Seated and Bent-over Twists - Oblique Abdominal Exercises


Why are abdominal twists such an effective exercise

Although regular crunches work on your oblique muscles, you need to target them for maximum results. By adding seated and bent-over twists you do just that.

Also I will show you how to do cable trunk twists which will add extra tension to your abs giving you double effect.

Seated and Bent over twists are excellent Abdominal Exercises to tighten the Lateral Oblique Muscles and a great side view.

You can build firm, muscular midsection with these Best Abdominal Exercises.

But beware of truck twisting machine. They may cause more damage than good.

Purpose -- To tighten the lateral Abdominal Muscles called obliques.

Execution Technique.

This exercise is performed using a light bar placed on the back of your shoulders.


1. Sit on the edge of a bench holding a bar across the back of the shoulders.

2. Now the twisting movement takes place at your torso wherein you turn your whole upper body in one direction.

3. Now perform the same movement on the other side.

Make sure you twist only at the trunk level. No twisting at neck or shoulders.


Points to remember

  • Avoid Jerky movements and Perform as many reps as possible.

Variations of Abdominal Twists

1. Bent Over Twists

This Exercise is performed in standing position.

Execution Technique.


1. It is done just like Seated twists but from the standing position, you bend forward as forward as possible keeping back straight.

2. Now twist your upper body as far as possible.

Get a good squeeze at the full contraction to get most out if this Abdominal Exercise.

2. Cable Twists

You will need an adjustable cable machine set at about your belly button height. Start with a low weight on the cable-pulley machine and add resistance as your workouts progress.

1. Stand across the cable machine with one side {say left} facing the machine and grab the pulley handle with your right hand flexed across your abdomen.

2. Keeping your arm and elbow stationary twist across using only your torso. You may feel like a doll with fixed arms making a dance move.

3. If the cable is non-greasy then you can grab hold of the cable {not the pulley handle} with your left hand. Keeping the cable at arms length with extended left elbow, continue to pull with your torso to increase the range of motion.

When I tried this exercise the first time, I felt a tremendous burn in my torso especially the next day.

4. Make sure you repeat the move on the other side for total oblique training.

Get creative, place the pulley level to highest or lowest point on the cable machine and do cable twists with varying angles to keep workouts intense.

Standing trunk twisting machines are NOT helpful in shaping waist and hips

Although the twists shown above are good exercises which stress the obliques, both freehand and machines twists are NOT effective at spot reduction.

This is because spot reduction is highly unlikely.

In standing twisting machines, there is a chance for knee/spine damage as large torsional forces are generated in the knees if they are flexed {bent} and large torsional forces at the spine are generated if the knees are locked.

These machines are no alternative to supine or cable versions.

So what's the solution

The above shown bar twists, and the even better cable twists help remedy these weaknesses.

Also the woodchopper exercise, especially the cable version which adds resistance in both low and high chopping patterns across the body are excellent and safer alternatives.

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