Do you want to shape your side abs at home? Yes, v-cut abs look cool. Side crunches for obliques are excellent exercises to target those areas. You don’t need any equipment.
I’ll show you some side oblique crunch variations to make your ab workout more versatile. Don’t focus only on your obliques. Strengthen each part of your core since that is how we can build a healthy and attractive midsection. 👍
#1 How to Do Oblique Crunches for Beginners
That is the essential exercise which you should start with. It's crucial to learn the proper form.
The typical problem is that people pull their heads and use momentum. Do the movement slowly, use the power of your obliques, concentrate on your side abs.
When you crunch, bring your elbows as close to your side as you can, and stop for a moment and squeeze your oblique muscles. Lower your upper body slowly with control, but don't touch the floor. This way, you get the full range of motion, which is required for effective muscle development.
Tip: Do the exercise on a stability ball to have a more extended motion. Also, the fitness ball is unstable so that the move will engage even more muscles.
#2 Side oblique crunches with leg lift
By lifting the leg, we can have a more challenging exercise that forces the obliques to work even harder.
- Lie on the side of your body. Stretch your top leg and bend the lower one. Fix your upper hand behind your head. Put your other arm on the floor to stabilize yourself.
- Lift your shoulders and your straight leg. Bring your elbow as close to your leg as you can.
- Stop for a moment and squeeze your obliques for contraction.
- Slowly get back to the starting position without dropping your leg or head on the floor.
- Do requires reps
#3 Bicycle crunches
Did you know that bicycle is the most effective crunch of all that activates each core muscle group at once? It stimulates the obliques very effectively as well. If you want a six-pack, do it.
- Lie on your back. Place your hands behind your neck. Bend your knees and lift them until your shins are parallel to the ground.
- Sit up and twist your upper body while moving your left elbow towards your right knee. Turn your chin as well.
- Slowly get back to the starting position, without dropping your shoulders, and now bring your right elbow towards your left knee.
- Try to make the movement as continuous as possible.
#4 Oblique reverse crunch
This exercise is excellent for improving your core strength.
- Get on the ground, bend your knees. You can catch something overhead.
- Lift your bent legs while twisting your hips to the left. Try to raise your waist as high as you can. You can even raise your shoulder blades for maximum contraction.
- Get back to the starting point but don't drop your feet.
- Do the same move on the right.
- Try to make the move as continuous as possible.
#5 Standing side bend with weight
(Also called side bends) You need a dumbbell, plate, rubber bad, or something heavy at your home for this exercise.
- Stand with a straight torso and hold the dumbbell in your one hand next to you.
- Slowly lower the weight towards the floor while keeping your back aligned.
- When you feel your opposite oblique is stretched well, use the power of that oblique, and pull your upper body to the other side as far as you can.
- Do the required reps and switch to the other side.
#6 Side plank crunches
Side planks are excellent oblique exercises by themselves, but we can make them even more beneficial for the core by lifting the legs.
- Get into the side plank position. Align your entire body, put your upper hand behind your head.
- Pull your knee and bent elbow towards each other.
- Change the position and do the same on the other side.
#7 Standing oblique crunches with leg lift
Standing side oblique exercises are excellent for beginners and overweight people since they are easy to perform.
- Stand straight and set both your hands behind your head.
- Move your left knee towards your left elbow. Bend your torso as much as you can. The best is if your knee and elbow touch each other.
- Do the required repetitions and switch to the other side.
#8 Double lying leg raises on side
This is my favorite side oblique crunch exercise, it requires some practice to perform correctly, but it's worth it. It's great for the core. It's much harder than it seems.
- Lie on the floor on the side of your body with stretched legs and resting on each other. Place your bottom arm on the ground to stabilize your body. Put your upper hand behind your head.
- Lift both of your legs and curl your upper body towards them.
- Slowly lower your upper and lower body back to the starting point.
- Switch sides
The mentioned exercises above are great for getting better muscle definition, core strength, and size. If you have belly fat, you need to focus on weight loss to get those muscle groups visible, tough. 🥵
How many reps, sets, and exercises should you do?
Since we want to focus on the oblique, you can do 2-3 side oblique crunch variations with 2-3 sets and about 12-20 reps. But, during your workouts, always pay attention to the proper technique to get the benefits.