There are many ways to do an oblique crunch, but one of the most common also provides many ways to reduce its effectiveness – or just plain cheat. With just a few simple tips however, you can turn the oblique crunch into an excellent exercise to add to your repertoire.
The oblique crunch mainly works the internal and external oblique muscles, but this variation also involves working the six pack (rectus abdominis). The main purpose of the obliques is rotation of the upper body, with the left internal oblique working with the external oblique and vice versa.
Oblique Crunch Technique
1. Lay on your back with your knees bent so that your feet are flat on the floor. Starting with the left (external) obliques, put your left hand up to your head in a salute position and your right hand on your left obliques. This helps you to feel the muscle working.
2. Cross your right ankle over your left knee and engage your core muscles, which you will maintain throughout each set.
3. Keeping the arm at your head out to the side, crunch and twist your abdominals to the right with particular focus on your obliques. You can do this quickly or slowly, depending on your goal. Imagine that you are trying to get your shoulder to your raised knee. You won’t managed to do it, but this is the movement you are aiming for.
4. Hold the crunch for a second to get an isometric contraction, then lower yourself down under control over 3 -5 seconds.
5. When you feel your shoulder blades touch the floor, begin the next rep.
6. Once you have completed your set on the left side, reverse the position and work your right.
Oblique Crunch Notes
1. If you find that your neck muscles are getting tired, try imagining you are holding an orange under your chin to keep your head still. Also you can use one hand to lightly support your head.
2. The oblique crunch is not just a twist and it’s not just a sit up, it’s a combination of both. Twist as you sit up, then twist back as you return to the start position.
3. To make this exercise harder, cross legs so that you have one knee over the other rather your ankle.
4. To make it harder still, keep the same position but lift your foot a few inches off the floor and maintain this throughout each set.
5. Once you can do consistently do every rep with good technique but need to make the oblique crunch harder still, hold a dumbbell or weight behind your head or across your chest.
As always, any questions or feedback leave a comment below.