9 Stability Ball Oblique Exercises to Build Shaped Side Abs

The stability ball is one of the best equipment to develop your obliques. Not only does it provide support to your back, but it also helps to build balance and strength. This article provides some helpful information on oblique exercises that can be done on a ball.

Note: Most people focus on their abdominal muscles but ignore the oblique muscles that surround them. Almost every physical activity requires the use of the obliques as stabilizers.

1. Benefits of Stability Ball Oblique Exercises

1.1 Improved core strength

Improved core strength is one of the key benefits of stability ab exercises. Not only do these exercises target the oblique muscles, but they also target the abs and lower back. By engaging these muscles, stability ball oblique exercises help to enhance overall core strength and stability. As a result, posture, balance, and functional movement are improved. In addition, these exercises also improve core and hip flexibility and range of motion, as well as stability and balance. You can build a strong and stable core by incorporating these exercises into your workout routine.

1.2 Increased stability and balance

A noticeable increase in stability and balance are primary benefits of stability ball oblique exercises. When conducting these exercises on an unstable surface, such as a stability ball, your core muscles are engaged and stabilize your body. This not only enhances your overall balance and stability but also simplifies daily movements, lowering injury or mishap risks. Furthermore, these exercises also intensively work the oblique muscles responsible for rotational movements, thereby aiding in maintaining proper posture. Integrating stability ball oblique workouts in your exercise schedule can significantly boost your balance and stability while honing and strengthening your core.

1.3 Enhanced flexibility and range of motion

Enhanced flexibility and an increased range of motion constitute vital benefits. Such workouts focus on training the muscles in the abdomen’s side, along with the hip flexors and lower back. By utilizing a stability ball during these exercises, these muscles can be more effectively engaged, leading to an improvement in overall flexibility. The unstable surface of the ball compels your body to involve the core muscles for balance and stability, which contributes to enhancing your oblique muscles’ range of motion. Incorporating stability ball oblique exercises into your exercise schedule can assist you in developing stronger, more flexible abdominal muscles, thereby leading to greater posture and all-around functional movement.

2. Stability Ball Oblique Exercises for Beginners

2.1 Seated Russian Twist

As a novice, your first exercise is the Seated Russian Twist. Position yourself on a stability ball, plant your feet on the ground and carry a medicine ball or a weight close to your chest while keeping yourself upright. To execute the exercise, rotate your torso, lowering the weight towards the floor on each side. This twisting action, repeated as you see fit, is key to strengthening the oblique muscles, enhancing balance, extending your body’s flexibility, and increasing your torso’s range of movement. Over time, you can make it more challenging by adding weight or further twisting.

2.2 Side Crunches

Immersing deeper into the core-strengthening exercises, we begin with Side Crunches. To perform these, sit atop a stability ball, plant your feet firmly on the ground, and position your hands behind your head. Gradually lean to one side, allowing the ball to follow your movement. As you tilt, activate your oblique muscles, prompting your shoulder to move towards your hip. Resume the starting position after holding the crunch momentarily before repeating the process on the other side. Consistent practice of Side Crunches strengthens your obliques, helping you attain a toned and firmer midsection.

2.3 Plank with Knee Tucks

The final challenge, Plank with Knee Tucks, is slightly tough but incredibly effective. Positioned in a plank with your hands on the stability ball and toes touching the floor, engage your core. Draw one knee towards your chest while ensuring your back remains straight and stable. After returning to the start, repeat with your other knee. This is an oblique-targeting routine that simultaneously enhances overall core strength, stability, and balance. Consistent incorporation of Plank with Knee Tucks into your regimen will help sculpt a well-defined midsection.

3. Intermediate Oblique Exercises

3.1 Bicycle Crunches

Renowned for their effectiveness, Bicycle Crunches use a pedaling motion to engage the obliques, upper, and lower abs. Starting in a prone position, legs above the ground, you mirror the motion of cycling – bringing your opposite elbow to the corresponding knee, with the other leg extended straight. Regularly incorporating this exercise enhances your core strength and stability and sculpts your obliques, making them an exemplary addition to your stability ball routine.

3.2 Side Plank with Leg Lift

To further engage your obliques and enhance your core’s solidity, introduce the Side Plank with Leg Lift to your regimen. The setup for this exercise involves positioning your elbow directly underneath your shoulder and transitioning into a side plank. By lifting your superior leg and preserving your alignment, your balance is challenged, and your obliques are engaged. Integrating such exercises in your routine bolsters not just the obliques, but also improves stability, balance, and flexibility.

3.3 Stability Ball Rollouts

Stability Ball Rollouts make a great intermediate-level choice, targeting your obliques and testing your body’s balance.  The exercise is executed by kneeling on the ball, rolling forward, stretching your arms, and tightening the core. The move significantly engages the obliques while challenging overall stability. Its regular performance allows you to increase core strength, flexibility, and your body’s range of motion. As the obliques contribute prominently to trunk rotation and stability, exercises like these lead to significant improvements in your athletic journey.

4. Advanced Stability Ball Oblique Exercises

4.1 Pike Rollouts

The advanced Pike rollout exercise is typically performed using a stability ball to bolster the core, focusing on the obliques. Initiate this exercise from a push-up position with your hands firmly planted on the floor and your feet on the ball. To shape a “pike”, raise your hips while pulling the ball with your lower limbs towards your chest. Gently return to where you started. Such rollouts enforce the obliques, contribute to improving stability and balance, and involve ancillary muscles in your chest, arms, and shoulders, affording a comprehensive body workout. Inserting pike rollouts into your fitness regime can thus enhance core stamina, amplify flexibility, and uplift stability.

4.2 Oblique V-Ups

Oblique V-Ups represents another advanced stability ball oblique exercise that emphasizes the obliques situated along the sides of your abdomen. To perform this exercise, recline on your back with the stability ball firmly secured between your feet and your arms lengthened overhead. Activate your core, and raise your legs and upper body concurrently, forming a “V” with your torso. Hold a moment and then slowly descend back to the start. Repeat depending on your fitness level. Oblique V-Ups not only help to amplify core strength but also involve the muscles responsible for maintaining balance and stability. Additionally, it can increase flexibility and range of motion in the oblique muscles, thus improving athletic performance and decreasing injury likelihood.

4.3 Stability Ball Passes

Stability Ball Passes are a higher-level oblique exercise. They target the muscular core of the abdomen while also calling into action the back and hip muscles. Initiate Stability Ball Passes by lying flat on your back with the stability ball between your hands and feet. Fully extend your arms and legs upward, then lower back down towards the ground, all while keeping your core activated. During the descent, swap the ball from your hands to your feet via the abdominal muscles. Repeat as determined by your capacity, staying focused on sustaining suitable form and engaging your obliques. Stability Ball Passes are beneficial for oblique strengthening, boosting core stability, and enhancing overall strength.

We used these sources for this article:

  • Lee, S. M., Lim, H. S., Byun, H. J., & Kim, M. J. (2020). Changes of abdominal muscle activity according to trunk stabilization exercises using a Swiss ball. Physical Therapy Rehabilitation. jptrs.org
  • Vurgun, H., & Edis, Ç. (2020). Only Swiss Ball Core Exercises Can Improve of Functional Movement Screen Score and Core Muscle Endurance? International Journal of Applied Exercise. academia.edu
  • Malla, S., & Mahto, P. K. (2019). Effect of motor control exercise on Swiss ball and PNF technique on non-specific low back pain. Retrieved from researchgate.net. researchgate.net
  • Setyawan, R., Setijono, H., & others. (2021). The Effect of Floor and Swiss Ball Exercises Using Circuit Training Methods towards Balance, Strength, Flexibility and Muscle Endurance. Britain International of …, 2021. biarjournal.com


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