What are the obliques?

Your external oblique muscles are located on each side of the rectus. They give the trunk stability when twisting and contract opposite the side twisting. (For example, when the body turns to the right, the left external oblique contracts.)

The internal obliques are the muscle group that borders the rectus abdominis, located underneath the external obliques. These muscles also aid and stabilize in twisting movements.

On Days 2 and 6 of our Summer Shred Flat Abs Workout Plan, you’ll choose three of the five moves below designed to target your obliques. Pair these ab moves with your own workout plan or download the complete M&F Summer Shred plan to get a beach-worthy body in just four weeks!

Seated Alternate-Side Ball Slam

Summer Shred 16 Seated Alternate-Side Ball Slam

Sit on the end of a flat bench, knees bent 90 degrees, and feet lifted. Hold an 8- to 12-pound medicine ball in front of you at chest height, elbows bent and pointing down. Twist torso to the right; as you turn, slam ball into floor and catch it. Immediately twist left, slamming ball to opposite side. Repeat twists from side to side, without pausing in the center, keeping feet elevated throughout.

Do 2–3 sets of 40 slams (20 per side).

Lying Side Crunch

Summer Shred 16 Lying Side Crunch

Lie on left side with legs stacked. Place right fingers behind head, keeping left arm on floor with elbow below shoulder. Lift legs and torso off floor, crunching right elbow toward top of right knee. Lower back to start without allowing feet or shoulder to touch floor.

Do 2–3 sets of 20 reps per side.

Weighted Side Bench Pulse

Weighted Bench pulse

Begin in a side plank with right elbow on a flat bench and left foot in front of right. Hold a 10- to 20-pound dumbbell in left hand, keeping arm on outside of left thigh. Pulse torso 6 inches toward floor, then 6 inches up past starting point, keeping dumbbell in place.

Do 2–3 sets of 20 pulses per side.

Stability-Ball Windshield Wiper

Stability Ball Windshield Wiper

Lie faceup with your shoulders and upper back on a stability ball, feet on floor slightly wider than hip distance with hips lifted into a tabletop position. Hold a medicine ball above chest with arms extended. Lower ball to right side, rotating torso to the right and lifting left shoulder off ball until both arms are parallel to floor. Keeping core engaged, return to center and rotate to the left, lifting right shoulder off ball until arms are parallel to floor on left side.

Do 2–3 sets of 20 reps per side.

Shoveling Snow

Summer Shred 16 Shoveling Snow

Stand with feet wider than shoulder-distance apart, holding a dumbbell in both hands in front of you. Keeping arms straight, bend knees, reaching weight toward left foot. Bring arms across body, twisting torso to the right and raising weight to outside of your right ear. Lower weight back toward left foot and repeat.

Do 2–3 sets of 20 reps per side.

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