Obliques, conjointly referred to as love handles are one in every of the foremost vital muscles throughout a exercise and infrequently the most unheeded. There is a common myth with gym goers that if they exercise their abs and sides, the obliques will automatically reduce and tone up. But you will see that even after you put in hours of exercise, those pesky love handles refuse to go!

To develop a proper oblique exercise plan for women, you need to first understand the abdominal anatomy. Your abdomen is divided into the front and sides. The front of your stomach has the muscles which are the most worked upon, also known as the six pack muscles. On either side of these are located the oblique muscle. Obliques are divided into two parts, external and internal and while exercising, you need to concentrate on both. Obliques are those parts of your body which let you move your torso sideways and help you twist. Certain sports moves like hitting a bat or swinging a golf club show proper oblique movement.

Women have a tendency of developing wayward obliques because the fat content in their body is primarily located in abdomen and thighs. Hence, they should concentrate more on the following exercises to target their obliques:

Oblique Exercises for Women

In order to start focusing on your obliques, you must first pay attention to your core and abs. Your core needs to be balanced and you should have put in enough crunches to secure your ab muscles. Make sure you are breathing right.

Now, instead of using exercises that move your torso from side to side, rotation exercises are used, as side exercises tend to add bulk two sides which men prefer but hardly any woman likes. So here are some of the best oblique exercises for women:


Side Planks:

Side planks are one of the best oblique exercises for women and they target your core as well.

  • Lie on your side, on a mat and put your arms flat resting on your elbows.
  • Make sure your hands are flat and directly under your shoulders.
  • Your other arm can be reaching for the ceiling to increase the intensity, or you can lie on your side.
  • Your feet should be lined straight on top of each other.
  • Now, lift yourself from your abdomen, keeping your legs straight and motionless.

This will target your internal obliques and core and you will feel a burn in your stomach. Do 12-15 reps in three sets for best results.

Bicycle Crunches:

A bicycle crunch is the best exercise for your abs and obliques. To perform this exercise:

  • Lie flat on your back and interlock your fingers behind your head.
  • Bend your knees and lift your shoulders.
  • Inhale deeply, as you touch your left shoulder with your right knee and then alternate to the other side.

This motion replicates a bicycle ride uphill and will give you a good burn. You can do it fast or slow in a more controlled manner, just remember to keep your stomach pulled in and maintain even breathing. Do 20-30 reps in three sets.

Torso Twist:

  • These oblique exercises for women add a cardio element as well.
  • Stand with your feet apart and lock your fingers behind your head.
  • Now, as you breathe in lift your left knee towards your right shoulder so that they meet midway.

Repeat with the other side till you develop a rhythm. Do 20 reps in three sets for best results.

Side Turns:

Side turns, also known as windshield wipers are a high intensity oblique exercises for women where the lower abs are also targeted.

  • Lie down flat on your back and raise your legs to a 90 degree position.
  • Keep your arms straight next to you and pull in your stomach so that there is no back injury.
  • Now, keeping your legs straight, move your torso from the right to left in a repetitive motion so that your legs turn from side to side.

You should feel your torso working and not your legs or hips, so keep your position intact and posture correct. Do 20 reps in three sets for best results.

Chair Twist:

A chair twist is one of the most challenging oblique exercises for women. Here you not only exercise your obliques but also your arms and abs. For this exercise:

  • Hang on to captain’s chair equipment and as you hang, twist your body to one side and lift your knees to your stomach.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Try and do 12-15 reps in a continuous set and as you improve cover 20 reps in three sets.

Standing Lift:

A standing lift exercise is very good for exercising your external obliques.

  • Stand straight and hold on to any form of weight or a bar.
  • Now, keep your whole body straight and lift one leg to the side as high as you can while keeping the leg and your position intact.
  • Repeat this for the other side as well.

Do 20 reps in three sets for best results and increase to 30 for higher intensity.

Oblique Bends:

  • Hold a dumbbell or a weight in your hand and keep your whole body straight and taut.
  • Pull your stomach in and bend to one side with the weight in your hand and then bend to the other side.

This exercise can be performed with weights in both hands or a single weight in one hand for different variations. Hold your position as you go down and slowly come up. Do 20 reps in three sets for best results.

Static Hold:

Static holds challenge your body and its resistance and add intensity and strength to your workout.

  • Lie flat on your back and keep your arms above your head.
  • Now, lift both your arms and your legs together to form a boat like structure with your body and hold the position.
  • Hold the position for 20 seconds, then 20 seconds and then 40 seconds.
  • Another static hold oblique exercise women is where you lie down on your stomach and prop your elbows.
  • Now, lift your stomach off the ground with the support of your elbows and hold the position.

Again hold for 20 seconds, 30 second and 40 seconds for best results.

Things to be Careful About:

  • Always stretch before and after performing any of these oblique exercises. For women as stretching will ease the muscles. After any workout, especially one involving high muscle activity, your muscles become sore and almost brittle, which means they tend to injure quickly. Stretching will give you more flexibility and better muscle control.
  • Maintain a neutral spine. Do not put any sort of pressure on your spine or back as this may cause back injury. Always keep your posture intact and do not increase intensity or speed. Until, you are sure of the exercise and you don’t feel any pain in your back. If you feel any pain back there, stop exercising, relax and stretch first.
  • Doing it right with the correct posture is a must. Any wrong movement and you will end up injuring yourself. Oblique exercises for women consist of lots of twists and turns and any wrong turn or pressure put on any wrong area will end up damaging that part. You need to be very careful of your back, neck and legs.
  • Proper breathing will aide your stomach muscles and actually helps with the exercises. Wrong breathing will damage your exercise routine and any type of intensity will be of no good use.

Love handles are a sore spot for many women who are trying to tone up their body. Oblique exercises for women are not a spot reduction technique. It should be do with other exercises for best results.

Abdomen muscles need to be work on constantly as women traditionally have more fat in that region. Women who are scare of developing bodybuilder like six packs and muscles need not be worry. These moves are a combination of strength exercises. And Pilates moves that add resistance and cardio to the training.

Exercise is the not the solution to lose your love handles. You need to maintain your diet and follow a regular exercise routine. Cardiovascular exercises like cycling or running should be do along with these exercises, as they increase your body temperature and increase the heart beat, and you end up burning more calories. A proper combination of calorie monitoring, cardio exercise and oblique exercises for women will help you target those pesky love handles and let you have that perfect toned torso that you always wanted!

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