If your fitness focus revolves around achieving a strong and toned core, you can’t forget to target your obliques, aka your side abs. With today’s routine, we’ve got those sneakily sexy muscles covered. Each low-impact move helps to build (and maintain) your ab muscles, improve your overall posture, and of course get you one step closer to a chiseled core. Challenge yourself by incorporating these exercises in addition to our two-week ab challenge for ripped results right in time for summer.
Bonus: the routine also tones and strengthens your arm muscles. Learn the full core-building rotation below.
Standing Curtsy Oblique Crunch
Side Plank Hip Dip and Cross Down
Seated Twists with a Reach Back
Forearm Plank Hip Taps
The Move: Standing Curtsy Oblique Crunch
How to: This movement will challenge your balancing core stabilizers and challenge you to crunch knee to elbow using your obliques. Start with your right foot planted on the ground, and reach your left hand overhead as you tap your left foot back behind your right foot. This starts the exercise with your core in a stretched position. Push your weight into your right foot as you bring your left knee to meet your left elbow right outside of your ribs as you crunch your obliques. Take your foot back behind your body and reach your hand back overhead.
To modify this move, keep your feet right below your hips instead of tapping back behind your body. To make this move more difficult, you can add some weights to your hand and/or ankle! Repeat this exercise 20 reps per side for three rounds.
The Move: Side Plank Hip Dip and Cross Down
How to: Start in a side plank with your elbow on the ground. Place your top arm in a position where your arm is bent and your hand in tapping the back of your ear. Lower your hips to the floor and use your core to lift them back up to plank position. When you return back to this position, take your top elbow and rotate your torso to touch that elbow to the ground. Return back to plank position and repeat this combo for 20 reps per side for three rounds.
To modify this movement, feel free to stack your bent knees in the plank instead of balancing on your feet. To make this more difficult, add a weight to your hip or to your top hand.
The Move: Seated Twists with a Reach Back
How to: This movement is great for the entire core as you are using your transverse abdominis, your rectus abdominis, and your obliques! Start in a seated position with your heels on the ground and your arms extended straight out from your chest. Rotate your core as you reach back behind you to tap the ground with your hand. Return back to the middle and perform this on the other side, and remember to maintain a tall spine to properly engage all your core muscles.
Modify this movement by tapping on the ground just outside your hip instead of behind your back. Make this movement more difficult by lifting your heels off the ground or adding some light weight. Complete 20 taps per side for 40 total each round, and complete three rounds.
The Move: Forearm Plank Hip Taps
How to: Start this exercise in a forearm plank with your forearms and toes on the ground. Shift your hips over to the right side and tap your hip down on the floor as you use your core muscles to bring your torso back up to the middle of the plank before repeating on the other side.
To modify this movement, perform this on your knees and hands and stack your knees up as you twist over to open up on one side of your body. To make this movement more difficult, try lifting your top leg when your hip touches the ground on each side. Complete 20 taps per side for 40 total each round, and complete three rounds.