How To Do Standing Side Bends (Bodyweight)

Side Bends Exercise

Side Bends is an effective bodyweight exercise that targets the oblique muscles.

It also works the serratus, hip flexors, upper and lower abdominals.

Side Bends can be used as a warm up to prime the muscles in the hip flexors and lower back before performing back and leg exercises or overheard pressing.

Side Bends not only develop strength and build the oblique muscles; this exercise will also improve hip flexibility and mobility.

Side Bends How To

  • Stand in a shoulder width position; assume a straight posture with a flat back and chest pushed out slightly.
  • Raise both arms straight up and keep a slight bend in your knees.
  • Slowly bend at the waist to one side by contracting or pulling the oblique muscle toward the hip. You should feel a strong contraction at the oblique. Hold the position for a count of “one”.
  • Slowly return to starting position. Reset then bend at the waist to the other side.
  • Perform the exact number of reps on both sides of your body.

Form and Technique

When performing Side Bends always remember to bend at the waist; the hips should remain firm and unmoving throughout the exercise. Do not sway the hips to try and get a deeper stretch.

Body alignment is crucial in Side Bends. Your shoulder must be aligned with the elbow, hip and leg when doing Side Bends.

Do not allow your body to drift out of alignment.

Variations: Side Crunches, Dumbbell Side Bends, Standing Cable Oblique Crunch

Routine for Strength: 5 sets x AMRAP (30 secs rest between sets)

Routine for Muscle Gains: 5 sets x AMRAP (45-60 secs rest between sets)

Side Bends