Want a rock-hard mid-section and obliques for days? (Don’t we all?) Then you need this 15-minute ab workout to sculpt your entire core — from top to bottom and side to side.
It’s easy to target our “front” abs while neglecting our obliques. However, it’s especially important to engage the muscles that run on either side of the “six-pack” area in order to really firm up your core. Try this workout for both abs and obliques, and get ready to feel the burn.
Standing Oblique Crunch
Start off with an easy warm-up to get the muscles working and the blood pumping. To avoid injury when adding the medicine ball as a weight, it’s important to first get the muscles warm.
- Begin from a standing position with feet shoulder-width apart.
- Lift the right knee to the side, and tap it to the right elbow.
- Repeat and lift the left leg to the side and tap the left elbow.
- Continue this 20 reps on each side.
Now that your muscles are warm, it’s time to reach for the medicine ball.
Lunging Medicine Ball Twists
Adding a medicine ball to your oblique routine will help intensify the workout on your obliques. Continue by grabbing the medicine ball for a lunge twist.
- From a standing position, grab the medicine ball in both hands.
- Go into a lunge position, gripping the ball with both hands out in front of you.
- Extend the arms straight and twist your torso (upper body) from side to side.
- Repeat the twist for 20 reps on each leg.
When you are finished, put the medicine ball aside, and continue to the floor for static planks.
Static Side Plank
Continue to the floor for a side plank to work the obliques in a static position.
- Prepare your body in static side-plank position by laying on your side.
- Elongate the body straight from foot to head (keep your back straight).
- Rest one arm to your side while shifting the position onto the other forearm.
- Hold the side plank and balance for a total of 30 seconds.
- Repeat by switching to the other side.
Once you have accomplished the static plank, move onto ankle reaches to engage the oblique muscles with more isolated motion.
Outside Ankle Reaches
Now it’s time to add some motion to continue to engage the obliques. Move your body to a crunch position and prepare to reach for your ankles.
- Start in a crunch position (lying on your mat, knees bent and feet flat on the floor).
- Raise your shoulders slightly off the ground.
- Begin the exercise by reaching your right hand as far to touching your right ankle as possible.
- Return to the crunch position and repeat with left arm and ankle.
- Continue the movement with 20 reps on either side.
After you are finished, it’s time to add more dynamic motion for a compound exercise that’s great for both obliques and abs.
Increase the intensity of your efforts with a bicycle crunch to feel the burn from the bottom to the top of the abs and obliques.
- Start in a crunch position, and raise the feet off the ground with a bend in the knees.
- Position your hands behind your head with elbows pointing out on either side.
- Take the right elbow and tap it to the left knee while elongating the right leg.
- Repeat by bringing the left elbow to the right knee and stretching the left leg.
- Continue the workout by alternating every time for 20 reps on either side.
After you have done the bicycle crunch, it’s time to pick up the medicine ball again.
Medicine Ball Crunch
Grab your medicine ball to up the intensity, as you work from the floor with a bit of resistance.
- Start by lying flat with back and legs to the ground.
- Begin the exercise by raising your legs at a 90-degree angle with torso.
- Hold the medicine ball in both your hands, above your head.
- As you crunch, bring the medicine ball forward towards your knees, while lengthening your legs straight out in front of you, but not touching the ground.
- The lower your legs are to the ground, the more engaged your lower abs will be.
- Repeat the exercise for 20 total reps.
Finish with the Russian Twist to feel the burn.
Complete the workout with a sitting Russian Twist. Use a decline bench for added intensity.
- Start in a crunch position and raise your feet off the ground.
- Hold the medicine ball in both hands.
- Twist to tap the left then the right for a total of 40 reps.