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Lying Oblique Crunch 101 Video Tutorial

Gym Main Variation Core Exercise


Lying Oblique Crunch
Lying Oblique Crunch

Exercise Synopsis

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The Lying Oblique Crunch is a bodyweight exercise that specifically targets the oblique muscles while also engaging the abdominal muscles as secondary targets. To perform this exercise, one lies on their back with legs elevated and bent, then contracts the obliques to lift the shoulders off the ground while slightly twisting to the side, effectively crunching the torso. This movement isolates and strengthens the oblique muscles, which are essential for trunk rotation and stability. The exercise requires no additional equipment, making it convenient for home workouts or when access to gym equipment is limited.

How to Perform

  1. Begin by lying on your back, ensuring your knees are bent to approximately 90 degrees and your hands are gently placed on the sides of your head for support.

  2. Engage your abdominal muscles as you prepare to execute the movement.

  3. Lift your upper body diagonally, aiming to bring the elbow and shoulder of one side towards the knee on the opposite side of your body.

  4. Focus on the contraction of your oblique muscles as you crunch, aiming to bend as far as comfortably possible.

  5. Slowly return to the starting position, maintaining control throughout the movement to maximize effectiveness.

  6. Ensure to perform the exercise with proper form and technique to avoid strain and injury, and consider incorporating variations or adjustments based on individual fitness levels and goals.

  7. Remember to breathe steadily throughout the exercise to optimize oxygen flow and maintain stability.

  8. As you progress, you can increase the intensity by adjusting the tempo or incorporating additional sets and repetitions into your routine.


  1. Begin by lying on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

  2. Place your hands lightly behind your head, elbows pointing outwards.

  3. Engage your core muscles, especially the obliques, to stabilize your torso.

  4. Lift your shoulders off the ground, aiming to bring your elbow towards the opposite knee.

  5. Focus on the contraction of the oblique muscles during the movement.

  6. Exhale as you crunch upwards, inhale as you lower back down with control.

  7. Avoid pulling on your neck with your hands; instead, use them for gentle support.

  8. Keep your lower back pressed into the floor throughout the exercise.

  9. Aim for a smooth, controlled motion, avoiding any jerking or swinging.

  10. Perform the exercise at a pace that allows you to maintain proper form and maximize muscle engagement.

How Not to Perform

  1. Avoid using momentum: Do not swing your upper body or use momentum to lift your shoulders off the ground. This can take the focus away from the oblique muscles and reduce the effectiveness of the exercise.

  2. Do not pull on your neck: Refrain from pulling on your neck with your hands to lift your upper body. This can strain the neck muscles and shift the focus away from the obliques.

  3. Keep your lower back pressed into the floor: Ensure that your lower back remains in contact with the floor throughout the movement. Lifting the lower back can reduce engagement of the obliques and increase the risk of lower back strain.

  4. Avoid overarching your back: Do not arch your back excessively as you lift your shoulders off the ground. This can lead to strain in the lower back and detract from the isolation of the oblique muscles.

  5. Do not hold your breath: Avoid holding your breath during the exercise. Instead, breathe steadily and rhythmically to maintain oxygen flow and support muscle engagement.

  6. Avoid excessive twisting: While performing the crunch, avoid excessive twisting of the torso. Focus on a controlled and deliberate movement, aiming to bring the elbow towards the opposite knee without over-rotating.

  7. Maintain control throughout the motion: Do not rush through the exercise or sacrifice form for speed. Focus on controlled movements, both on the way up and down, to maximize muscle activation and prevent injury.

  8. Do not neglect core engagement: Ensure that you are actively engaging your core muscles throughout the exercise, not just during the upward movement. This will help stabilize the torso and prevent excessive strain on the lower back.

  9. Avoid hyperextending the neck: Refrain from extending your neck excessively as you lift your shoulders off the ground. Keep your gaze towards the ceiling to maintain a neutral neck position and reduce strain on the neck muscles.

  10. Do not neglect proper setup: Pay attention to your starting position, ensuring that your knees are bent, feet flat on the floor, and hands lightly placed behind your head. Proper setup is crucial for maintaining proper form and maximizing the effectiveness of the exercise.


Variations of fitness exercises refer to different ways of performing a specific exercise or movement to target various muscle groups, intensities, or goals. These variations aim to challenge the body differently, prevent plateaus, and cater to individuals with varying fitness levels.


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Alternative exercises in fitness refer to different movements or activities that target similar muscle groups or serve the same training purpose as the primary exercise. These alternative exercises can be used as substitutes when the original exercise is unavailable or challenging to perform due to various reasons such as equipment limitations, injuries, or personal preferences.