While many people who go to the gym complete tons of crunches, very few exercises deeply engage the side of the abs complex known as the “obliques”. There are both inner and outer obliques that extend from your hip bone to your sternum on the side of your abs complex that help you twist and crunch.
In this video, I have two great oblique exercises that will help you deeply engage your entire oblique muscle, along with an advanced variation that you can put to the test. Check it out!
1) Oblique Abs Exercise: Oblique Reverse Crunch
Known as Lateral, or Oblique Reverse Crunches, this is an intermediate abs exercise that is similar to the standard Reverse Crunch, which I showed you in 5 Great Abs Exercises to Strengthen Your Abs, but you perform the exercise sideways on your hip. The Oblique Reverse Crunch gives you a great stretch at the bottom of the movement, along with a great contraction at the top. Be sure to really contract your obliques as intensely as possible when you touch your elbow to your knee at the top of the movement and feel the stretch at the bottom by bringing your elbow all the way back. While it’s difficult to position your hips at the proper roughly 45 degree angle, the movement should feel smooth. I think if your feet are pointed at a 45 degree angle towards the ceiling, then you should be on the right track.
2) Oblique Abs Exercise: Oblique V Up
Known as Lateral, or Oblique V Ups, this is an advanced abs exercise that is similar to the Standard V Up I showed you in the 5 Abs Exercises to Strengthen Your Abs video, but it’s with your body resting sideways on your hip. Be sure to really extend your arm behind you so you feel the stretch in your abs, then crunch forward so that your legs form about a 45 degree angles and your hand touches your ankle.
Some people who complete this exercise (just like the standard V-Ups) will use a lot of momentum and lift both shoulders off the ground. Try not to use any momentum, keep your back on the ground with one shoulder always firmly against the ground. Remember to exhale powerfully to really focus on the contraction on the top.
While these two exercises are not twisting motions like many oblique exercises, they are still very effective. Let me know how they go!