8 Best Exercises for Training Obliques

The obliques are key muscles in your belly. They come in two types: internal and external, running from your ribs to your pelvis. Along with other abdominal muscles, they form the abdominal wall, helping control movement in your spine, ribs, and pelvis.

These muscles are crucial for daily activities, like bending and twisting. Strengthening them doesn’t just give you a toned midsection; it also improves posture, balance, and reduces injury risk.

According to experts, strong obliques stabilize your pelvis and contribute to a strong core, which is vital for overall movement. Strengthening your obliques also benefits other core muscles and enhances mobility.

Moreover, a strong core, including obliques, is linked to lower back health. Studies show that core exercises can reduce back pain and protect your spine.

Where is External Oblique (EO)?

Here’s how to find your External Oblique (EO) muscles:

  1. Origin: Feel the sides of your rib cage between ribs 5 and 12. Place your hands there with your pinky fingers aligned with the last rib (rib 12). Bend sideways to sense the EO contracting between the ribs.

  2. Insertion: Find the front part of your hip bone (anterior iliac crest) and the linea alba, a connective tissue running from the sternum to the pubic bone. EO attaches here, meeting the Rectus Abdominis (RA) muscle.

  3. Connecting EO with RA: Locate where the top of your hip bone is (superior ridge of iliac crest) and feel for the linea alba. EO connects with RA around this area, dividing the muscles into right and left sides.

Where is Internal Oblique (IO)?

Here’s how to find your Internal Oblique (IO) muscles:

  1. Origin: Feel for the lateral inguinal ligament, iliac crest, and thoracolumbar fascia. You can locate the anterior superior iliac spine (ASIS) where the inguinal ligament attaches. This point is where the hip bones meet. Also, find the top ridge of your hip bone (superior iliac crest).

  2. Insertion: The IO inserts into the internal surface of ribs 9-12 and the abdominal aponeurosis, which connects to the linea alba. To find this, curl your fingers around the front and lower ribs. Locate the abdominal aponeurosis by identifying the Rectus Abdominis (RA) muscle.

  3. Connecting IO with RA: The linea alba runs from the sternum to the pubic bone, separating the RA and obliques into right and left sides.

8 Best Oblique Exercises For A Strong Core

Best Exercises for Training Obliques

Here are 8 easy oblique exercises to make your core strong:

1. Side Plank

  1. Lie on your left side with your right leg on top of your left leg.
  2. Put your left forearm on the ground under your shoulder.
  3. Lift your body up so you’re on your left arm and foot, making a straight line.
  4. Raise your right arm toward the ceiling.
  5. Hold for a bit, then switch sides.

2. Standing Trunk Rotation

  1. Stand with your feet apart and hold a ball or weight in front of your chest.
  2. Keep your core tight and slowly twist your torso to the right, then to the left.

3. Standing Wood Chop

  1. Stand with one foot forward and hold a ball or weight.
  2. Lift it to your right, then bring it diagonally down to your left hip.
  3. Repeat on both sides.

4. Russian Twist

  1. Sit on the ground with your knees bent and feet up.
  2. Lean back slightly, lift your feet, and hold your arms straight out.
  3. Twist your torso side to side while keeping your core tight.

5. Mountain Climbers

  1. Get into a plank position.
  2. Bring one knee toward your chest, then switch legs quickly.

6. Side Bend

  1. Stand with your feet apart and arms down.
  2. Bend your upper body sideways to the right, then left.
  3. You can hold a weight to make it harder.

7. Dead Bug

  1. Lie on your back with your arms up.
  2. Bend your knees and lift them.
  3. Lower one arm and the opposite leg toward the ground, then switch.

8. Extended Side Angle Pose

  1. Stand wide, turn your right foot out, and bend your right knee.
  2. Put your right elbow on your thigh and stretch your left arm overhead.
  3. Hold, then switch sides.

If you don’t have time for exercise, you may try using the ab stimulators.

Benefits of Training Your Obliques

Training your obliques is not just about looking good; it’s about keeping your body strong and functional. These muscles on the sides of your abdomen are crucial for bending, twisting, and stabilizing your spine. Here’s why working them out matters:

  1. Aesthetic Goals: Sure, toned obliques can enhance your physique, giving you that sculpted look. But there’s more to it than just appearance.

  2. Core Balance: Your core includes more than just your abs. Strengthening your obliques helps maintain balance and symmetry in your core muscles, which is essential for overall stability. 

  3. Healthy Movement: Whether you’re an athlete or just going about your daily activities, strong obliques support proper movement patterns. From reaching and twisting to lifting and bending, these muscles play a key role in functional movement.

  4. Performance Boost: Athletic performance often hinges on core strength. By training your obliques effectively, you can improve your performance in sports and other physical activities.

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