Oblique Exercises

Abs / Core Muscle Groups

The obliques are composed of two muscles: the external oblique and the internal oblique. Sometimes considered part of the "core", the obliques are located to the sides of the abdominals (with the internal oblique located superficially below the external oblique) and wrap into the outer region of lower back.

The obliques are known to complement the abdominal muscles to achieve a "wash-board" look. The obliques are most easily targeted by using specific oblique exercises that involve twisting or turning motions to focus on the muscles.

A list of oblique exercises:

Bicycle Kicks (Flat Surface) Image
Utilizing a smaller range of motion, bicycle kicks can be used as a great alternative to the standard leg raise exercise but places additional emphasis on the obliques.
L Pull-Up Image
A challenging exercise, L pull-ups literally require one to form an "L" shape with their body, and hold it while doing pull-ups.
Mountain Climbers (Flat Surface) Image
Focusing on the obliques, mountain climbers are a great way to improve muscle tone as well as elevating the performer's heart rate.
One-Arm Cable Crunches Video Thumb
This often overlooked exercise targets the obliques and serratus anterior by using a cable machine to create resistance from a kneeling position while a crunch is performed.
Push-Up Climbers Flat Surface Image
A variation of the standard push-up, this exercise brings the oblique muscles in as a primary focus.
Rope Pulls Image
Performed with the rope extension, rope pulls are an excellent way to target the elusive serratus muscles as well as the obliques and abdominals.
Side Knee Raises Hanging Grip Image
Utilizing a stationary bar (preferably a wide grip pull up bar) this exercise allows for solid focus of the oblique and abdominal muscles.
Side Knee Raises Hanging Straps Image
Utilizing straps, this exercise allows for solid focus of the oblique and abdominal muscles while lessening the focus on the forearms for stability.
Sit-Ups Elbow to Knee Twist Image
This is a great exercise for beginners looking to gain enough strength and endurance to utilize the more advanced oblique exercises. The basic and effective nature of this exercise places it at the core of many exercise programs.
Standing Twists / Trunk Rotations (Barbell) Image
Standing twists are a nice way to target the obliques without using much, if any, bar weight.
V-Pull-Up Image
An extremely challenging exercise, V pull-ups literally require one to form an "V" shape with their body, and hold it while doing pull-ups.