6 Exercises to Work your Obliques

Accompanying these exercises with other aerobic exercises will help you burn fat and calories. If you're focused and discipline yourself, you'll see incredible results in your abdomen in a short time.
6 Exercises to Work your Obliques

Last update: 11 June, 2022

Do you know the different exercises you can do to work your obliques?

Obliques don’t just look good with that familiar V-shape we crave, but they’re also important abdominal muscles for stabilizing our core in rotation and lateral flexion. Personal trainers claim that doing exercises to work your obliques is essential if you want to achieve a flat abdomen.

By strengthening a muscle with routines, we can increase the size of the fibers that compose it. If you accompany the following exercises to work your obliques with other cardiovascular exercises, weights, and a proper diet, you can get the figure you want and have a toned abdomen.

Why work your obliques?

Before getting into the subject, you need to know that the obliques are located in the lower part of the abdomen. There’s one on each side. They’re the muscles that once developed are displayed in a V-shape, both in men and women.

Now, why should we work the obliques?

Keeping this area toned will allow you to have greater muscle strength in the waist area and more stability throughout the body.

In any case, you shouldn’t hypertrophy the obliques too much, but instead try to maintain them. Undoubtedly, greater abdominal strength translates into better body conditions, because this part is the core of strength.

If you have fat accumulated at the abdominal level, you must work intensively not only in this area, but also in the rest of your body. Burning fat in a localized way is a myth in the world of exercise.

If you’re a woman you shouldn’t believe the myth that exercising will make you have an unfeminine figure. It all depends on your goals.

Now, let’s see what are the best exercises to work this area of the abdomen!

Exercises to work your obliques

Exercises can always be focused on a specific area. That’s why there are ideal routines to work your obliques that’ll manage to develop this muscle.

Remember that the obliques are located on the sides, in the lower part of the abdomen. You can elaborate your own set of exercises with the ones we’re going to show you now and thus dedicate one day of the week only to train this area of the abdomen.

1. Foot to foot crunches

For this exercise, you must start lying down, as if you were going to do typical crunches on a mat. Now, raise your neck a little bit and  make a side to side movement until you touch your foot with your hand.

Your arms should be straight and you should focus on making a good side-to-side movement, to activate your core. Always focus the activity on your abdomen.

You can do 30 times per side for 3 sets, resting in between.

2. Work your obliques with leg raises

This is an exercise that’ll activate the abdominal area to the maximum, especially the obliques.

Lie down on the mat on your back and place your hands under your buttocks.

Now you must raise your legs together, in a controlled manner, focusing all the activity on your abdominal area. Focus the lift there. You can complete 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

3. Lateral crunches

The starting position is the same as in a traditional crunch, only that your body will be lying laterally. You can place your hand at the height of the head and exert the movement from your abdomen.

It’s essential that  you turn to the other side to work the contralateral side after completing 10 to 15 repetitions. Try to keep your balance. If you’d like, you can ask for help from someone else.

4. Lateral leg raise

In this exercise, you must be very careful to do the leg lift in a controlled manner. otherwise, you could damage the abductors.

Now, lie on your side and support your body on your arm. Then proceed to raise the leg laterally, with control of the movement, with emphasis on leaving the oblique, as this will ensure a good hypertrophy.

Do 15 repetitions and 3 sets per side.

Discover: Exercises and Routines when Working from Home

5. Work your obliques with hip dips

These are loved by many and hated by others! However, this exercise is one of the best for working the obliques.

To start, you have to get into the traditional plank position.

Then you have to rotate your lower body to each side, keeping control of the movement and without touching the floor. You can repeat this for 30 seconds and then start again for 3 sets.

6. Oblique abdominals

This exercise is pretty simple as it’s very similar to a traditional abdominal. You just have to lie down on the mat, place your legs bent in front of you and your opposite arm to the movement you are going to do, supported by your head.

Repeat the same movement, but for the opposite side. Do this in both directions for 15 reps of 3 sets. Your abs and obliques will be on fire!

Working your obliques isn’t only physical demand, but also diet

When an exercise is performed correctly (not too quickly and without cheating), you’re encouraging the muscle to be forced to work directly, without the help of others. This way, it’ll have greater effectiveness in the medium and long term.

That’s why you don’t have to get carried away by those who lift more weight or do more repetitions. To work the obliques, the essential thing is to focus on having a good technique and you’ll see how the results begin to appear sooner than you thought. To tone the abdomen we must lower the percentage of body fat with a good diet.

Indeed, the abs are mostly are made in the kitchen. So accompany this exercise routine to work the obliques that we showed you with a balanced diet, leaving aside saturated fatty foods, soda, and anything that can provide extra calories.

In any case, you should always consult with a nutritionist and also with a personal trainer for best results. Professionals have the necessary tools to guide your process.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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    • Portao, J., et al. “Valoración de la grasa corporal en jóvenes físicamente activos: antropometría vs bioimpedancia.” Nutrición hospitalaria 24.5 (2009): 529-534.
    • García, Cecilia Dorado, Nuria Dorado García, and Joaquín Sanchís Moysi. ABDOMINALES. Para un trabajo abdominal más seguro y eficaz. Editorial Paidotribo, 2008.
    • Ayllón, Fernando Naclerio, and Daniel Forte Fernández. “The abdominal muscles function and training: A scientific approach.” Journal of Human Sport and Exercise 1.1 (2008): 15-23.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.