Top 11 Oblique Calisthenics Exercises

The benefits of strong oblique muscles are numerous. Their primary function is to support the spine and enhance performance during physical activities that require quick movements and twisting. Calisthenics depends heavily on these skills. Well-developed obliques also look great. In most cases, the V-shaped figure is the result of good nutrition and toned obliques.

Give up crunches and try these calisthenic oblique exercises instead.

1. Seated Knee Tuck

Level: Beginner

Often called the reverse crunch, the seated knee tuck is a crucial component of a core workout. Situated knee tucks are great for building six-pack abs and increasing core strength.

  • Get on the edge of a bench or chair. Put your hands on the seat, lean back a little, and straighten your legs. As you sit, you should have your feet together, and your heels raised a few inches off the ground.
  • Bring your knees up until they are about 6 to 10 inches from your chest. You should exhale as you draw in your knees.
  • Before reversing your motion, pause for a few seconds.
  • Extend your limbs as you inhale. It’s important to move your feet backward and forward in a straight line and not touch the floor. Maintain a tight stomach.

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2. Hanging Knee Raise

Level: Intermediate

It’s a great core exercise that boosts functional strength, muscle development, and abdominal muscle control. Since you hang by your own grip throughout each set, this exercise is great for grip strength.

  • Grab the pull-up bar. Keep your hands at shoulder-width distance. So that your feet are clear of the ground, the bar needs to be high. It’s essential to keep your shoulders tight and your body straight.
  • Smoothly raise your knees to meet your pelvis and to a right angle. The floor should be parallel to your thighs. As you exhale, keep your stomach pulled in.
  • Squeeze your abs for a moment. You should inhale while extending your body until fully extended.
  • Repeat.

Learn more: Best calisthenics abs exercises

3. Hanging Straight Leg Raise

Level: Intermediate

The benefits of this exercise are similar to those of knee lifts, but because it is harder to perform, it makes the core muscles even stronger.

  • Grab a pull-up bar. You should have your hands shoulder-width apart. Keep your shoulders tight.
  • As you raise your legs, slowly and smoothly, get them parallel to the floor. You should fully contract your abdomen as you exhale as your legs rise.
  • Hold the position for at least two seconds, and then reverse the motion as perfectly as you can until you are back at the start. During the process of lowering your legs, breathe in deeply.
  • During the start position, remain flexed. It is vital to maintain complete muscular control at all times and keep your legs locked. When you lift your legs, don’t use the momentum.

4. Support Press

Level: Intermediate

You can do a basic press hang to build upper body strength before you begin press flag training.

  • Utilize an overhand grip while hanging next to the wall. Put your hand (the one closest to the vertical surface) on the vertical surface.
  • Stretch your arm straight and thrust your body outwards.
  • Maintain a neutral posture.

5. Bent Leg Press Flag

  • Start by settling into your vertical base. From here, perform a vertical press.
  • When you are in a stable position, bend your legs smoothly to horizontal. Both knees and hips will work; however, moving your legs forwards or backward can affect your balance, making you turn.
  • Legs should be bent so that they form a perfect horizontal line without falling.
  • Breathe normally while holding the position.

6. Full Human Flag

Level: Advanced

How does the flag benefit you? Strong grips, shoulders, obliques, and quadratus lumborum are all highly worked.

To position your flag, you can approach it from the top or the bottom.

  • Top-Down. With top-down training, the intention is to slowly increase the strain on the body while priming the neurological system. The ultimate goal is to maintain control and ease yourself into the full hold by lowering yourself into the human flag position from a vertical flag position.
  • Bottom-Up. The bottom-up method is generally more challenging because it involves pressing yourself up from the floor into a horizontal position.
  • Regardless of the method you use, you should squeeze and pull from your top arm while pressing firmly into the pole with your bottom arm. Your entire body must also remain tense.

7. Ab Wheel Exercise

Level: Intermediate

By working your lower back muscles as well as your abs, the exercise wheel is effective in strengthening your core. As you roll forward on the wheel, your back naturally arched, which requires strong back muscles to counteract. The ab roller is among my favorite oblique exercises with equipment.

  • The ab wheel should be just in front of the body on the floor when you start on both knees.
  • When you are parallel to the ground, tighten your core and extend your arms fully.
  • While you are rolling, keep your core tight and your back straight. Once you have done this, return to your starting position and repeat.

8. Plank With Leg Raise

calisthenics obliques exercise plank with leg raise
Level: Beginner

With leg raises added to your plank, you can activate your abdominal muscles better than a regular plank, resulting in better core strength. Good posture, balanced movement, and even a healthier back are benefits of a strong core. Adding plank leg raises to your fitness regimen will strengthen not only your ab muscles but also your glutes. These are good oblique exercises for beginners.

9. Side plank

side plank woman
Level: Beginner

During ab exercises like calisthenics crunches, the oblique abdominal muscles are not adequately developed as they are with the side plank. You will hold your body at a straight angle on one side with one foot and one arm supporting your weight. Side planks are excellent internal oblique exercises without equipment.

  • Stack your feet over one another and turn your hip sideways, placing your palm in line with your legs.
  • Raise your hip and place your hand below your shoulder in a straight line. Hold out your other hand toward the ceiling.

10. Hanging Windshield Wiper

Level: Advanced

An oblique twist and a hanging toe-touch are combined to form the windshield wipers. It is so brutally tough, yet it strengthens every part of your body.

  • Hang from an overhead bar. Engage your shoulders by pulling down with your lats.
  • As you raise your toes, squeeze your abs to bring you in a pike position.
  • Hold your legs together like windshield wipers while moving them side-to-side slowly with control from your obliques. Don’t let your hips twist, or you’ll lose your hold completely. Only go as far to one side as you can control.

11. Front Lever

Level: Advanced

The front lever engages your entire torso together rather than causing it to twist and collapse under pressure. Additionally, you build much back strength, including your lats, rhomboids, and spinal erectors. It’s also good for your abs and obliques. Gymnastics oblique exercises like this have proven to be highly effective for getting abs.

  • Overhand grip the pull-up bar. Lean back and tuck your legs up. It is vital to keep your shoulders and hips parallel to the ground during the exercise.
  • Straighten your back and both legs. Make a straight line with your body parallel to the floor. Maintain this position.

In summary

I outlined some top calisthenics exercises for obliques. These are fantastic for training strong obliques as well as the waist and v-shaped abs. Calisthenics has been proven to improve muscle strength and tone. When you want a quick fix without going to the gym, these calisthenics exercises are for you! Try them now and see how strong those long, lean muscles look in no time!