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5 best exercises to work the obliques if you are a woman

The waist is one of the most complex areas for women. Today we are going to show you how to work your obliques to achieve the figure you are looking for.

What are the obliques of the abdomen?

The abdominal area is one of the most important areas for most women.

Many times we forget that oblique training is basic to achieve a defined and fat-free core.

Practically all workout routines performed by women involve abdominal work, but it is essential to train the mid-core area: the oblique abs.

To be clear about the zone we are talking about, the external oblique of the abdomen is the muscle situated to the sides of the middle zone that extend from the ribs to the iliac crest. As this image shows.

obliques muscle

Therefore, it is essential to work these muscles to define the waist.

Working this abdominal muscle has been the subject of debate, both in the form of training and the muscular participation of it.

So if you’re wondering if you have to train oblique abs or not, my answer is yes, and not only for aesthetic reasons.

After consulting various scientific studies, I have been able to conclude that abdominal muscle strengthening is important to maintain optimum levels of force and resistance. As well as to maintain balance and stabilization of the spine. Not only as a means to reduce or control body weight.

When you train your oblique muscles, you stretch the waist helping it to stay better in place and avoid deformations.

How to exercise the obliques

If you want to shape your figure, exercising the obliques is essential to keep the perimeter of the waist at bay.

But, how do we do it?

You have to take into account the shape of your waist

  • If you are a woman with a narrow waist and you want to maintain it, do between 2-3 exercises a week. You will provoke tension in the area keeping the waist equally as narrow but more defined. And you will not cause an increase in mass.
  • If you are a woman with a wide waist and you want to reduce it, train daily and intensively. This will strengthen the area, cause fat to burn and decrease the outline of your waist.

But don’t forget that the outline of your waist will not only depend on abdominal training. You must accompany your routine with a healthy diet to achieve your goals.

If you consider both aspects, training and eating, and balance them well, you will decrease your percentage of body fat, become healthier and improve the appearance of your abdomen.

The best exercises for your obliques

The objective of working the oblique abs is to perform movements that involve twisting and bending of the torso, or tilt to the side, so that the muscle contracts.

According to the American Council of Exercise (ACE), these are the best exercises to work the obliques:

  1. Captain’s chair
  2. Bicycle maneuver
  3. Reverse Crunch
  4. Hover
  5. Crunch with vertical legs
  6. Crunch with exercise ball
  7. Torso track
  8. Crunch with heel thrust
  9. Crunch with stretched arms
  10. Ab roller
  11. Traditional crunch
  12. Crunch with elastic tube
  13. Ab rocker

I recommend that you start with these five that I am going to show you next.

Captain’s chair

Hold the upper part of your body and hold the handles with your hands pressing the lower part of your back.

Slowly raise your knees to your chest until you form 90 º angle and gradually lower until you return to the original position.

The movement must be controlled on the rise and the descent.

captain's chair

Abdominal bicycle

Lie on the ground, keeping your lower back pressed, place your hands behind your head.

Raise your knees until you reach a 45º angle and, in that position, make movements with your legs as if you were pedaling on a bicycle.

Touch the left knee with your right elbow and continue with the opposite side. Do not hold your breath.

abdominal bicycle

Inverted abs

Lying on your back on the floor, place your hands on the side of your body or behind your head without exerting pressure.

Cross the feet at the ankles and lift them off the ground to a 90 ° angle. In this position, contract your abdomen and slightly rotate your hips to the left and then to the right.

inverted obliques


Lie face down on the floor, with the palms of your hands supported and the elbows at chest level.

Raise your body to form a straight line, with your back straight. Hold yourself with your toes and hands on the ground.

Contract the abdomen. Hold the position for 30-60 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat.
obliques hover

Crunch with vertical legs

Lie on your back and place your hands along the body.

Lift your feet off the floor and extend your legs to a 90 ° angle, keeping your arms stretched.

Whilst in this position you are contracting your abdominal muscles. Hold the position for 30 seconds. Exhale when you contract and inhale when you return.

oblicuos crunch

How to eliminate fat from the obliques

If you have excess fat on the sides of your waist it is essential that you work on your weight loss; and at the same time perform these exercises to tone up.

With the help of a well-defined training plan and some nutritional guidelines, you will be able to reduce your waist outline and the accumulation of fat in this abdominal area.

Perform aerobic exercises to burn fat and calories. You can run, use a cross trainer or climb the stairs, but they must be exercises that make you sweat.

Also combine it with strength training in which you work the large muscle groups to increase metabolically active muscle mass. You can do exercises like squats, rowing, back pull, etc.


Eliminate fried food, fast food, commercial products, processed meats and sweets from your diet. Avoid alcohol and sugar in excess. Your diet should be based on fish, fruits, vegetables, lean meats, nuts …

Are you willing to change your waistline and achieve defined oblique abs? Start today!


oblicuos isabel juarez
Written by:
Isabel Juárez
Personal Trainer on Entrenarme