Top 8 Oblique Exercises to Tone Love Handles

By Matt Johnson -

When people are working toward a more fit stomach, they often focus on crunches and sit-ups and forget about the obliques. Crunches and sit-ups work the rectus abdominis, the upper abdominal muscles or "six pack abs", while not really isolating the oblique muscles. The obliques consist of the internal and external stomach muscles and are often referred to as "love handles." Rotation and lateral flexion of the spine are the primary duties, or movements, of the internal and external obliques. The tranversus abdominis, the inner most flat abdominal muscle, is similar to the obliques, but it is mainly used for posture, balance, and stability.

Be very careful and use precise movements while working the obliques. Using too much weight and over-rotating can compromise the back, cause injuries and future back problems.

These are the top oblique exercises, of which you can watch a video tutorial at, and I recommend performing two or three sets of 20 to 30 repetitions.

  1. Cable Trunk Rotation Side-to-Side

  2. Crunch and Rotation on Stability Ball with Tubing

  3. Crunch and Rotation on Stability Ball with Arms Behind Head

  4. Trunk Rotation on Stability Ball with Tubing

  5. Trunk Rotation with Medicine Ball and Feet Up

  6. Bicycle

  7. Isometric Bent Arm Side Bridge

  8. 2 Arm Medicine Ball Throw Side-to-Side