How To: Oblique Crunches

Oblique crunches strengthen and tone the muscles along each side of the abdomen.

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For this exercise you will need a mat or soft, clean surface to lie on.

Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Without interlocking them, hold your fingers behind your head, elbows out.

Slowly lift your head and shoulders off the mat and toward your right side. You only need to to lift until your left shoulder blade is off the mat. Return to the start position. Repeat the lifting motion, but this time to your left side, lifting your right shoulder blade off the mat. Return to start position.

During the exercise, keep your hands behind your head, and your head and neck in line with your spine. Don't press your chin to your chest, or try to lift your head with your hands.

Work up to 18 to 20 repetitions, alternating sides.

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