How To Do Standing Oblique Twist Properly

The standing oblique twist, also known as a standing side twist, is a dynamic standing ab drill that works the obliques. This ab workout will build you a sculpted and functional midsection.

It is an effective way of targeting your core muscles, specifically your obliques. If you want to target your obliques to challenge your balance, the standing oblique twist is an ideal move to include in your routine.

This workout is simple, effective, and result-oriented and can be varied to suit your fitness level.

Targeted Muscles: Abs, Obliques

Required Equipment: Dumbbells (optional)

Exercise Type: Strength/ Bodybuilding

Exercise Mechanics:

Difficulty Level: Intermediate


  • Stand and lace one foot in front of the other, and ensure your feet are pointing straight ahead.
  • Place your hands on your hips or cross them for stability.
  • Twist towards your left side as you raise your arm toward the roof. Tuck your elbow to your side as you do this.
  • Switch to the opposite side. Ensure the opposite shoulder and hip slightly jut before your front foot.
  • Repeat the movement on the opposite side until you achieve the desired sets of reps.


  • Warm up properly before commencing this exercise.
  • Master the correct breathing pattern. Holding your breath will make you get tired faster.
  • Perform the workout as quickly as possible, but remember to follow the correct technique. Do not compromise the form. Brace your core throughout the workout and ensure you feel the oblique tension with every twist.
  • You can challenge yourself by adding resistance. Hold weight and perform using the same technique.
  • If you feel any pain while exercising, stop and check your form and consult a certified fitness instructor.


The abdominals are made up of three main muscles: The rectus abdominis, the transverse abdominis, and the obliques.

Standing oblique twists primarily target the obliques and recruit the serratus muscles and the abdominals.

  • Lower and Upper Abdominals: This muscle group is responsible for lumbar spine stability.
  • Serratus: This muscle facilitates forward arm rotation and pulls the scapula frontwards.
  • Obliques: The obliques facilitate side-to-side bending of the upper body.



Whether you fancy fitness or an elite athlete, having a good motion range is essential. The motion range is your body’s capability to work around the varying axes.

Standing oblique twists improve body mobility, enabling it to rotate around its axes.

Much as this workout trains all the axes, it is most essential for the vertical axis-the transverse plane. This axis divides the left and right halves of your body.

Twisting workouts such as the standing oblique twist improve this plane mobility.


The standing oblique twist is a surefire way to work up your entire core and upper body. You can perform them solely as a drill or use them as dynamic warm-up workouts.

This exercise targets the obliques, abdominals, the spine, the back muscles, and the hip flexors that all gain hypertrophy benefits when trained using the correct technique.

Consistent training strengthens these body muscles.


The standing oblique twist challenges your body’s stability. The trunk and torso are responsible for generating body stability.

The torso maintains the overall body balance by coordinating the pelvic movements—both the torso and the pelvis aid general body mobility.

Pelvis mobility necessitates extension and flexion. The standing oblique twist strengthens your torso, building you a stronger, more stable body.



Try out the bodyweight side crunch. It is an excellent calisthenics alternative that targets the same muscles and is ideal for all fitness levels.


  • Place an exercise mat on the floor and lie on it on your left side. Form a 90-degree angle at your knees and place your top leg over your bottom leg. Raise your knees off the floor slightly.
  • Cross your hands over your chest and rest your upper back on the floor.
  • Move your torso upward and squeeze your obliques to move your ribcage towards your ribs.
  • Resume the starting position and repeat.
  • Aim for 3 sets of 15 reps.


Muscles Worked: Obliques, Spinal Erectors, Glutes


  • Place an exercise mat on the floor, and on your side, lie on it.
  • Put your right forearm on the mat and place your elbow directly under your shoulder.
  • Bend your knees to form a 90- degree angle and stack your legs.
  • Raise your torso while keeping your spine such that your hips are aligned with your torso.
  • Brace your core.
  • Pause and hold for 5 seconds.
  • Resume the starting position and repeat.
  • Aim for 3 sets of 10 reps.



Performing the workout using a sloppy technique will exert unnecessary tension on your spine. Overarching the back muscles will strain your back and shift the tension to your lower back instead of your abs and obliques.

If you realize you are arching or twisting your lower back a lot, work on perfecting your technique by first performing without the weight plates.


One common mistake with standing oblique twist is rushing the motion. Performing the exercise in a rush builds momentum.

This will engage other muscles and shift tension off the targeted muscle, reducing the workout’s effectiveness.

Correct this mistake by executing the workout at a controlled pace and making every rep deliberate.

Oblique twists have to be fast, but aim for controlled and targeted reps and follow the correct technique.


The standing oblique twist is an excellent workout that trains many core muscles. It works the obliques and can help alleviate lower back injuries and minimize muscle soreness and body exhaustion.

This exercise will also melt the extra layer of fat around your waist, tone your torso, and give you the smaller, toned waist you desire. This exercise has been rendered effective and can enhance the body core to a visible degree.

Ensure you warm up properly before performing this workout and concentrate on executing the proper form to minimize the risk of injury and alleviate lower back and knee discomfort.

Check out other standing ab workouts like the Prayer Squat twists and High knees twist that work the similar muscles with low intensity.

Refine your fitness and stay resilient.




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