Side Bends

Isolation exercise, Free weights




Required equipment

Main muscles

  • Abdomen: External oblique abdominal muscle
    (Musculus obliquus externus abdominis)

Workout plan

Here you can find example plans for side bends training:

Side Bends: Basics and alternatives

: Involved main muscle groups Side Bends

Involved main muscle groups:
Side Bends

Side bends are an excellent exercise for targeting your side abdominal muscles and building a stronger core. As the name suggests, this workout focuses on your side abs.

To perform a side bend, stand up straight and bend your body to one side. You can increase the difficulty by holding a dumbbell in your hand. Another option is to do the exercise on a hyperextension bench at the gym. If you want more variety, give abdominal twists, side leg raises, or windshield wipers a try. Just a heads up, windshield wipers can be challenging and are best suited for advanced athletes.

Correct execution

There are different ways to perform side bends, and one variation involves the position of your free hand. You can either place it on your hip or behind your head. Putting your hand behind your head increases tension in your upper body and side abs, but you might also use your arm to help you out. So, to be safe, it’s best to place your free hand on your hip. You can also hold a dumbbell in both hands for an even workout. This variation is explained in the second half of the video tutorial.

Video tutorial

How to Do a Dumbbell Side Bend | Ab Workout

Step-by-step instructions

Hold a dumbbell in one hand.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, standing upright.

Place your free hand on your hip. Let the hand holding the dumbbell hang on the other side of your body. This is the starting position.

Bend your upper body to the side where the dumbbell is located. This will lower the dumbbell straight down. Bend as far as you can until you feel tension in your side abdominal muscles.

Reverse the movement: Bend your upper body in the opposite direction and lift the dumbbell straight up. Perform the movement until you feel tension on the other side. Repeat this movement, then switch the dumbbell to the other hand and complete the same number of repetitions to finish the set.

Common mistakes

When doing side bends, make sure to only bend your upper body to the side and not twist your hips. Move slowly and with control to target the right muscles, and keep your core engaged to avoid straining your neck or back. Also, be careful not to swing your torso excessively.

In conclusion, side bends are an effective exercise for targeting your side abdominal muscles and strengthening your core. Including them in your workout routine can help you develop a stronger and more toned midsection.