How To Do An Oblique Crunch

By: Chris Freytag, CPT // September 12, 2022

An oblique crunch is a core exercise that strengthens your obliques as well as the other muscles of the core including your transverse abdominus and medial glute. Many ab exercises focus solely on the rectus abdominus, also known as the six-pack. While important, it is also wise to focus on strengthening the rest of the core muscles so that your strength is balanced. If you learn how to do an oblique crunch, you will feel your waistline the next day!

Your oblique muscles are part of the entire picture of your core. Oblique muscles are crucial to core strength. They help you bend side to side, rotate right and left, and stabilize and protect your spine. Your obliques have to work in harmony with all of your abdominal muscles to truly give you a tight tummy and a strong, stable back.

If you want flat abs you need to look at the whole picture. Good eating, regular fat-burning cardio, and strength training are all-important.

But the core exercises you do need to be all-inclusive. Many middle-aged people complain about having a “muffin top” or that extra layer of fat that spills over the waistline of a pair of jeans. Getting rid of a muffin top requires that all-inclusive picture of eating right, exercising regularly, and doing well-rounded core moves.

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    How To Do An Oblique Crunch (Video)

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    Time needed: 2 minutes.

    1. Begin by lying on your side, forearm down, knees slightly bent.
    2. Roll slightly back onto your glute, like your sitting on the back pocket of your blue jeans, and lift legs a few inches off the mat. Bring the top hand behind the head so the elbow is also bent.
    3. Lift your legs up bringing your knees to your elbow while at the same time crunching your elbow toward your knee. Squeeze your waistline with each lift. Perform the desired number of reps and switch sides.

    Benefits of Strengthening Your Obliques

    There are many reasons you should incorporate oblique strengthening exercises into your workouts. Here are just a few:

    • Strengthens Abdominals

    This move strengthens the abdominal muscles and makes your core stronger.

    • Protects Lower Back

    When your core muscles are strong your back is less likely to be injured or sore. Oblique crunches help make the core strong and protect your low back.

    • Shapes Your Waistline

    This exercise shapes and tones your waistline by strengthening the oblique muscles that wrap around your waist.

    What Muscles Does An Oblique Crunch Work?

    Oblique crunch strengthens the transverse abdominus, obliques, and back muscles.

    How Many Calories Does An Oblique Crunch Burn?

    People often ask how many calories they are burning in their workouts. Most exercises will generally burn about 100 calories for every 10 minutes you are working at a higher intensity. Bottom line – the harder you work, the more calories you burn.

    The oblique crunch is meant to strengthen the core and though you will burn calories during strength training, remember that you also burn more calories throughout the day when you have more muscle mass.

    Other Exercises Similar To Oblique Crunches

    If you like this exercise and want to try similar exercises that complement it, here are a few options:

    Incorporating This Core Move Into Your Workout

    An oblique crunch is a great exercise to do any time on its own. However, you could also incorporate it into other workouts to mix them up. Here are some ideas to make that happen.

    Use Oblique Crunches in a Core Workout

    Flat abs are the envy of everyone! Core strength exercises are a great way to achieve a stronger, tighter midsection. Here is a core workout that you can do twice a week to get great results!

    Core Workout: Try each exercise below for the number of repetitions listed with just a few seconds in between to rest.

    Start with a brief warm-up and go immediately into your first exercise.

    Repeat each move one more time.

    Use Oblique Crunches in a Full Body Workout

    This is a great superset workout that strengthens your entire body. This workout includes an oblique crunch to add core strength to the workout.

    Full Body Strength Superset Workout: Start with a 3-4 minute warm-up using an active range of motion moves such as arm circles, hip circles, inchworms, and jumping jacks. Then perform each pair of superset exercises twice.

    • 10 Tricep Dips
    • 10 Oblique Crunches on each side
    • repeat

    Use Oblique Crunches in a Cardio-Core Workout

    Combining cardio and core is a great way to get a complete workout. Use this core move in this cardio-core combo and get full results in less time!

    10-Minute Cardio Oblique Workout:

    Start with a 3-4 minute warm-up using an active range of motion moves such as arm circles, hip circles, inchworms, and jumping jacks. Then go through each move below for 45-seconds each with 15 seconds to rest and transition to the next move.

    More workouts that incorporate oblique crunches:

    Targets: core, back

    Exercise Form, Fitness

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