desired number of times from both sides.

6. Resistance Band Oblique Twist

With just a durable resistance band, you can perform targeted abs exercises that tone your rectus abdominis and obliques.

It is a great exercise for full-body mobility and flexibility. Start with a band that offers light to moderate resistance.

If your muscles are not fatigued after several sets, then you should consider increasing the resistance level to the next level.

Resistance abd standing Oblique Twist

How To Do Resistance Band Oblique Twist

  • The resistance band should be attached to a stable object at waist height.
  • Stand a foot away and hold the ends of the bands with your hands.
  • Stand with your arms stretched out in front of you.
  • Pull the bands across your body, twisting as you pull.
  • Hold for two seconds on the turn, and then return to your starting position.
  • Do the 10–12 reps from each side.
Know More: 10 Best Resistance Band Abs Exercises (With Workout Plan)

7. Standing Oblique Twists with Medicine Ball

The medicine ball is a perfect addition to any gym workout. It is small and easy to use for a productive and fast workout.

standing medicine ball oblique twist

How To Do Medicine Ball Twist

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
  • Hold a medicine ball in front of your chest with your arms bent.
  • When looking straight ahead, contract the abdominal muscles and slowly turn the torso to the right.
  • Then, slowly reverse the movement to return to the starting position.


The standing oblique twist is a great exercise for targeting the core muscles, specifically the obliques. It also works the serratus anterior, rectus abdominis, and glutes.

The standing oblique twist helps strengthen your abdominal muscles and improve your posture.

You can perform the oblique twist in different variations by using a plate, barbell, and cable.

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