Weighted Side Bends

Introduction to Weighted Side Bends

Weighted side bends target the oblique muscles, which are the muscles at the sides of your abdominals. The oblique muscles consist of the internal and external obliques.

The external obliques are a superficial muscle, positioned to the side of the rectus abdominus, and are the largest of the abdominal muscles. Its functions include posterior pelvic tilt, same side flexion and rotation of the trunk through bi/unilateral contraction. The external obliques insert into the anterior portion of the iliac crest and the aponeurosis of the abdominal wall, and attach to the lower 8 ribs.

The internal obliques live deeper than the externals. They are responsible for flexing the spine, same side rotation and are involved in same side flexion. They insert into the 9th/12th ribs and the linea alba, and originate from the lumbar spine fascia, the lateral 2/3rds of the inguinal ligament and the anterior iliac crest.

Weighted Side Bends Execution

  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and take hold of either a dumbbell or a 20kg plate. This is the start position.
  • Bend over to one side as far as possible.
  • Slowly raise back up to the straight position, feeling the contraction in the obliques.
  • Repeat for the required amount of reps.
  • Switch sides and repeat.

Weighted Side Bends Muscles Worked

Weighted Side Bends Muscles Worked


Internal obliques, External obliques.


Rectus abdominus.









  • Ensure the you bend at the waist and not with the knees.
  • The arm holding the dumbbell/plate should be locked out at the elbow to avoid using the biceps to lift the weight.
  • Try not to use momentum. Weighted side bends should be performed under the control of the obliques/abdominal muscles.
  • It is important to perform this exercise with weight, as without it, your muscles will be working more on endurance, and will not be encouraged to grow.


Photo Credits: Everkinetic


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    tom fisher

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    Im losing my beer belly more rapidly using oblique exercises using different angles is the key to shock the muscles

  6. Pique Dan

    I just love this exercise.Its so easy to do.I wished it worked my frontal abs .

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