The Women’s Fitness Guide To Oblique Exercises


As we wave goodbye to the colder weather, we also wave hello to bikini season *gulps*. Fortunately, there’s no better time to whittle your waist for tummy-baring tops and body-boosting swimwear. A few oblique moves can easily add some definition to your side, so try these simple exercises for a little extra va va voom!

These five basic yet effective exercises target the obliques (the side abdominal muscles). Shaping up this area does wonders in complimenting a toned tum and waist, so don’t think that you’ve got the mid-section covered if all you’re doing are planks and crunches.

All you need to complete this workout is a medicine ball, Swiss ball and a little bit of motivation. Use a medicine ball that challenges you to the fullest without compromising your form.

How To Do This Oblique Workout

Kit You’ll Need

  • 3-8kg medicine ball
  • Swiss ball

Beginners Sets 2 Reps 10

Intermediate Sets 3 Reps 15

Advanced Sets 4 Reps 15

Ankle touches

Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Crunch your shoulder blades off the floor so that you are facing forwards. With arms straight and parallel to the floor, reach your right hand to your right ankle, then your left hand to your left ankle. Keep your shoulder blades off the floor throughout.

Leg circles

Lie on the floor with arms out to the sides flat on the floor for support. Hold your legs about 6 inches off the floor, extended. Rotate your lower body towards the left, bringing your knees in towards your chest. Lower to the right, keeping the knees drawn in, then extend them as your rotate back to the start. This should be performed in a circular flowing motion.

Leg twists

Lie on the floor with arms flat for support. With a medicine ball gripped between your lower legs, extend your legs towards the ceiling. Slowly lower your feet to the left until they almost reach the ground, then raise them to the start and lower to the right.

Plank circles

With feet on the floor and forearms on a Swiss ball, keep your body in plank position in a straight line. Make circular clockwise motions with your elbows for half of the set, then in the opposite direction for the rest of the set.

Russian twist

Sit on the floor with legs bent and feet a few inches from the floor. Hold a medicine ball close to your chest and lean back slightly. Twist your upper body to the right, then to the left, keeping the medicine ball close to your chest throughout.

This article first appeared in Women’s Fitness