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Best Bodyweight Oblique Exercises To Add To Your Routine

When we complete our workout, it's so easy to remember to exercise our ab muscles. I don't know about you, but most of the time I forget to train my obliques. It's quite funny that me of all people, a personal trainer, can forget about this. It's so important to train our overall core muscles to increase our strength and fitness performance. Maybe I should be writting down a reminder, or plugging it into my phone for a reminder. And maybe you are like me, who forget to train your oblique muscles, or maybe you are one who forget your abs and core training. Maybe it's time to start now? Here's a simple list of easy bodyweight oblique exercises to get you off to the right start of developing a strong core.

What are Your Oblique Muscles?

Oblique muscles are muscles that run along the sides of your core. The muscles are super important for rotational movements like bending side to side. They also help build up the overall strength of your core. When we think of obliques, some of us might not think that these are the muscles that happen to be apart of those 'love handles' or the side fat that we see when we wear tight jeans.

This entire core muscles are really important to maintain it's strength because it supports our internal organs. If these muscles happen to get damaged, it might cause a abdominal hernia. No one wants the soft tissues underneath the muscle to bulge out!

Hernias can happen when the core muscles are weak. This can be due to anything from child birth to not strengthening them regularly like you should be.

After my 3rd was born, I had very weak core muscles, even after she was around 1 year old. I had a hard time trying to do the easiest of tasks that involved twisting and getting up off the couch! In fact, I could hardly vacuum the floor because it takes core strength to move your arm back and forth. It took A LOT of work to strengthen them back up to where I could do daily tasks without being in pain. I was lucky enough to not develop a hernia, but there are so many women out there who develop hernias right after birth.

Tip #1 - Cross-Body Mountain Climber

This is one of my favorite exercises! This exercise is extra useful as it doubles as a cardio movement that also targets the core, mainly the obliques. It really involves high intensity to keep your heart rate up and engage your core. This not only is helping you to burn calories but also really working those obliques. When you are completing the Mountain Climbers, make sure the movements are fairly slow, to target the obliques.

Here's how to complete the Mountain Climber:

  1. Move into a high plank position, making sure your wrists are under your shoulders and your glutes are slightly higher up.

  2. Bring your left knee towards your right elbow, while trying to keep the rest of your body as still as possible.

  3. Return the leg to starting position.

  4. Repeat with the right leg, and continue to repeat, making sure to move fairly slowly

Tip #2 - Mountain Climbers

I used this exercise A LOT when I was trying to get back into my fitness routine after my 4th baby. This is just another high-intensity exercise that gets your heart rate up and strengthens your core. It's so important to be able to make sure your back is parallel to the floor so you can have controlled movements.

To complete mountain climbers:

  1. Get yourself into a high plank position and make sure your hands are under your shoulders and keep your back straight.

  2. You want to drive your right knee up in a straight movement towards your chest, keeping your left toes firm to the ground.

  3. Extend your right leg back to starting position and simultaneously drive your left leg to your chest.

  4. Repeat this movement back and forth, in a quick movement

Tip #3 - Medicine-Ball Rotational Toss

There's nothing quite like working your obliques than completing a movement that is side to side. The Medicine-Ball Rotational Toss targets the side section of your stomach building your oblique muscles. This exercise should be a staple in your fitness routine, if it's not, you may want to think about adding it. When it's time to choose a weight size for the medicine ball, you should choose a weight that's not too heavy for you, but it's too light either. You want to be able to feel the workout though.

Here's how to complete the Medicine-Ball Rotational Toss:

  1. You can begin next to a wall. You can either stand upright or kneel down in a lunge position. You also want to make sure your shoulders are perpendicular to the wall.

  2. Place your front hand under the ball and the back hand behind the ball.

  3. Throw the ball towards the wall and catch it, using the power from your back knee and hip

Tip #4 - Side Plank

I don't know about you, but I've heard so many people hate this exercise. However, I am very fond of it! This exercise was easy for me to add to my exercise routine after I started to gain more strength in my core. If your core muscles are very weak, I would highly recommend that you start out with easier exercises before attempting this one. This exercise really targets those oblique muscles and upper body.

To complete the side plank:

  1. Lie on the ground on your left side.

  2. Come up onto your hand or forearm, supporting your upper body.

  3. Bend your knees at a 45-degree angle and stack your right leg on top of your left or extend your legs if you are feeling strong.

  4. Making sure your feet are touching, use your obliques to pull your right hip toward the sky.

  5. Extend your arm overhead while you do this, or let it rest to your side.

  6. Hold for the desired time, and then switch sides.

Tip #5 - T-Rotation

This is one of the classic bodyweight oblique exercises you can do with just your body weight. Once again, focus on stability throughout this movement. The less your rock form side to side, the more effective the oblique exercise will be.

To perform the T-rotation:

  1. Get into the push-up position with your arms straight.

  2. Lift your right hand and rotate the right side of your body upward until you are facing completely sideways, and your body forms a t-shape.

  3. Reverse the move so that you rotate to the left, make sure to keep your hips raised and body in a straight line.

In Closing

There you have it! The best bodyweight oblique exercises. You can easily add these exercises into your 10 minute core workout. But, the most important step in building muscle is to clean up your diet. There is not just one exercise that can get rid of fat. You have to be able to target your whole body. If you see any diets or exercise routines out there that claim it can help you 'spot reduce' fat, it's really a false claim. It's truly not possible to just target one certain area of your body to tone it or loose fat.

If you want a toned midsection, it's so important to be able to complete full body exercises and eat clean. Once you start focusing on this, you may notice with time that the extra fat on those sides or hips will fall off! I used Beachbody's 21 Day Fix to help me loose extra fat once I started feeling like myself again after the birth of my daughter. I can say, it helped so much. It's amazing what developing better eating habits can do.

If you are not ready to completely change your diet, you can make small changes such as reducing the amount of sugary drinks, eliminating soda or swapping up ice cream with a fruit or veggie smoothie. You also want to add protein in you diet as well. Eggs are a great option if you don't have a lot of time in the morning. You also add it your lunch by eating a hard boiled egg.

Learning how to complete exercises with proper form is so essential to building the body you want. Weather you are a seasoned gym goer, or a newbie, we have tips and trick for everyone on their fitness journey.

That’s why we send out weekly fitness and nutrition tips in our newsletter.

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