Have you been working your obliques? This muscle group is crucial for stabilizing and mobilizing your trunk and for protecting your spine. Strengthening your obliques can help reduce or eliminate back pain, increase the ease of rotational movements, decrease your chance of injury, and improve your agility and power while exercising and playing sports.  Simple planks and classic crunches won’t cut it if you want to make sure your obliques are strong. That’s why I’m sharing my top 5 Oblique Exercises. Add them to your ab circuit to round out your routine.

Exercise Pick #5: Bicycle Oblique Crunches

The bicycle oblique crunch is a classic move that is great for beginners as well as those who are more advanced with their ab routine. I program bicycle crunches for almost all of my clients who want to strengthen their midsection and increase mobility in their back.

Exercise Pick #4: High Plank Shoulder Taps

The shoulder tap exercise is a challenging and super effective option for engaging your obliques. In contrast to the bicycle oblique crunch, this exercise focuses on trunk stabilization, which is a key element in protecting your spine during difficult workouts and in situations that involve impact, such as contact sports.

Exercise Pick #3: Dumbbell Hay Balers

The movement pattern of the dumbbell hay baler is similar to the bicycle oblique crunch. However, when it is performed correctly, it combines elements of mobility and core stabilization. Bonus: with this move, you are also getting a great shoulder workout and opening up your hips!

Exercise Pick #2: Resistance Band Standing Torso Rotations

Truth? The resistance band standing torso rotation is my favorite oblique exercise to program with beginner clients and clients who play recreational sports. For a move that is so easy to perform, it is quite effective. Barring access to the necessary equipment, this would be one to add to your routine twice a week for quick results.

Exercise #1: Side Plank Thread the Needle

Last but certainly not least is the side plank threading the needle. This one is my go-to pick for a challenging, effective workout with no equipment required. Not gonna lie. I gets groans from many of my clients when I program this move, because it is difficult to perform for any length of time. However, they don’t deny the amazing results the thread the needle oblique exercise achieves.

When to Perform Oblique Exercises

For best results, you can perform the easier oblique exercises during your warmup or pre-workout core routine. Add the others between leg and upper body exercises to enhance stabilization and reduce rest time. Most people can safely perform ab and oblique workout daily and still see good results. I recommend having at least one rest day.

Good Luck,


Do you have weight loss goals? If so, check out this article on the types of workouts to do for weight loss and better health.

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