The 8 Best Exercises for Stronger Obliques

You cannot ignore your core muscles when it comes to building muscles. Training your core helps with stronger lifts and more muscle growth. Your core muscles power your entire body while keeping you solid and stable while training. The problem with most core training is that it only focuses on the sagittal plane. Meaning athletes only move back and forth or up and down. However, for a holistically stronger core, you must implement lateral exercises targeting your obliques.

Targeting your obliques fires up your entire core, making it more robust, resilient, and efficient in transmitting force. 

This article includes 8 Best Exercises to develop killer obliques and a robust core.

Spiderman Pushup

The spiderman push can help you develop superhero-level obliques, arms, and core strength. If you can do a full pushup properly, you won't find this exercise any difficult. This activated your lower body, targeting your core and obliques, including your hip flexors and quads.

This move targets the same muscle group as a traditional pushup, along with an added challenge to the core muscle groups, including stabilizing your abdomen, back, rectus abdominis, and obliques.

Spiderman Pushup Benefits

  • Add more intensity to the standard full pushup

  • Increase your upper body strength and engages your lower body as well

  • Improves your overall core strength and stability

  • Make your obliques rock solid

How to do a spiderman pushup?

  • Get into a high plank position forming a straight line from head to toe

  • Set your feet shoulder-width apart

  • Lower your chest to your hands on the floor by bending your elbows to 45-degree angle

  • Lift your left leg and move your knees toward you elbow

  • Pause for a moment and switch to the other side, and repeat

Side Jackknife

It comprises a combo of oblique crunch and a sideways leg raise, making it a perfect exercise for growing and strengthening your oblique muscles as well as adding some intensity to your outer thighs.

Side Jackknife Benefits

  • An excellent resistance training to strengthen your muscles

  • Help you lose weight 

  • Avoid muscle asymmetries as you do one side at a time

  • As a core strengthening exercise, it helps prevent and reduce back pain

How to Do the Side Jackknife?

  • Lay on one side with your legs extended 

  • Keep your right hand behind your head with your elbows out 

  • Place your other hand in front of you for balance

  • Place your upper hand behind your head and push your elbow back to extend your chest

  • Simultaneously lift your top leg and top shoulder while contracting your obliques and abs

  • Lie down and repeat on the other side

Pushup to Side Plank

The pushup to side plank combines two exercises: the traditional pushups and the side plank. It is a core-focused upper body exercise targeting your core and chest muscles, obliques, shoulders, triceps, and abdominals. 

The pushup is already a moving plank, and adding a side plank will push up obliques and core beyond the edge. It helps you improve your balance by teaching you to transfer your body weight from two hands to one.

Pushup to Side Plank Benefits

  • Simultaneously improve your upper body and core strength

  • Help your body to move from one movement to other seamlessly

  • A fun and intense way to integrate oblique training into your daily routine

How to Do the Pushup to Side Plank?

  • Get into your regular full pushup position with your hands slightly wider than your shoulder

  • Perform a pushup by flexing your arms and retracting your shoulder blades 

  • Do one push, and as you ascend, shift your weight to the left side of the body and raise your right arm towards the ceiling while stacking your right foot on your left one.

  • Lower your right arm back to the push position 

  • Repeat the procedure on the other arm 

  • Repeat the series by switching your arms alternatively 

Rotational Medicine Ball Throw

The rotational medicine ball throw is an explosive exercise for your obliques and abdominal muscles, including your hips and upper back. It involves a wide range of core movements to be done slowly and steadily. Tossing the ball directly to the wall and catching it when it bounces back helps in the rapid engagement of your obliques in anti-rotation work.

Rotational Medicine Ball Throw Benefits

  • A total workout of the core, including obliques and abdominals

  • Promotes coordination of muscular action between hips, upper body, and core

  • A great advantage for players in rotational sports

How to Do the Rotational Medicine Ball Throw?

  • Stand on your side, away from the wall

  • Hold a medicine ball with both hands

  • Rotate your shoulder away from the wall, preparing to throw

  • Now reverse your direction, turn your shoulders and throw the ball against the wall

  • Catch the ball when it bounces back

  • Repeat the exercise

Kettlebell Dead Bug Pullover

It is a combination of kettlebell and the dead bug pullover. The dead bug is excellent for core strengthening, while the kettlebell pullover is ideal for building a solid back, chest, and obliques. It is a deadly combo for getting robust obliques while increasing your strength and stability.

Kettlebell Dead Bug Pullover Benefits

  • Promotes full-body coordination and strengthens your entire core

  • Obliques will be operating in full blasts as the leg, and arm extension will create robust core torsions

  • Improves core endurance without draining energy from your body

How to Do the Kettlebell Dead Bug Pullover?

  • Lay flat on your back while holding a kettlebell in both hands

  • Bend both legs 90 degrees and lift them off the floor

  • Lift the kettlebell as it hovers above your head while extending your arms fully

  • Extend one of the legs fully and hold the position for a few seconds 

  • Lower the kettlebells on the floor and repeat the process

  • Note − you can extend both legs or alternatively so that both legs are engaged

Overhead Suitcase Carry

Also known as the unilateral farmer’s walk, the exercise involves walking in a straight line while lifting a kettlebell or dumbbell. It targets multiple muscle groups, including your obliques, core, back, upper body, and lower body.

Overhead Suitcase Carry Benefits

  • Improves balance and core strength

  • Targets multiple muscle groups

  • Reduces imbalances and enhances your overhead strength

How to Do the Overhead Suitcase Carry?

  • Stand on your feet with feet hip-width apart

  • Squat down slowly and grab the kettlebell with your non-dominant hand

  • Lift your kettlebell with your hand pointing upright, shoulders down, and core engaged

  • Starts to walk forward slowly

  • Take ten steps forward, turn around, and walk

  • Return to your squat position, squat down, and place the kettlebell down

Copenhagen Plank

A Copenhagen is a variation of a side plank exercise, but instead of resting your legs on the floor, you keep them on a bench or a raised surface. It is an advanced exercise that engages your inner thighs and improves your full-body balance.

Copenhagen Plank Benefits

  • Engages your inner thighs and obliques simultaneously 

  • Improves coordination and heightens mental focus

  • Improves your core strength 

How to Do the Copenhagen Plank?

  • Lay on your side like you used to during a side plank

  • Place your top leg on the top of the bench or a raised surface

  • Lift your hips off the floor, keeping your back straight, obliques, abdominals, and core tight

  • Now lift your lower leg off the floor, so it touches under the bench (make sure it is unsupported)

  • Squeeze your things to hold the position of the lower leg

  • Repeat on the other side

Single-Arm Kettlebell Swing

The kettlebell swing is a full-body exercise focused primarily on your obliques and core. As it involves only one hand, it is more effective than more exercise targeting obliques.

Single-Arm Kettlebell Swing Benefits

  • Improves the anti-rotational muscles of your core and obliques

  • Strengthen the upper back region

  • Improves grip strength and overall lifting efficiency

How to Do the Single-Arm Kettlebell Swing?

  • Stand a few feet behind the kettlebell with your feet a bit wider than hip-width apart 

  • Bend your hips without bending your lower back and push your buttocks backward

  • Grab the kettlebell to your inner thighs while in the bending position

  • Swing the kettlebell using your hamstring and buttock muscles

  • Drive the kettlebell upto chest height while keeping your arm and wrist straight (use your hips to generate power and not your shoulders)

Updated on: 14-Feb-2023


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