How to do Oblique Crunches


Working on core strength? Once you’ve moved beyond the humble sit-up, learning how to do oblique crunches and incorporating them into your routine is the next step in developing your core and crafting well-rounded abs.


An oblique crunch forms part of a wider set of exercises that target your core, and is usually the first exercise you’ll learn after mastering sit-ups. Bodyweight exercises like the oblique crunch work well as part of a diverse routine and help you perform other, more complicated oblique-targeting movements as your workouts develop. Let’s begin.


Here’s our favourite variation of the oblique crunch.

  1. Lie flat on your back with your knees bent, as if you were going to perform a sit-up.

  2. Place your left hand behind your head, with the elbow flared, and place your right hand out with the palm facing down. Alternatively, place your right hand over your left oblique to check it’s contracting as you perform the movement.

  3. Pull yourself off the floor, contracting your abs, being sure to bring your left elbow up towards your right knee. Remember to breath out as you pull yourself up and don’t overextend – stay facing your knee. This movement isn’t as deep or dramatic as a traditional sit-up and your lower back should remain on the floor.

  4. Lower yourself in a controlled way, breathing in and returning to your starting position. This is one oblique crunch.

  5. Repeat steps 1-4, for as many reps as you feel comfortable. Aim for 8-12 at first.

  6. Swap sides, and repeat.

If you’re new to this move, take things slow and focus on getting the movement down. You should feel a contraction in your obliques as you reach towards your knee. As you master the oblique crunch, amp up the reps and train to failure as you would with weight-training exercises.


Great form means you get more from your workouts. If you’re working on your core and trying to master the oblique crunch, the friendly personal trainers at your local Gym are on hand to discuss technique, create an individualised fitness plan, and help you smash your fitness goals.

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