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Oblique crunches on an exercise ball!

Oblique crunch is a classic abdominal exercise that works and strengthens your internal and external oblique muscles. These abdominal muscles are located along the sides of your waist.

When the fat around the area become excessive, they are often referred to as love handles or muffin top.

There are two types of muscles composing obliques:

  1. External oblique
  2. Internal oblique

Together they play the critical role in spinal stability and contribute to prevention of lower back pain, thus it’s important to keep them both strong and functioning properly.

Each oblique muscle also has its specific functions. 

The external oblique in particular is used to flex the trunk and bend and rotate your torso. 

The internal oblique provides spine stability in addition to its functions to flex and rotate the torso.

Oblique crunch targets both internal and external obliques and help them build strength.

By adding a stability ball to the classic oblique side crunch, you can heighten the exercise’s difficulty.

The bounciness and instability of the ball places a higher demand on your abs and core and make them contract harder to provide the balance and stability.

According to Michael Schletter, a certified personal trainer for mensfitness.com, the ball even serves as a source of resistance itself. 

The ball also extends your range of motion, which leads to higher muscle activation in the lower back muscles.

It’s not only a great ab and oblique toning exercise, but it’s also an excellent functional move that improves strength, stability, balance and range of motion.

Exercise Table

Reps Sets Level Location
8 to 10 3 Medium Gym or Home

If you are a beginner, start with the floor oblique crunch to get accustomed of the move before adding a ball to the mix. 

Want more stability ball exercise ideas? check our 30 best stability ball exercises
Swiss Ball Oblique Crunches. 

3 reasons to use the ball for abdominal exercises:

  1. More core engagement
  2. Improve balance
  3. Improve posture 

How to do oblique crunches on Swiss ball

  1. Lie on a Swiss Ball facing up with your feet shoulder width apart. Adjust your body on the ball, so your lower back is supported by the ball. Place your hands behind your head and tighten your abs.
  2. Lift your chest up and bring your left elbow towards your right knee. In other words, your body will be moving diagonally once your shoulders are off the ball. Return to the starting position and perform the other side.
  3. Repeat 8 to 10 reps per side to complete the set.





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