Twist Crunch: To Build Your Outer Obliques Practically

Do you find yourself struggling to tone your midsection? Are traditional crunches not cutting it for you anymore? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many people experience a plateau in their ab workouts, especially when it comes to targeting those hard-to-reach love handles. But fear not, this common frustration can easily be understood. The repetitive motion of traditional crunches only works a limited amount of muscle fibers in your midsection. So, what’s the solution? Enter, the twist crunch. In this post, we’ll dive into the benefits of twist crunches and how to properly execute them for maximum results.

Twist Crunch Summary

  • Primary Muscles: Obliques
  • Secondary Muscles: Quadratus lumborum, Psoas major, Iliocastalis lumborum, and Iliocastalis thoracis
  • Equipment: Body Weight
  • Mechanics Type: Isolated
  • Force: Pull
  • Utility: Auxiliary
Graphic image of a fit woman performing alternate cable triceps extensions.

Twist Crunch Instructions

  • Lie back down on a mat with your lower legs bent and feet flat on the mat.
  • Place your arms behind your head.
  • Contract and twist your waist to raise your torso and one leg bringing your elbow and opposite knee together.
  • Return your back and leg to the starting position.
  • Alternate by using your other-sided
  • Repeat your Twist Crunch for a full set of 10-20 reps with each side.

Video Tutorial

How to Do a Perfect Russian Twist | Female Bodybuilding

Twist Crunch Muscles

Target (Agonist)


  • Quadratus lumborum
  • Psoas major
  • Iliocastalis lumborum
  • Iliocastalis thoracis

Dynamic Stabilizers

  • None


Antagonist Stabilizers

  • None
Image of the skeletal muscular system with the muscles used in the twist crunch exercise highlighted in red and the rest in blue.

Benefits of Twist Crunch

The Twist Crunch is an excellent exercise for strengthening the obliques, which are the abdominal muscles that run along the sides of the torso. This exercise works the obliques from multiple angles, helping to build strength, endurance, and stability in this important muscle group. Additionally, performing this exercise helps to improve posture and can help reduce back pain by strengthening the core muscles. Furthermore, the Twist Crunch also helps to improve balance and coordination as well as burning calories and reducing body fat.

Tips for Performing Twist Crunch

Your at the right place if you’re trying to advance your twist crunch execution. Using these suggestions can allow you to take full advantage of this beautiful workout. You can shape your obliques muscles, and even reduce your chances of developing an injury. So let’s begin now and see what these suggestions may accomplish for you.

  • Keep your feet together: Keeping your feet together during the Twist Crunch exercise helps you to engage more of your core muscles, as well as helping you to maintain better balance and stability.
  • Don’t rush the movement: Taking your time with the Twist Crunch will help you to focus on proper form, allowing you to get the most out of this exercise and ensuring that you don’t strain any muscles in the process.
  • Focus on your breathing: Concentrating on your breathing during the Twist Crunch exercise can help you to increase your core strength and endurance, as well as reduce fatigue.

Benefits and Tips Video

How to Do the Crunch Twist for a Strong Core | Health

Frequent Mistakes To Avoid

When conducting twist crunch, avoiding typical errors is usually the difference between a productive workout and a painful injury. Additionally, achieving optimal results from this exercise requires proper technique, and avoiding perform typical mistakes can allow you to perform the exercise correctly and achieve optimal results. Not only can preventing these mistakes make you more toned, but also can assist in you feeling more confident and inspired when you hit the gym. So let’s get started on avoiding those common mistakes and making this exercise a normal part of your fitness training.

  • Not engaging the core: When performing the Twist Crunch, many people forget to actively engage their core muscles, leading to less effective exercise. This is problematic because engaging the core is essential for toning and strengthening the abdominal muscles.
  • Improper form: Doing the Twist Crunch with improper form can lead to strain and injury, and can also reduce the effectiveness of the exercise. To get the most out of this exercise, it is important to keep your back flat, feet on the ground, and shoulders off the floor throughout the motion.
  • Using momentum: People often use momentum instead of muscle control when doing the Twist Crunch, making it more difficult to target the core muscles. This type of movement can lead to poor results, as it does not allow for the muscles to be properly engaged and worked.

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Variations and Complementary Exercises

There are many variations, complementary, and alternative exercises to the Twist Crunch that can be used in order to strengthen the same muscles. The following list contains a few of these exercises that can be used as an alternative to the Twist Crunch.

Star Plank

Graphic image of Star Plank.

Star Plank is a great complementary or alternative exercise for Twist Crunches. It is a low-impact exercise that is similar to the classic Plank in that it requires core strength and stability, but with an added twist. Instead of maintaining a straight body line, the legs and arms are extended out in a star-like shape. This variation increases the engagement of the abdominal muscles and helps to improve balance and coordination. Star Plank is also excellent for improving posture and stretching the spine, making it an ideal exercise for people who want to tone their abs without putting too much strain on their lower back.

Side Plank Star Abductor

Graphic image of Side Plank Star Abductor.

The Side Plank Star Abductor is a great complement or alternative to the Twist Crunch exercise. This exercise works the obliques, glutes, and abductors, and can be done with a simple resistance band. By lying on your side, hold the resistance band in both hands and slowly lift one arm up and out to the side, then lower it back to the starting position. This exercise can help to strengthen and tone the waist muscles, which will help you to achieve that flat, toned stomach you desire.

Side Plank Leg Raise

Graphic image of Side Plank Leg Raise.

The Side Plank Leg Raise is an excellent complementary or alternative exercise to the Twist Crunch. It involves lying on your side with your elbow directly beneath your shoulder and your legs stacked. From this position, you lift your hips off the ground while keeping your body in a straight line, and then lift one leg off the ground while keeping your abs engaged. This exercise targets the obliques and is great for building core strength and stability. It also helps to work the hip muscles, which is important for improving balance.

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Side Plank Knee Tuck

Graphic image of Side Plank Knee Tuck.

Side Plank Knee Tuck is an excellent complementary or alternative exercise for Twist Crunch. It is an effective core exercise that works the obliques and the deep abdominal muscles. To perform Side Plank Knee Tuck, start in a plank position with your left elbow on the ground. Lift your right arm off the ground and reach it across your body. Then, bring your right knee up to meet your right elbow, and hold for a few seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side. This exercise is great for challenging the core muscles and strengthening the obliques.

Side Plank Knee Raise

Graphic image of Side Plank Knee Raise.

The Side Plank Knee Raise is a great complementary or alternative exercise to the Twist Crunch. This exercise helps strengthen the obliques, hips, and shoulders while also targeting the abdominal muscles. To perform this exercise, you start in a side plank position and then slowly raise your top leg up towards the sky while keeping your torso stable. This exercise is great for those looking to increase their core strength and stability while also targeting their obliques.

Side Plank Hip Dip

Graphic image of Side Plank Hip Dip.

Side Plank Hip Dip is a great alternative or complementary exercise to the Twist Crunch. It works the obliques and core muscles while also engaging the shoulders and glutes. To perform this exercise, you begin in a side plank position, lower your hips towards the floor and then raise them back up. This motion will activate your obliques and core muscles while strengthening your shoulder and glutes. This exercise can be done with one leg or two legs depending on your comfort level. Side Plank Hip Dip is an excellent exercise for building strength, balance, and stability in your core and surrounding muscles.

Find More Abs Exercises Here

Opposing Complementary Exercises

Complementing the Twist Crunch exercise with exercises that focus on the opposing muscle groups can help to build overall strength and stability. To do this, you can add the following exercises to your workout routine:

45 Degree Twisting Hyperextension

Graphic image of 45 Degree Twisting Hyperextension.

The 45 Degree Twisting Hyperextension is a great complementary exercise to the Twist Crunch. It works the opposite muscle group, targeting the lower back, glutes, and hamstrings instead of the abdominals. This exercise helps to build stability and strength in the lower body, while also stretching out the muscles that were just used in the Twist Crunch. It is a great way to round out a core workout by strengthening both the upper and lower body.

45 Degree One Leg Hyperextension

Graphic image of 45 Degree One Leg Hyperextension.

The 45 Degree One Leg Hyperextension is a great exercise to target the lower back muscles and glutes. It helps to improve core stability, balance and posture. This exercise also provides an effective stretch for the hamstrings. It is the perfect complement to the Twist Crunch exercise, which works the abdominal muscles. The 45 Degree One Leg Hyperextension allows you to focus on the opposing muscle group of the abdominals, while still providing a challenging workout. This exercise will help to improve your overall core strength and stability, while providing a great stretch for the hamstrings.

45 Degree Hyperextension

Graphic image of 45 Degree Hyperextension.

The 45 Degree Hyperextension is a great exercise to complement the Twist Crunch as it works the opposing muscle groups. This exercise focuses on strengthening the lower back and glutes, while the Twist Crunch works the abdominal muscles. The 45 Degree Hyperextension can be done with or without weight, depending on the intensity you wish to achieve. This exercise is great for building strength and stability in the lower back and glutes, making it an ideal exercise to do in conjunction with the Twist Crunch. Doing both exercises regularly will help build a strong core, resulting in improved posture and balance.

Transform Your Core with Twist Crunch!

Do you want to spice up your core workout routine? Twist crunches are an excellent way to strengthen your abs and obliques. This exercise is easy to do and doesn’t require any special equipment, making it perfect for home workouts. The twisting motion targets your core muscles in a unique way, helping you achieve a tighter, more defined midsection. Give the twist crunch a try and see the amazing results for yourself!

References: Wikipedia | | | Comprehensive List of Abs Bodyweight Exercises

Pin image for twist crunch post. With an image of a woman performing the exercise on Top and a graphic of the exercise on the Bottom.

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