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9 Exercises That Start With O (These Will Get You Toned!)

As a fitness freak, I know how important it is to mix up my workouts to avoid boredom and plateaus.

That’s why I’ve compiled a list of 9 exercises that start with O, each with its own set of unique benefits and challenges.

From oblique crunches to overhead squats, we’ll cover a range of exercises that target different muscle groups and offer various levels of difficulty.

So, let’s dive in and explore these exercises starting with O!

Overhead Press

A topless man doing a shoulder press while looking in the mirror

The overhead press, also known as the shoulder press, is a compound exercise that involves lifting a weight from shoulder height to above the head in a vertical motion.

How To Do

  1. Start with the barbell resting on the front of your shoulders, just above your collarbone.
  2. Your hands should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, palms facing forward, and elbows pointing down and slightly forward.
  3. Brace your core, tighten your glutes, and press the weight up in a straight line above your head.
  4. Pause at the top, then lower the weight back down to your shoulders in a controlled manner.

Muscles Worked

  • Shoulders (deltoids)
  • Triceps
  • Upper back (trapezius)
  • Chest (pectoralis major)
  • Core muscles (rectus abdominis, obliques)

Oblique Crunches

Oblique crunches are a great exercise for strengthening the oblique muscles, which are located on either side of the rectus abdominis muscle, also known as the “six-pack”.

How To Do

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head or across your chest.
  2. Lift your shoulder blades off the floor and rotate your torso to bring your right elbow towards your left knee.
  3. Lower your shoulder blades back down to the floor and repeat on the other side, bringing your left elbow towards your right knee.
  4. Continue to alternate sides for the desired number of repetitions.

Muscles Worked

  • External obliques
  • Internal obliques
  • Rectus abdominis

One-Arm Dumbbell Row

If you want to build a strong and defined back, improve your posture, and prevent lower back pain, then you should look to include one-arm dumbbell rows in your workouts.

How To Do

  1. Start by placing one knee and the same-side hand on a bench or sturdy elevated surface, with your back parallel to the floor.
  2. Hold a dumbbell in your opposite hand, letting it hang straight down toward the floor.
  3. Keeping your elbow close to your body, pull the weight up to your side, squeezing your shoulder blade at the top of the movement.
  4. Lower the weight back down slowly, without letting it touch the ground.
  5. Complete the desired number of reps on one side before switching to the other side.

Muscles Worked

  • Latissimus dorsi (lats)
  • Rhomboids
  • Trapezius (traps)
  • Posterior deltoid (rear delt)
  • Biceps brachii (biceps)
  • Forearms

Overhead Tricep Extension

This exercise targets the long head of the triceps muscle and can help improve upper body strength and definition.

How To Do

  1. Begin by standing or sitting with your feet shoulder-width apart and your core engaged.
  2. Hold a dumbbell or barbell with both hands and raise it overhead, with your arms fully extended.
  3. Slowly lower the weight behind your head, keeping your elbows pointed forward and close to your head.
  4. Pause for a moment when the weight is near your shoulders, and then slowly raise it back up to the starting position.

Muscles Worked

  • Triceps (long head, medial head, and lateral head)
  • Shoulders (deltoids)
  • Upper back (trapezius, rhomboids)

One-Legged Deadlifts

One-legged deadlifts, also known as single-leg deadlifts, are a great exercise for building strength and stability in your legs and lower back.

This exercise is a variation of the traditional deadlift that’s performed using only one leg, which increases the challenge to your balance and core stability.

How To Do

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides. Shift your weight onto your left leg and lift your right foot off the ground.
  2. Hinge forward at your hips, keeping your back flat and your left knee slightly bent. Reach your right foot behind you as you lower your torso toward the ground. Your arms should reach toward the floor as you hinge forward.
  3. Pause when your torso is parallel to the ground, then return to the starting position by squeezing your glutes and pushing through your left heel.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions, then switch to your right leg.

Muscles Worked

  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • Quadriceps
  • Calves
  • Lower back
  • Core muscles

Overhead Squat

The overhead squat is a variation of the traditional squat that requires you to hold a barbell overhead throughout the movement.

How To Do

  1. Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and the barbell resting on your shoulders behind your head.
  2. Press the barbell overhead until your arms are fully extended.
  3. Engage your core and start to squat down, keeping your chest up and your back straight.
  4. Lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the ground, or as low as you can go while maintaining proper form.
  5. Drive back up to the starting position, pushing through your heels.

Muscles Worked

  • Quads
  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • Shoulders
  • Core

Outer Thigh Abductor Machine

If you want to tone and strengthen your outer thighs, the outer thigh abductor machine is an awesome exercise to add to your routine.

How To Do

  1. Adjust the machine to fit your body by moving the seat and the pads.
  2. Sit on the machine with your back against the backrest and your feet flat on the footrests.
  3. Place the pads against the outside of your thighs, just above your knees.
  4. Use your outer thigh muscles to push your legs apart, against the resistance of the machine.
  5. Slowly bring your legs back together and repeat for desired reps.

Muscles Worked

  • Gluteus Medius
  • Tensor Fasciae Latae
  • Gluteus Maximus
  • Piriformis

Overhead Lunges

Overhead lunges are a variation of the traditional lunge exercise that adds an upper body component to the movement.

How To Do

  1. Start by standing tall with your feet hip-width apart and a dumbbell or weight plate held overhead with both hands.
  2. Take a step forward with your right foot, keeping your core tight and your upper body straight.
  3. Bend your knees and lower your body toward the ground until your front knee is at a 90-degree angle and your back knee is almost touching the ground.
  4. Push through your front heel to return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat on the other side by stepping forward with your left foot.

Muscles Worked

  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Glutes
  • Core
  • Shoulders
  • Triceps

Overhead Medicine Ball Slams

If you’re looking for an explosive full-body exercise that will help you burn calories and build strength, look no further than overhead medicine ball slams.

How To Do

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a medicine ball above your head with both hands.
  2. Engage your core, tighten your glutes, and lift the ball directly overhead.
  3. Take a step forward with one foot, and then immediately slam the ball onto the ground in front of you with as much force as possible.
  4. Catch the ball on the rebound and lift it back overhead as you step back to your starting position.
  5. Repeat for 10-15 repetitions.

Muscles Worked

  • Shoulders
  • Chest
  • Back
  • Abs
  • Glutes
  • Quads
  • Hamstrings
  • Calves


Whether it’s an overhead or one-arm exercise variation, there are plenty of awesome exercises that start with O to choose from.

My favorites on this list are one-arm dumbbell rows and overhead lunges.

But what are yours? Please share them in the comments below!

That’s all for this article, but perhaps you’re interested in exercises that start with I?

Hope this helped!