External Obliques

Home Exercises

Spiderman Press Up to work External Obliques

  • Lie face down with your legs straight and your hands palm down on the ground below your shoulders
  • Push up with your hands until they are fully extended, lifting your body while keeping your legs straight
  • Bend you arms so your upper body is close to, but not touching, the ground. As you do so lift one foot off the ground, extending the leg out to the side of your body at as close to a right angle to your side as is possible
  • Bend the outstretched leg at the knee at a right angle
  • Your remaining foot should therefore be the only support for the bottom half of your body
  • Bend your arms until your face and upper body are close to the ground
  • When pushing back up straighten out the elevated leg until you are able to use it as a support at full extension. Bend it again on the downward movement
  • After a satisfactory number of repetitions swap which leg you are using for support

Russian Twist to work External Obliques

  • Take a weighted ball or a similar household object, and sit down on the floor or an exercise mat
  • Keep your feet flat on the ground, and bend your knees so that they are at an angle of 45 degrees
  • While keeping your head slightly raised, hold the weight in outstretched arms and move it entirely to one side
  • Once it is out to one side, bring it right back around your body to the far side
  • Keeping a maximum range of motion will fully work the oblique muscles in your core
  • Finish 10-20 twists to make a whole set
  • Complete your desired number of sets

Intermediate Exercises

How to do the weighted Russian twist to work External Obliques

  • Sit comfortably on your exercise mat (if using one) with your legs fully-extended and the upper half of your body in an upright position
  • Grasp your chosen weight plate in both hands
  • While keeping your arms slightly bent, hold it out in front of your abdominals
  • Cross your ankles and then raise them slightly from the floor
  • Now bend your knees slightly towards you
  • Complete the starting position by leaning back by around 15 degrees to fully balance your body
  • Using a smooth movement, and while you exhale, turn your torso to the left and touch your plate to the floor. Be careful to avoid both jerky movements or using your momentum to swing the plate
  • Inhale as you return to your starting point
  • Repeat the movement for your complete set of repetitions, alternating right and left turns as you do so

How to do side plank to work External Obliques

  • It’s best to complete this exercise on a mat
  • Lie on your left side
  • Place your left arm out in front of you at shoulder level
  • Only your left elbow and forearm, hips and legs should be in contact with the mat
  • Place the palm of your other hand on your hip in akimbo style, or behind or above your head
  • You can keep good balance and posture at first by using your right hand as support on the mat
  • Align your right leg on top of the left – or place it slightly in front of it
  • Inhale and gently contract your abdominal muscles
  • Exhale as you lift upwards using your left elbow, forearm and foot
  • Remain in that position for a few seconds and then gently lower yourself
  • Aim for up to a dozen repetitions
  • Move over onto right side and repeat

How to do seated twists with a barbell to work External Obliques

  • Sit on a chair or bench with your feet flat on the ground, shoulder width apart
  • Choose a barbell in an appropriate weight
  • Raise the barbell behind your head and just above your shoulders, holding it at both sides
  • Slowly rotate your torso to the right without moving your legs
  • Keep your back straight and engage your core muscles
  • Return to start position
  • Slowly rotate your torso to the left without moving your legs
  • Return to start position and repeat the exercise

How to do oblique crunches to work External Obliques

  • Use a mat or other supportive surface
  • Lie on your back and cross your left foot over your right knee
  • Make sure your hips, back, shoulders and head remain in contact with the floor
  • Align your hands at the nape of your neck with one on top of the other
  • Contract your abs and pull your stomach in
  • Lift your shoulders slowly from the floor
  • Keep your lower back in contact with the floor
  • Twist to the right
  • Touch the inside of your right knee with your left elbow
  • At the same time, reach your right elbow towards the wall behind you
  • Keep your elbows in a straight line while doing this
  • Slowly twist back to your starting point and lower yourself to the floor
  • Continue to contract your abs as you do this
  • Repeat the crunch, this time twisting to the left

How to do heel touches to work External Obliques

  • Lie flat on your back on top of an exercise mat
  • Bend your knees and position your feet shoulder width apart
  • Keep your arms by your sides
  • Raise your shoulders until you can feel your core muscles engage
  • Keeping your core muscles tight, rotate your shoulder to the left and stretch your left arm until you are touching your left foot
  • Then rotate your shoulder to the right and stretch your right arm until you are touching your right foot
  • Alternate these exercises with increasing speed, keeping your core muscles tight

How to do bicycle crunches to work External Obliques

  • Lie on an exercise mat with your back flat against the ground
  • Place your hands behind your head
  • Engage your core muscles
  • Slowly raise your left leg, bending the knee at a 90 degree angle
  • While you are raising your leg, lift your upper torso off the ground at a slight twist
  • Touch your left knee with your right elbow
  • Slowly return to the start position, keeping your core engaged the whole time
  • Now repeat the exercise so that you are touching your right knee with your left elbow
  • Repeat this sequence with increasing speed

Advanced Exercises

How to do wipers to work External Obliques

  • Lie on your back on the floor
  • Put your arms out to the sides and touch the floor with the palms of your hands
  • Raise your legs up towards the ceiling so that they form a 90 degree (right) angle with your upper body
  • Keep your feet together and your abs taut
  • Rotate your legs to your left side, stopping short of touching the floor with your toes
  • Rotate your legs to your right side, again stopping short of touching the floor.
  • As you improve, position your arms closer to your body so that they offer you less stability