Lying Side Oblique Crunches - Abs Exercise Guide with Photos
Muscles Targeted: Lying side oblique crunches focus on the
internal and external oblique muscles. These are the abdominal muscles
located along the sides of the waist. They assist in flexing and
rotating the trunk.
Exercise Instructions: Lie on your right
side with your legs on top of each other with your knees bent.
Place your left hand on the side of your head. Crunch up with
your side as high as you can, focusing on the movement to
work the obliques as much as possible. After doing several
repetitions on the left side, switch and repeat on the right
Why This Exercise is Important: Lying side oblique crunches
are an important addition to any abdominal routine if you want to
tighten up your waist line and strengthen your core. Strengthening
the oblique muscles through lying side oblique crunches serves several
purposes. The first is to ensure the oblique muscles are adequately
assisting in spinal flexion and trunk rotation. When the trunk is
rotated, both the internal and external oblique muscles contract.
Strong oblique muscles provide easier rotation therefore limiting
injuries of the trunk. Secondly, in order to achieve an all around
strong core, the oblique muscles must be strengthened. A strong
core helps with proper posture as well as preventing injury to the
back. Finally, the oblique muscles serve in thinning the waistline.
Well developed external and internal oblique muscles pull in the
sides of the torso. This creates a slimming effect along the waist
and shrinks the overall size of the waistline.
Things To Avoid: When performing lying side oblique crunches,
it is important to completely isolate the oblique muscle. In order
to do this, it is necessary to avoid allowing other muscles to interfere
with the oblique muscle contraction. To do this properly, first
ensure that your overall body position is properly positioned. Be
sure that your legs are slightly bent at the knee and you are lying
completely on your side. Do not allow yourself to roll too far forward
or too far onto your back. Doing this will involve a wide variety
of other muscles which will take the contraction off of the oblique
muscles. Do not pull on the back of your head with your hand. This
will also take the contraction away from the oblique muscles. Keep
your arm and hand relaxed as you contract up to the top position.
Do not pull your chin into your chest. Keep your neck relaxed. Lead
with your chest instead of your chin. This will ensure that the
contraction stays on your oblique muscles and you do not strain
Reps and Sets: When beginning any exercise it is important
not to over stress the muscle to the point of injury. Anyone beginning
an abdominal routine or adding lying side oblique crunches to a
workout should start with slightly lower reps and sets than someone
who has performed oblique exercises before. It is recommended to
begin with a routine of 8-10 reps and 2-3 sets for this exercise.
After the oblique muscles has been developed, the reps can then
be progressively increased to 15-20 reps with 3-4 sets.
Other Exercises To Use: Several other exercises will work
the oblique muscles in the same way as lying side oblique crunches.
These can be combined with a complete abdominal routine as well.
Some of these exercises include fingers to heel oblique touchers,
barbell oblique side bends, lying oblique leg raises and hanging
oblique knee raises. View our extensive database
of exercise guides for a comprehensive list of exercises that
target the abs.