You think that adding a few sets of crunches to your workout from time to time will make a training that will be enough to tone your lateral abdominal muscles. Well, you are wrong. it will take a bit more than that.

If you take your abs workout seriously then you can’t neglect the fact that you need to speed up your metabolism in order to get rid of that belly fat that is pulled up around your waist.

One training alone can speed up your metabolism in the duration of several hours, even after you have done your last set of exercises, so it is very important not to miss out on your training.

What you have to do to make your training more effective is to add to it cardio that lasts from 35 to 50 mins. Cycling, running or walking should be of high enough intensity to raise your heart rate up to 70% of the maximum ( you calculate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age of 220).

In case you want to get rid of belly fat, the best would be to do cardio on different days than strength training since that will give you two different possibilities to speed up your metabolism in two different days.

woman doing exercises for lateral abdominal muscles using a pilates ball

What Is The Best Exercise? 

Optimal ab exercise will shorten and tighten the muscle fibre on the front side or lateral sides of your abdominal wall it will never extend them.

It is very important that you stay away from the exercises that contain stretching components since they can stretch the muscle fibre and actually increase the volume of your waist instead of decreasing it.

The exercise with moving your knees to the side while your feet are on pilates ball is very effective ab exercise, especially for toning lateral ab muscles.

This exercise covers a full span of movement without stretching the fibre in abdominal muscles and at the same time, it causes high contractions that tighten the lateral sides of your belly.

External Oblique

The external oblique is activated with ab exercise with moving your knees to the side while the lower legs are on the pilates ball. If you can not see it shiver and tightened as you twist your waist then this exercise will help you get closer to your goal.

External abdominal oblique is the largest and most superficial of the lateral abdominal muscles. It extends from the lower ribs to the pelvis covering the internal abdominal oblique.

When both left and right side are activated they bend the torso and move the head towards feet. When the contractions occur only on one side (unilateral contractions) the body bends sideways. For example, in order to bend to the right side, you have to activate the right external oblique.

Internal Oblique

Internal oblique lies beneath the external oblique muscle. It stretches from the lower back to the pelvis. It is attached to the lowest three ribs. Similar to the external oblique if there is the contraction of the left and right side internal oblique bends the body in the waist and moves the head closer to feet. 

It helps with twisting the torso sideways if the contraction is unilateral but it moves the torso to the opposite side working the opposite of the external oblique. For example, if you bend to the right you will activate the left internal oblique and right external oblique.

Exercise With The Pilates Ball

1) This exercise will significantly activate the external oblique together with the fibres of internal oblique during each repetition. Pilates ball is really great if you want to work on the entire waist area including the lateral abdominal muscles.

The ball is unstable and its round surface allows you to experience the hip extension before you bend the torso to the side in order to activate abdominal muscles.

2) Take the pilates ball and place the hips and the front side of the thighs on it with your head facing the floor and hands placed on the floor in front of the ball. Keep the legs and feet together. The feet should hang in the air and should not touch the floor.

3) Slowly and carefully move forward using your hands as you are walking on them.

4) Rotate to the right so your knuckle of your right leg touches the ball. The left leg should not be touching the ball but still needs to be close tight to the right leg.

In this position, both hands are on the floor and there is a straight line with the torso, right leg and right foot.

5) With your hips and your knees push the ball towards your head and shoulders. Make sure the right leg is still on the ball as you move it forward.

You are supposed to feel the lateral abdominal muscles tighten as you are bending your torso to one side.

6) Return the ball to the starting position as you are extending the hips and knees.

7) Repeat all of this until you do the full set.

8) After a short rest, it is time to do the other side. Put yourself in the right position but this time the left leg should be touching the ball. With your hips and knees push the ball to your right shoulder. Straighten the hips and knees and then turn to the other side.

9) Start with one set for both sides and your goal should be doing three sets over time.


This exercise will activate external oblique muscles and internal oblique muscles. When you are turning your body and when you are moving the ball to the left side you will activate the right external and left internal oblique.

Next rotation to the other side will activate the left external and the right internal oblique muscle. When you are moving the knees towards your chest you are activating all other abdominal muscles. 

With this exercise, you symmetrically activate all the large muscles on the sides of your waist if you turn and move the ball to the both sides.

You should do two to three sets of fifteen reps per each side. However, do not expect that you will be able to do that much after just a few days. 

It will take some time until you manage to gain the control you need to completely activate bot external and internal oblique muscles.

Also, do not expect to see the results overnight. It took a lot of time to pile up all that fat on your waist so it will take time to burn it but if you are persistent and do not quit you will see amazing results with this exercise.