Side Crunch exercise is a great exercise for isolating the oblique muscles.

It also engages the transverse abdominis, the rectus abdominis and serratus muscles.  This exercise helps tighten the area around the waist.

Developing strong obliques is very important for stabilising the torso which is needed to maintain proper form in running.

It will also improve flexibility and mobility in the hips and lower back.

Side Crunches is best performed using a high rep program with each rep done in a slow, controlled and highly focused manner.

Side Crunches Exercise How To

  • Lie on the floor with one side of your body; keep your head off the floor. Your upper body will be resting on one shoulder. Keep your legs perfectly straight and aligned with your hip and shoulder.
  • If you are lying on your right side, the left side of your body will be the working side. The elbow of your working side will lead the exercise.
  • Bend at the elbow and place the hand behind the ear.
  • Take a deep breath, inhale then contract the oblique by pulling it toward the hip. Bring your elbow as close as you can toward your hip.
  • Hold the position for a count of “one”.
  • Return to starting position by resisting your bodyweight. Slowly extend the oblique from the hip and make sure your arm remains in place.
  • Once you have completed the targeted number of reps, switch and work the other side. Perform the exact number of reps.

Form and Technique

Make sure your body is in perfect alignment before doing Side Crunches. Otherwise, you might put compression forces on your lower back.

Do not pull on your head when crunching to the side. The elbow will lead the exercise but it should not move much from its original position.

Variations: Standing Oblique Cable Crunch, Side Bends

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

Routine for Muscle Gains: n/a

Side Crunches

How To Do Side Crunches