Training the oblique abdominals: 6 exercises


Combining these exercises with other aerobic exercises will help you burn fat and calories. With perseverance and discipline, in no time you will see excellent results.

The oblique abdominals not only have an aesthetic impact (the much desired V shape) but have the important function of stabilizing the torso in rotation and lateral flexion. Personal trainers assure you that working your oblique abs is essential if you want to achieve a flat abdomen.

Strengthening a muscle through a training program means aiming for hypertrophy, i.e. increasing the size of the fibers that compose it. By combining the following exercises for the obliques with other cardiovascular and weight exercises, you will be able to shape the abdomen and make it more toned.

Why train the obliques?

Before describing the exercises, let’s specify that the oblique muscles are located in the lower abdomen. They are those muscles that, when developed, create the V shape so desired by many.

What is the purpose of training the oblique abdominals? Keeping this toned area will allow you to have greater muscle strength at the waist level and greater stability of the whole body.

It is not the case to hypertrophy the obliques, we just have to try to tone them. Undoubtedly, greater abdominal strength translates into better overall health, because this part is the core of strength.

In case you have accumulated abdominal fat, it is necessary to work not only on this point but also on everything else. Localized fat burning is just a myth in the fitness world.

Another myth concerning women is the belief that exercising makes the figure less feminine. It all depends on your goals. Let’s see what are the best exercises to increase strength at this point of the abdomen.

Exercises to train the oblique abdominals


The exercises can be focused, in order to work a specific area of ​​the body. Therefore, there are also ideal routines for developing obliques.

You can develop a personal set of exercises, choosing from the following, and thus dedicate only one day a week to this area of ​​the abdomen.

1. Foot-to-foot crunch

To do this exercise lie on your back, using a mat. Lift your neck slightly and make a lateral movement, from side to side, touching the foot with your hand. The arms are outstretched.

Concentrate as you perform a controlled movement to the sides in order to activate the core. The abdominals are always in tension. Perform 3 sets of 30 reps on each side, with a small pause in between.

2. Leg raise

This exercise intensely activates the abdominal area, especially the obliques. Lie on your back, with your hands under your buttocks.

Now raise your legs together, in a controlled manner, concentrating all the activity on the abdomen. That is, the force starts from this point. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

3. Side crunches

The starting position is the same as in the traditional crunch, only the body is lying sideways. You can place your hand at head level and exercise the movement starting from the abdomen.

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After completing 10 or 15 repetitions, you need to turn away to work on the contralateral muscle. Try to keep your balance, if necessary, by getting help.

4. Lateral leg raises

In this exercise you will need to be very careful to lift the leg in a controlled manner; otherwise, the risk is of injuring the adductors.

Lie on your side and support your body with your arm. Lift the leg to the side, with control of the movement, making sure that the movement arises from the oblique, as this will ensure good hypertrophy. Do 15 repetitions in 3 sets on each side.

5. Hip dips

Loved by many, hated by others, this is one of the best exercises to train the obliques. The starting position is the same as for the plank.

Roll your lower body to one side and the other, maintaining control of the movement and not touching the floor. You can repeat the movements in sequence for a total of 30 seconds, and then start over until you complete 3 sets.

6. Oblique abdominals

It is not a difficult exercise, being very similar to a traditional crunch. Lie on your back, bend your legs and place your hands behind your head.

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Twist the torso by bringing the left shoulder towards the right knee.  Repeat the same movement, but on the other side. 3 sets of 15 repetitions. You will feel the obliques burning!

Working on the oblique abdominals: not just exercises, diet also counts

When we perform the exercise correctly, that is, without unbalancing, without excessive impulses, and without “cheating”, we urge the muscle to work on its own, without the support of the other muscles. Exercise will be more effective in the medium and long term.

That’s why you shouldn’t imitate someone who lifts more weight or does more repetitions. To tone the obliques, good technique is essential. In this way, you will soon see the first results.

To have a flat abdomen it is mandatory to reduce the percentage of body fat through good nutrition.

Abdominals are formed, largely, in the kitchen. So, combine this exercise routine with a balanced diet, leaving aside saturated fats, fizzy drinks, and anything that can add extra calories.

If in doubt, consult your nutritionist and, for best results, be guided by a professional trainer.


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