Oblique Decline Crunches - Abs Exercise Guide with Photos
The oblique decline crunch is one of the most effective exercises
to help strengthen your abdominal and oblique muscles. This exercise
focuses directly on the sides of your midsection which are also
called the love handles. This pair of muscles in technical terms
is known as the obliques. This is different from other crunch exercises.
In the normal crunch you target the middle and upper abdominal muscles.
In this exercise you twist the torso to either the left or the right
side so that the oblique muscles are targeted. A decline bench is
required to perform the movement.
Exercise Instructions: Using a decline
bench, position yourself with your feet locked in at the top.
Place both hands on your head. Slowly raise your upper body
while twisting your torso to the right. Focus on keeping your
abs tight and keeping the movement slow and controlled. Continue
this movement until your right elbow touches your left knee.
Slowly lower your body back down to the starting position.
After completing one set, switch to your other side. The key
to maximizing this exercise is to really flex your midsection
for a one-count at the top of the movement.
Muscles Targeted: The abdominal area is made up of the rectus
abdominis, transverse abdominis, and a pair of oblique muscles.
The oblique muscles consist of two types, the internal and the external.
The upper and middle abs are targeted very well along with the hip
flexors which work as a secondary muscle group.
Why This Exercise is Important: Performing an exercise which
focuses on strengthening abdominal muscles always helps in improving
the core strength of the body. Performing oblique decline crunches
not only trains your abdominal muscles to get stronger but it enables
you to get rid of excess fat from around your abdominals when combined
with proper nutrition and cardio exercise. Reducing fat from around
the midsection will improve your physique and appearance.
Things To Avoid: There are various things that should be
kept in mind when performing this exercise. Such things include
keeping your neck in proper alignment and breathing out when lifting
your upper body upwards. It is recommended to warm up before performing
this exercise. Here are other things to be aware of:
- The pace of performing this exercise must be slow and steady.
- Do not relax your abs during the exercise, always keep them
- Do not over do it with too many sets and reps.
- Always watch your form and technique.
Reps and Sets: The number of sets and reps you perform depends
upon your body type, level of fitness and level of endurance. For
beginners it is recommended to start with lower reps and focus on
using correct technique. After some time, you can increase the amount
of sets and reps and duration of this exercise. 3 sets of 10-12
reps on each side should be perfect for the beginner. For better
results, increase the amount of reps to about 20 per side with 4-5
Other Exercises To Use: There are various other exercises
which targets the oblique muscles. You can also perform this exercise
using weights like a dumbbell, weighted plate or a medicine ball
for more resistance. You can also perform oblique crunches without
using an inclined bench by just laying down on the floor. Other
exercises which will help you strengthen your oblique muscles include
hanging oblique knee raises, dumbbell oblique side bends and lying
side oblique crunches. View our extensive database
of exercise guides for a comprehensive list of exercises that
target the abs.