4 Key Oblique Exercises for Chiseled Side Abs

4 Key Oblique Exercises for a Strong, Sculpted Core

A strong core is essential for overall fitness, balance, and stability. While many people focus on their abs, it's equally important to target the obliques – the muscles on the sides of your abdomen that help with twisting and bending motions. Strengthening your obliques can improve your athletic performance, reduce the risk of injury, and contribute to a well-defined core. In this blog post, we'll explore the top 4 oblique exercises to help you build a balanced and powerful midsection.

The Best Oblique Exercises According to the Experts

1. Russian Twists

Russian twists are a classic oblique exercise that engages your entire core while specifically targeting the obliques.

How to perform Russian twists:

  1. Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
  2. Lean back slightly, keeping your back straight, and lift your feet off the ground.
  3. Hold a weight, such as a dumbbell or medicine ball, with both hands at chest level.
  4. Twist your torso to the right and touch the weight to the floor beside your right hip.
  5. Repeat the movement to the left side.
  6. Continue alternating sides for the desired number of reps.

Source: American Council on Exercise (ACE) - Russian Twist

2. Side Plank with Rotation

This challenging exercise combines the stability of a side plank with a rotational movement to effectively work your obliques.

How to perform a side plank with rotation:

  1. Begin in a side plank position with your body in a straight line and your weight supported on your right forearm and the outside of your right foot.
  2. Extend your left arm toward the ceiling.
  3. Slowly rotate your torso and reach your left arm under your body.
  4. Return to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of reps.
  5. Switch sides and perform the exercise on your left side.

Source: ACE - Side Plank with Rotation

3. Bicycle Crunches

Bicycle crunches are an effective way to target both your rectus abdominis (the "six-pack" muscles) and obliques in one dynamic movement.

How to perform bicycle crunches:

  1. Lie on your back with your hands behind your head and your knees bent.
  2. Lift your head, shoulders, and feet off the ground.
  3. Bring your right elbow toward your left knee while extending your right leg.
  4. Switch sides, bringing your left elbow toward your right knee and extending your left leg.
  5. Continue alternating sides in a fluid, cycling motion for the desired number of reps.

Source: ACE - Bicycle Crunch

4. Standing Oblique Crunch

This standing exercise targets your obliques while improving balance and overall core stability.

How to perform standing oblique crunches:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands behind your head.
  2. Lift your right knee up and out to the side while bringing your right elbow toward your right knee.
  3. Lower your right leg and return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat the movement on the left side.
  5. Continue alternating sides for the desired number of reps.

Source: ACE - Standing Oblique Crunch


Incorporating oblique exercises into your fitness routine is crucial for developing a well-rounded, strong, and sculpted core. Training your obliques not only enhances your physical appearance but also improves athletic performance, balance, and stability while reducing the risk of injury. By consistently performing the top oblique exercises mentioned in this blog post, you'll be able to build a powerful midsection that supports your daily activities and contributes to overall health and well-being. Remember, a balanced core is the foundation of a strong, functional body, so don't neglect your obliques in your quest for peak fitness.

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