Oblique Crunches – Complete Form Guide and Video Tutorial

Written by: Stuart Carter,

Dip. PT, Precision Nutrition 1
C.O.O., The Fit Father Project

Written by: Stuart Carter,

Dip. PT, Precision Nutrition 1
C.O.O., The Fit Father Project

oblique crunches
There are many different ways to build core strength and start getting the six-pack you’ve dreamed off. Oblique crunches are a useful tool in achieving this goal.

You don’t need to be aiming for a six-pack to do oblique crunches! They are actually an excellent exercise for anyone trying to burn fat, build lean muscle and get healthier.

Doing oblique crunches properly ensures that your body is getting the best possible benefit from this exercise. However, you should remember that one exercise is not enough. Oblique crunches should be part of an overall workout plan. A great place to start is with the old school muscle program. Add your oblique crunches to this to really feel the benefits across your body.

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The secret to building age-defying muscle in your in 40s, 50s, & 60s is to modify the best muscle building exercises (bench, squats, rows) to make them safe on your joints…

The Benefits of Oblique Crunches

You probably won’t be surprised to learn that oblique crunches work your abdominal muscles. This will improve muscle definition if you are aiming for a six-pack. Depending on where you're starting, you’ll need to adopt the right approach to food if you want to achieve this goal. For a good start try the perfect plate approach to eating.

oblique crunches muscles workedOblique crunches engage your abdominal wall muscles and the obliques. This will actually help you to have a slimmer-looking and more defined waist. It can even strengthen your back.

Oblique crunches effectively strengthen your core muscle, providing you with better balance, flexibility, and improving your ability to complete virtually any other exercise. This is the often overlooked benefit that shows just how important it is to add oblique crunches into your routine; especially as this exercise places very little strain on your back.

They will also help you to improve your posture!

How To Do Oblique Crunches Properly

The most important thing to remember when learning and completing oblique crunches is to ensure that you hold the proper form throughout the exercise.

This means keeping your fingertips on the back of your head, rolling your knees from side to side and focusing on your abdominal muscle while you complete the exercise.

You can check out a great video guide to oblique exercises here.

Step 1 – Assume the Position

oblique crunchesThe first step is to take the standard crunch position on the floor. This means lying on the floor with your back touching the ground and your feet flat against the floor. Your knees will be bent to allow your feet to stay flat.

Now roll onto one side; your lower arm should be straight stretching away from your body (helping you to get your balance and be comfortable). You should now rotate your trunk slightly back; opening it up. In effect, you’ll have created a straight line from your chin through the middle of your thigh and the middle of your calf.

Step 2 – Getting Ready

man's abs oblique crunchesBefore you start crunching, you can move your lower arm in so that your hand rests on your abs. This will allow you to feel them moving as you complete your oblique crunches.

Make sure you are comfortable before you start and place your upper hand behind your head, ideally with your fingers behind your ears. This will provide support and help to ensure your body follows the correct line.

Step 3 – Do the Crunch

Slowly lower your head down to nearly touch the floor. Your chin should be up and needs to remain on the imaginary line through your legs.

When you’re nearly touching the floor bring your head back up. The movement needs to begin in your abs. You’re not looking to simply lift your head up and down.

However, you should be aware that the movement does not need to be large. Squeeze your abs as you do the oblique crunches. You’ll feel your stomach muscles working which means you’re lifting your head and body enough.

Step 4 – Switch Sides

Once you've done your reps on one side, you need to switch positions and put the other side of your body closer to the floor.

This will help to ensure you are working all your muscles equally.

Step 5 – Reps

This is a low movement exercise, so you’ll be looking to do 3 sets of 20 or even 30 reps. You may want to start lower and build up your reps. You can also add weights to the reps in the future as your abs get stronger.

It’s a good idea to make oblique crunches your finishing exercise after you've completed the old school muscle program or an array of core strengthening exercises. This is because it will target the obliques after you've already worked on your core.

Complimentary Exercises

As already mentioned this is a great exercise to add in at the end of a workout. In fact, it follows the following exercises perfectly:

  • Ab Wheel Roll Outs

oblique crunchesThis simple exercise can be completed at home or even in the office. It will work all of your abs muscles; both the visible 6 pack abs and the important core muscle behind.

Check it out here!

  • Hanging Leg Raises

These are very effective at working your lower abs; it also won’t do any harm to your arm and shoulder muscles!

Check it out here.

  • Dumbbell Squat

You can do this without the dumbbells, but it is more effective with the extra weight.

Check out the video instructions here.

  • The Plank

man and woman doing the plank oblique crunchesWhen doing this, the secret is to focus on all your muscles and squeeze them all. You’ll feel the effect in your quads, glutes, back and of course your abs.

Check it out here.

  • The Bear Crawl

You may not have heard of this one, but it is designed to work your chest, legs, shoulders, and glutes. It will also give your core a serious workout.

Again, you’ll need to make sure you adopt the proper form. Here’s a guide to get you started.

The Power Of Support

By now you should have tried some oblique crunches and perhaps the old school muscle program. If done properly you’ll feel the benefit straight away although you won’t have a visible 6 pack overnight!

The key to success is to create your habit and stick to it. A great way to achieve this is to enlist the support of the Fit Father Project. The project is devoted to helping men achieving their weight loss and muscle building goals. Join the FF30X today and get the support you need to feel inspired just as you can inspire others to reach their own goals.

Oblique crunches are just one small step along this journey.

Your new friend & health coach,

Stuart Carter, Dip. PT, Precision Nutrition 1
C.O.O., The Fit Father Project

Stuart gained his Diploma in Personal Training & Sports Medicine through Premier Global, back in 2001. In 2018, he completed his Level 1 Precision Nutrition qualification.

Throughout his career in Fitness, Stuart has trained hundreds of clients, worked in almost every position in the industry, and ran his own successful training studio.

After a hiatus away from the Fitness industry, working in Corporate Management and Finance, Stuart returned to what he loves… Fitness! This return led to a chance meeting with Dr. Balduzzi, and a place in the Fit Father Project team.

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*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on oblique crunches.


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Written by: Stuart Carter,

Dip. PT, Precision Nutrition 1
C.O.O., The Fit Father Project


Join the #1 Health & Fitness Program
for Busy Women 40+
Trusted by over 50,972 Busy Dads 40+

Lose weight. Keep it off.

See & feel results before you buy.

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