How to Do Oblique V-Ups, or Side Jackknives

How to Do Oblique V-Ups, or Side Jackknife

Oblique V Ups are one of the most popular exercises in fitness programs. They have been used by bodybuilders since the 80’s. There are many variations of obliques ups exercise.

You can perform them with dumbbells, barbells, kettle bells and even your own body weight.

The main purpose of oblique v ups is to develop strength and endurance in the abdominal muscles. Some people use it as part of their workout routine while others prefer to focus on other areas like core training, glutes and hamstrings.

There are several ways to perform oblique v ups, but they all involve performing a series of lunges followed by a reverse lunge. Each repetition consists of two movements: a forward movement (v) and then an upward motion (u).

In order to perform these exercises correctly, you need to keep your knees slightly bent throughout the whole set. Also, make sure not to let your back tire out during the sets. If you feel any pain or discomfort in your lower back, then stop immediately and consult a doctor before continuing with the exercise program.

Here are some tips to ensure you get the most out of your oblique v ups exercise:

Perform a light warm-up set of the exercise before starting your main workout. This will help prepare your muscles and prevent injury during your heavy lifting sets. You want to start with a weight that is comfortable for you, as well as a height that is not too high or too low for step-ups.

You can then increase or decrease the weight and height as needed to ensure you’re getting a good range of motion. Use proper posture when lifting the weight. You want your torso, hips and legs to create an arrow shape. Make sure you bend at your knees (not your waist) and keep your spine in a neutral position throughout exercise. Exhale as you perform the up portion of the exercise and inhale as you go down. Don’t hold your breath.

Tips for Oblique V-Ups:

There are many ways to work your obliques. You can perform them using your own body weight, dumbbells or kettle bells. In this section we will go over some of the most popular types of oblique exercises and how to perform them correctly.

Oblique V-Ups Using Your Own Body Weight

To perform these, start by lying face up on the floor or a exercise mat. Place your hands behind your head to support it and keep it in line with your spine. Bend your knees and bring your feet close to your bottom.

This will be your starting position.

Now exhale and bring your right knee towards your chest while keeping your left leg extended on the floor. When you bring your knee up, feel the stretch in your oblique on the right side of your body. Hold for a second and return to the starting position as you inhale.

After completing the desired number of reps, change sides and perform with your left leg.


Keep your head in-line with your spine the entire time. Do not let it roll to the side or let it hang down.

Do not arch your back or allow it to sag. Keep a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles.

Do not allow your legs to drop to the side. Keep them extended on the floor.

If this is too easy, try bringing your knee all the way up to your shoulder. If you’re really feeling adventurous, you can try raising your leg at a diagonal towards the ceiling.

You can also perform this exercise standing and using a resistance band. Just hook the band under your foot and have a partner pull on the other end of the band.

Oblique V-Ups With Dumbbells

This is another type of oblique V-Ups, but this time with dumbbells or kettle bells in each hand. There are benefits to both, but choose whatever is available to you.

To perform this exercise, start by holding a dumbbell in each hand and standing with your feet hip width apart. Place the back of your right arm on your right thigh, holding the weight towards your body. Now lift the weight up over your head with your arm extended straight out in front of you.

Bend at the elbow as you lower the weight down to the side of your torso so it almost touches the area beside your ribs and pelvis. Hold for a second and return to the starting position. After completing the desired number of reps, change sides and perform with your left arm.


You can do this in the same way as described above where you lay on your back and raise your knee towards your shoulder. Or you can do it the way shown in the picture where you extend your leg out in front of you while keeping it straight.

The other tips are the same as above.

Oblique V-Ups With A Resistance Band

This one is exactly like the one above, except this time you use a resistance band to perform the exercise. You can get creative with this one, like wrapping it around a sturdy object and having a partner help pull on it or wrapping it around something sturdy yourself and pulling. The possibilities are endless, so use your imagination!


Try to keep your torso as upright as you can and not allow it to lean over too far in any direction. Also, do not arch your back or let it sag. Keep it straight the entire time.

You can also perform this exercise as described above where you extend your leg out in front of you while keeping it straight.

Make sure you exhale when you’re extending your leg out and inhale as you bring it back to the starting position.

Do not bounce or swing your body. Move in a slow, controlled manner.

Make it Harder:

Hold a heavier weight in each hand.

Wrap the resistance band around a sturdy table and perform the exercise by pulling against both ends of the band. You can even have someone help pull on the other end.

An interesting article I found on the benefits of training your core can be found here.

Prone Wipers

I saved the best for last, at least in my opinion anyway. This is an exercise you don’t see too many people doing, and that’s a shame because it’s one of the best ab exercises you can do. It’s an excellent way to finish off your routine.

To perform this exercise, start off on your knees (as pictured) and then slowly lower your upper body down until it’s nearly touching the floor while keeping your elbows in. If your torso is not nearly touching the floor, then you aren’t doing it right. Keep your back straight the entire time.

As you get lower, keep reaching forward with one arm until your hand nearly touches the floor. Pause for a second and then bring your shoulder and elbow together as you raise your torso back up. As you do this, slowly extend your other arm forward until your hand almost touches the floor. Keep doing this back and forth motion with your arms until you’ve completed your set.

It’s very important to keep perfect form when performing this exercise. Do not let your torso or hips rotate as you’re doing the motion or else you could get injured. Always keep your body straight and move in a slow, controlled manner.

This is an excellent exercise to really burn out your abs. It’s also great for your posture and helps to correct a hunched over posture (common with desk jockeys such as myself).


Keep your back straight the entire time and do not arch or sag it.

Move in a slow, controlled motion and do not twist or let your hips move.

Do not swing your arms; keep them in a straight line at all times.

Do not lift your legs or twist your body in any direction, as this takes the work away from your abs and shifts it to other muscles. Keep your feet planted on the floor the entire time and only move your arms back and forth.

Make it Harder:

Hold a weight in each hand to increase the resistance.

Use a towel or a rope tied into a loop and hold it in your hands.

An interesting article on the best type of ab exercises can be found here.

I hope these exercises help you in your journey to get that six-pack you’ve always wanted, or at least increase your core strength. As with any exercise, don’t start doing too many or pushing yourself too hard, start off slow and increase your workouts gradually. Also, make sure you drink plenty of water as you will be exerting a lot of energy.

As always, I hope this helps and best of luck to you.

• • •

Next: How To Choose The Right Workout Plan – Part 1


All Stories

To Be Stronger

Working Out With Less Effort

How To Pick Up A Heavy Object

New Year’s Resolution Tips

Tags: Workouts

Sources & references used in this article:

Strong Is the New Skinny: How to Eat, Live, and Move to Maximize Your Power by J Cohen, S Colino – 2014 –

Umbætur á CrossFit æfingakerfinu: hvernig skal bæta umgjörðina út frá rannsóknum og ráðleggingum by VF Vilhjálmsson –