Top 7 Oblique Exercises – A 30-Minute Side Abs Workout Routine

Will doing oblique exercises improve your running performance?

The answer is yes. In fact, when it comes to running, core strength is of paramount importance. And as you already know, your “side abs” are an important player in the whole core strength game.

I have already written extensively about the importance of core training for runners (check the post here) and have shared plenty of ab workout routines to help you target and strengthen these vitals muscles.

Nonetheless, most of the core routines I have on my blog tend target most of the muscles of the core, including the glutes, upper abs, lower abs and the obliques.

So today, I decided to share a side ab workout routine that’s specific and targets mainly one muscle group: The obliques.

As a result,  if you are looking for some of the best oblique exercises to sculpt your sides, then the below core routine  is perfect.

Here we go…


Image Credit – Amelia via Flickr

The Oblique Muscles – Where Are your Side Abs

The obliques are the group of muscles that runs down the side of the waist, extending from the hipbone to the sternum.

There are two types of obliques: the deep internal oblique and the superficial external oblique.

Training both types is a major step in developing a stable and fully functional core.

The oblique plays a vital role when it comes rotating your torso to the sides in what’s known as lateral flexion.

But for runners, and perhaps more crucially, strong obliques can help you build and keep proper running form  by ensuring spine stability and good posture throughout the running sessions, and especially when fatigue starts to set in.

7 Oblique Exercises to Do – A 30-Minute Side Abs Workout Routine

Here are some of my favorite oblique exercises to build a stronger and more powerful core.

Note: Please keep in mind that this is a fast-paced and intense routine so be sure to follow good from at all time.

1. T-Stabilization

Assume a plank position with arms and legs straight, but with the feet slightly wider.

Next, shift your weight to the right hand, stack up your feet rotate the left side of your trunk up and raise your left arm into the air so that your torso and arms are forming a “T” shape.

Hold the pose for 30 seconds to one minute, then switch sides to complete one set.

2. Side Plank Crunch

Begin in a side plank on the left elbow with the left foot slightly in front of the right, and the right hand behind the head.

Next, while keeping the waist lifted, core engaged and torso steady, bring your right leg up toward your shoulder to lightly tap the right elbow, pause for a moment, then bring it back to the starting position.

Aim to perform eight to ten crunches on each side to complete one set. Shoot for three five sets.

3. Russian Twists Oblique Exercise

Sit on the floor with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, roughly hip distance apart, then lean back to a 45-degree angle. For more challenge, use a heavier weight and/or lift both feet off the floor.

Next, while holding a weight plate and bracing the core, rotate your torso from right to left by twisting at the waist and swinging the weight across the body, tapping the weight to the floor, then twist back over to the left side tapping the weight to the left side of their body to complete one rep.

Aim for 12 to 16 reps to complete one set. Shoot for three sets.

4. Lying Side Oblique Crunches

Lie on your left side with legs on top of each other, knees bent and core engaged, then place your right hand on the side of the head and the other hand on the oblique muscle.

Trainee contracts the oblique muscle by crunching the abs sideways.

Next, start performing sideways ab crunches, making sure to rise up as high as possible, hold for a moment, then slowly lower down to complete one rep.

5. Metronome Side Abs Exercise

Begin by lying on your back, with the knees slightly bent and raised over your hips, ankles parallel to the floor, and core engaged.

Next, rotate your legs to the right side, stopping shortly of tapping the ground, then move back to center, and rotate your legs to the other side to complete one rep.

Please don’t cheat by using momentum for the rotation. Instead, move slowly and make sure to engage your core the entire time.

For more challenge, try to keep your legs as straight as possible.

6. Around the World

Assume a shoulder width stance with toes turned slightly out and tailbone tucked while holding a weight plate at outside grip with the arms straight overhead.

Next, while engaging your core and keeping the back flat, bend your elbows and rotate your arms around to move the weight around your head in a circular motion.

Perform 8 to 12 “rotations” on each side to complete one set. Do three sets.

7. Spiderman Pushups Oblique Exercise

Assume a push-up position with legs and arms straight, core engaged, back flat and head in a neutral position.

Next, as you lower your torso towards the ground, lift your right foot off the floor, then pull your right knee up and towards your right side to hip level or all the way up to the elbow, pause, then press back up to starting position.

Switch sides to complete one rep.

Perform 8 reps to complete one set. Aim for three sets.


There you have it. The above oblique exercises workout routine is all you need to build strong and powerful side abs. Just make sure to perform the 7 oblique moves on a regular basis while staying within your fitness level the entire time. That’s the golden rule.

Featured Image Credit – Jeremy Hall via Flickr.

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David Dack


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