You are here
10 Exercises That Torch Your Obliques
Not down with the latest waist-training trend? Yeah, us either. Skip the too-tight (not to mention uber unhealthy) corsets for these exercises. They'll target your obliques to trim your waist and leave behind a summer-ready six-pack. Each move will shape up your sides and work your abs all over, so you can finally stop crunching into oblivion and get solid results with fewer sets—yes!
Exercises for Obliques: Upright Oblique Twist
A mini exercise ball is essential for this exercise. It helps support your lower back and positions your body into the perfect 45-degree angle, so you can zero in on your sides without wobbling all over.
Targets back, shoulders, abs, and obliques
- Holding a dumbbell in each hand, sit on floor with knees bent, feet flat and ball behind lower back.
- Lift arms to shoulder level in front of you, palms down.
Exercises for Obliques: Wood-Chop Crunch
Tighten it up from every angle with this chest fly-oblique crunch combo. Because the only thing that goes better with a solid stomach are matching biceps (OK fine, maybe a new bikini, too).
Targets chest, abs, and obliques
- Holding a dumbbell in each hand, lie faceup on floor with knees bent 90 degrees, shins parallel to floor, and arms out to sides, slightly bent with palms up.
- Keeping arms slightly bent, raise dumbbells to touch above chest.
- Lift head and shoulders off floor and reach dumbbells by right hip; then return to center and lower to start.
- Repeat to left side. Do all reps, alternating sides.
Exercises for Obliques: Roman Rotator
Spoiler alert: The best-kept waist-trimming secret isn't found on the mat. Engage your core with this standing sculpter that will blast fat with a mix of martial arts and dance.
Targets shoulders, arms, abs, and obliques
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, and lift bent elbows in front of you at shoulder height, palms facing each other.
- Rotate torso and arms together diagonally up toward left.
Exercises for Obliques: Toe Tap
Make time for this do-anywhere move at the end of your cardio session. Grab a bench, stepper, or any other elevated surface to complete quick, pulsing toe taps.
Targets abs, obliques, and hip flexors
- Sit on edge of bench and place palms behind you on seat, fingers forward.
- Maintaining a neutral spine, lean back slightly and lift legs, knees bent 90 degrees off ground.
- Keeping chest lifted, shoulders back and right knee still, touch ground with left toe, then raise left knee back to start position. Switch sides and repeat to complete one rep. Do 10 reps.
Tip: For extra ab firming between reps, quickly extend your legs forward so that they're parallel to the ground, then bend knees to return to start position.
Exercises for Obliques: Magic Carpet Ride
Be your own genie and grant yourself the wish of hot abs. Bonus: All you need are two towels—one for the exercise and another one to help you out with the sweat situation once you're finished with this scorcher.
Targets rectus abdominis, obliques, and transversus abdominis
- Start on an uncarpeted floor in full push-up position, balancing on hands and toes, arms extended, a folded towel underneath feet.
- Contract abs and bring knees in toward chest.
- MAKE IT HARDER: Keep legs straight and lift hips high to bring feet toward hands.
- Hold for one count, then return to start. Do three sets of 10 reps, resting 45 seconds between sets.
Exercises for Obliques: Plank Tap
Spruce up your stale side plank with this speedy shaper. You'll strengthen your core all over, giving your sides a little extra TLC.
Targets shoulders, abs, obliques, hips, and legs
- Lie on left side, hips and legs stacked and left elbow aligned under left shoulder, with forearm on floor.
- Extend right arm toward ceiling and lift hips, forming straight line from head to heels.
- MAKE IT EASIER: Keep right hand on hip.
- Tap left side of hip to floor for one count, then lift back up to side plank.
- Do 12 reps. Switch sides and repeat.
Exercises for Obliques: Spider-Man Press-Up
Channel your inner superhero with this flab-fighting ab firmer. Hint: By practicing proper form and keeping your arms closer to your ribs, you'll also give your triceps a little toning power.
Targets chest, triceps, abs, obliques, butt, and hips
- Start on ground in full push-up position, balancing on hands and feet with arms extended, body forming a straight line from head to heels.
- MAKE IT EASIER: Do move on knees.
- Bring bent right knee out to side at hip level as you bend elbows 90 degrees, keeping arms tucked close to ribs, so that right knee and elbow touch.
- Press up and return to start.
- Do eight reps. Switch sides and repeat. Do two sets.
Exercises for Obliques: Oblique-Twist Triceps Push-Up
Lose both middle jiggle and arm flab with this trimming twofer. Keeping your top hip and leg raised in between lifts means you're working your obliques nonstop, even in the rest position.
Targets shoulders, back, triceps, and abs
- Place dumbbells at top of mat, then get into full push-up position with arms shoulder-width apart and hands directly under shoulders; step feet out slightly wider than shoulder-width.
- Keeping hips level, lift right hand and pick up one dumbbell; drive right elbow backward at shoulder level, keeping arm close to side and palm facing down.
- Extend right arm forward.
- Return right elbow to bent position and repeat.
- Do 10 reps, switch sides and repeat. Do two sets.
Exercises for Obliques: Standing Oblique Mash-Up
This exercise is a total curve chiseler and confidence booster—just in time for swimsuit season! Using your own body weight as resistance against the wall hits those must-hit muscles to boost your backside, sculpt your core, and define your arm muscles.
Targets shoulders, back, chest, triceps, and abs
- Stand facing a wall two to three feet in front of you with feet shoulder-width apart. Place hands on wall just below shoulder height and near sides of your body.
- Lower chest toward wall, bringing elbows close to sides; at the same time, lift left knee toward left elbow. Straighten arms and lower leg back to start. Do 12 to 15 reps, alternating sides.
- MAKE IT EASIER: Stand closer to the wall.