The 12 Best Oblique Exercises For a Stronger Core

POPSUGAR Photography | Chaunté Vaughn / SAM KANG

Doing core work is satisfying in part because of the burning feeling you get in your ab muscles, but it’s also important for so many reasons. Building a strong, stable core helps with your overall strength and mobility, as well as preventing injury and reducing pain, including lower-back pain. And that core umbrella includes your internal and external obliques, the muscles that wrap around either side of your abdominal area. These muscles are responsible for bending your torso forward and sideways, rotating your torso, and helping provide stability for your hips and lower back.

Classic ab moves like planks and crunches will slightly activate your obliques, but they don’t put the majority of the focus on these muscles. To specifically target both your internal and external obliques, your best bet is to pick specific moves designed for that purpose. And we’ve got 12 oblique exercises that work those muscles – as well as other important parts of your core, including your transverse abdominis (your deep core) and your rectus abdominis (the muscles along the front of your stomach). In all, these oblique exercises will help you create a powerful core so you can move more efficiently.

We included bodyweight oblique exercises and weighted oblique exercises, as well as oblique exercises for beginners and more advanced oblique exercises, so there’s something for everyone. You can add one or two of these oblique exercises into your next workout, or use the list to put together an oblique-focused ab circuit. To do that, just pick three of these oblique exercises; do each one for 30 seconds, repeating on both sides if needed; and do three rounds, resting as needed between rounds. We promise, you’ll be feeling the burn the next day.

– Additional reporting by Dominique Michelle Astorino, Maggie Ryan, and Mirel Zaman

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