16 Best Dumbbell Oblique Exercises For Strong Core

In a home workout series of dumbbell exercises, I’ll hand out the best dumbbell oblique exercises for men and women of all fitness levels in this article. There will be some easy exercises and some challenging, so you can do some of them depending on your fitness level.

What are oblique muscles?

Obliques are located on the sides of the abdominals, and they are an essential part of the core.

They have two muscles; external oblique and internal oblique. The internal one is situated just under the external one. And these muscles are responsible for various actions, such as twisting and stretching your body, especially the trunk.

You can do various bodyweight exercises to strengthen your oblique. But, adding weight such as dumbbells allow you to put more stress on the muscles that ultimately helps you build stronger and thicker oblique.

In this post, I’ve included as many as sixteen oblique dumbbell exercises and a couple of workout routines (for beginners and pros) to help you build a sturdy core.

List of all Oblique Dumbbell Workout

oblique exercises with dumbbells

Standing Oblique Exercises with Dumbbells

  1. Dumbbell Side Bend
  2. Dumbbell Wood Chop
  3. Dumbbell Overhead Standing Bend
  4. Dumbbell Power Hooks
  5. Dumbbell Standing Twist/Rotation
  6. Forward Lunges with Rotation

Dumbbell Oblique Crunches

  1. Dumbbell Oblique Crunch
  2. Alternate Dumbbell Heel Tap Crunches
  3. Single-arm Dumbbell Toe Touch Crunches
  4. Dumbbell Russian Twist

Advanced Oblique Dumbbell Exercises

  1. Dumbbell Side Plank
  2. Dumbbell Side Plank Hip Raise
  3. Dumbbell Side Plank with a Reach-under
  4. Low to high Dumbbell Wood Chop
  5. Dumbbell Oblique Wipers
  6. Dumbbell T Pushup

Let’s find out how to do each exercise with step-by-step instructions, images, and videos.

Standing Dumbbell Oblique Exercises

1. Dumbbell Side Bend

  1. Grab a pair of dumbbells with a neutral grip and stand upright in a hip-width stance.
  2. Keep your arms straight at your sides with your palms are facing in.
  3. Keeping your core tight, bend your torso to the right side until you feel the full contraction in your oblique.
  4. Squeezing your obliques, hold there for a moment, and then switch to the other side.
  5. Do at least two sets of 10 reps each.

2. Dumbbell Wood Chop

  1. Grab a dumbbell with your hands and stand upright with your feet slightly wider than the shoulder-width. Hold your arms straight over your left shoulder.
  2. Brace your abdominal muscles, and rotating your torso bring the dumbbell down toward the right hip until the dumbbell passes your thigh.
  3. Hold for a second and then reverse the movement to return to the starting position.
  4. Shoot for two sets of 8 to 12 reps each.

3. Dumbbell Overhead Standing Bend

  1. Grab a dumbbell firmly with your hands and stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart. And hold the dumbbell overhead with your arms are straight. That’s the start.
  2. Keeping your core tight, bend your torso to the left as far as possible while maintaining your hips straight.
  3. Squeeze your obliques, and then return to the standing position, and repeat on the opposite side.
  4. Perform two sets of 10 reps on each side.

4. Dumbbell Power Hooks

Power hook is one of the best upper body workouts that increases stamina, strength, and speed. It works on several muscles of the body, including the obliques.

You can also include this exercise in your dumbbell HIIT program as it burns many calories and boosts endurance.

oblique dumbbell workout

Steps to perform power hooks with dumbbells:

  1. Grab a pair of lightweight dumbbells and stand straight in the split stance.
  2. Assume you’re standing in front of the punching bag. Now, throw punches in front of you as fast as you can.
  3. Do it for 20-30 seconds at 75-90% of your maximum heart rate.

5. Standing Dumbbell Oblique twist

  1. Holding a dumbbell, stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Brace your core and keep your arms straight in front of your chest. That’s the start.
  3. Twist your arms to one side until your obliques are fully engaged. Hold for a moment, then twist on the other side and repeat as many times as possible.

6. Forward Lunges with Rotation

  1. Standing in the hip-width stance, hold a dumbbell with your hands. This is your starting position.
  2. Take one large step forward with your right leg and bend your knees at 90-degree. Then rotate your arms to one side, followed by the other side. And repeat for the desired number of times.

Dumbbell Oblique Crunches

7. Lying Dumbbell Oblique Twist

  1. Grab a dumbbell with your hands and lie on the floor with your knees are bent and feet flat on the ground. That’s your starting position.
  2. Brace your abdominal muscles, lift your torso off the floor and bring your left shoulder to your right knee until you feel a good contraction in your oblique.
  3. Pause for a moment and then return to the lying position and, without pause, repeat on the other side.

If you’re a beginner, try to perform two sets of 6-10 reps, and if you’re intermediate, perform 12-15 reps.

8. Alternate Dumbbell Heel Tap Crunches

The heel tap crunches work on the entire core, such as the upper and lower abs, and oblique. And the best thing is, it is suitable for all fitness levels.

  1. Grab one dumbbell in each hand and lie on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
  2. Brace your core and twist your torso to the right until the dumbbell touches your heel.
  3. Squeezing your love handle, pause for a moment, and then repeat on the opposite side.
  4. Aim for two sets of 6 to 12 reps.

9. Single-arm Dumbbell Toe Touch Crunches

  1. Start with lying on the floor with your knees are bent and feet flat on the ground.
  2. Grab a dumbbell in your right hand and lift your left leg off the floor until the heel is facing up. Try to keep your knee as straight as possible.
  3. Keeping your arm straight, lift your torso off the floor until the dumbbell touches your toe. You’ll feel the work in your core, including oblique in this position.
  4. Do as many reps as you like.

10. Dumbbell Russian Twist

oblique dumbbell exercises
  1. Grab a dumbbell with your hands and sit on the mat with your legs are slightly bent in front of you.
  2. Maintaining a neutral spine position, slightly lean back and lift your feet off the floor. That’s the start.
  3. Hold the dumbbell in front of your belly and twist it side-by-side until you feel a good stretch in your obliques. Try to perform at least two sets of 10 to 15 seconds.

Advanced Oblique Dumbbell Exercises

11. Dumbbell Side Plank

The planks are isometric core exercises that are super effective for building a bulletproof core. They have several variations, but the side plank works more on your obliques which makes it a good exercise to include in your oblique dumbbell workout routine.

Here’s how to do the side plank with a dumbbell:

  1. Pick a dumbbell in your left hand and get in the side plank position on your right forearm. Keep your left leg on the right one and look forward. Make sure your body forms a straight line from shoulders to feet.
  2. Hold your right arm straight toward the ceiling with your palm facing forward. And hold in this position for at least 15 to 20 seconds. Once you have done, switch to the opposite side.

If you find it challenging to do the forearm side plank, keep your arm straight.


12. Dumbbell Side plank hip raise

  1. Like the dumbbell side plank, lie on either of your forearms and, holding the dumbbell, keep your arm straight toward the sky. That’s the start.
  2. Bring your hips down and up for the desired number of times. Keep your obliques engaged throughout the movement.

13. Dumbbell Side-plank with a reach-under

  1. Get a dumbbell in your left hand and hold your upper body on your right forearm. And extend your left arm straight toward the ceiling (over your shoulder). Make sure your body forms a straight line from shoulders to feet. That’s the starting position.
  2. Bring your left arm under your chest until you feel the full contraction in your oblique.
  3. Do a couple of sets of six to eight reps.

14. Low to high Dumbbell Wood Chop

  1. Hold a dumbbell with your hands and sit on your left knee with your right knee also, bend and feet flat on the floor. Keep the dumbbell in front of your left thigh with straight arms. That’s the start.
  2. Brace your core and raise the dumbbell up and across your body until it reaches over your right shoulder.
  3. Pause for a moment, and then bring the dumbbell to the start.
  4. Do three sets of eight to 10 reps each.

15. Dumbbell Oblique Wipers

The lying wiper is one of the advanced oblique exercises you can do with a dumbbell. It forges your core, enhances mobility, and helps you build six-pack abs.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Holding one dumbbell in each hand, lie on the floor with your legs are straight toward the ceiling.
  2. Keep your core tight and arms straight over your chest. That’s the start.
  3. Twist your legs from left to right and right to the left and repeat for the maximum number of times you can.
  4. You’ll feel the work in your entire core during the movement.

16. Dumbbell T Pushup

The T pushup is one of the best dumbbell pushup variations that work on multiple muscles simultaneously, such as the chest, arms, and oblique. However, it is a pro-level exercise that requires a great deal of strength and mobility.

How to do it:

  1. Grab a pair of dumbbells and get into the high plank position with your arms are straight underneath your shoulders and feet are two times wider than hip-width apart.
  2. Perform a pushup, and then twisting your torso to one of your sides, raise your one arm toward the ceiling.
  3. Return your arm to the start and repeat on your opposite side.
  4. Do as many reps and sets as you can.

Best Oblique Dumbbell Workout Routine to Sculpt Your Core

For Beginners

  1. Dumbbell Side Bend
    • 8-12 reps x 3
    • 30-sec rest
  2. Dumbbell Wood Chop
    • 6-10 reps x 3
    • 30-sec rest
  3. Alternate Dumbbell Heel Tap Crunches
    • 8-10 reps x 3
    • 30-sec rest
  4. Dumbbell Side Plank
    • 15-sec hold each side, two times

For Intermediate and Pro

  1. Dumbbell Side Bend
    • 8-12 reps x 3
    • 30-sec rest
  2. Low to High Dumbbell Wood Chop
    • 6-10 reps x 3
    • 30-sec rest
  3. Forward Lunges with Rotation
    • 8-10 reps x 3
    • 30-sec rest
  4. Dumbbell Side Plank
    • 30-sec hold each side two times
  5. Dumbbell Oblique Crunch
    • 8-10 reps x 3
    • 30-sec rest
  6. Dumbbell Russian Twist
    • 8-10 reps x 3
    • 30-sec rest

You can add or replace other exercises in the following weeks of training.

Final words

That’s the complete list of dumbbell oblique exercises. All are different, but their primary targeted muscle is oblique. And I can’t tell you which one is the most and least effective for you because it depends on how your body responds. So you can try all of them and then do the ones that suit you the most.

However, the best option is to combine these oblique dumbbell exercises in your overall weighted abs workout routine and perform them 2 to 3 times a week. And if you see a positive result in the next four to six weeks, continue. And if not, you may try something different.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should You Train Your Obliques?

You can train your oblique a minimum of one time and a maximum of three times a week. And when you train three times a week, make sure you take one rest day between each training day.

Do These Exercises Help You Lose Stomach Fat?

These dumbbell exercises only build up your love handles and solidify your core. A study also suggested that abdominal exercises are good for strengthening, not reducing, fats. So, if you want to lose weight, you need to restrict your calorie consumption.

Do Oblique Exercises Help Me Build Six-pack Abs?

Yes, the oblique dumbbell workouts strengthen and thicken your rectus abdominish (six-pack muscles) and build a sturdy core. However, if you have a fatty stomach, you’ll need to shed that fat to make your abs visible.

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