Side Bends Video

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For pre-designed ab workouts, view EMG’s Ab Workouts.

Side Bends Description

Step 1. Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees unlocked. Hold a dumbbell by your right side with your left hand behind your head.

Step 2. Bend to the side and lower the dumbbell down your right leg, resisting your oblique muscle until you feel a good stretch.

Step 3. Then, using your oblique muscle raise the weight back to the starting position. Repeat the movement until you have completed your set, then switch sides.


Side bends are a primary core exercise for building strength in the obliques. The usual form is to have a dumbbell in one hand with the other hand behind the head. All of the repetitions are then performed to one side before switching the dumbbell to the other hand and repeating. More advanced users may perform this exercise with a dumbbell in each hand and rotating sides for one repetition. This is only recommended for advanced users though. When first performing this exercise, the usual form is recommended because it allows the user to focus on the motion on one side.

Side Bends 1

Side Bends 2

Updated: April 11th, 2015