Dumbbell Side Bend - Abs & Obliques

Dumbbell Side Bend - Abs & Obliques

Learn how to train your obliques with the dumbbell side bend. The obliques are the muscles on the sides of your abdominals (side abdominals) and its functions are to bend the upper body sideway and twist the upper body. A very similar and in my opinion even better exercise is, the dumbbell side bend on a low pulley. BTW, I'm not a big fan of the double dumbbell side bend, because I feel like I am giving one side a break half of the exercise, and I'm putting too much pressure on my hips. Find more abdominal exercises at weight training main.


  • Put one hand on your waist, and hold a dumbbell (between 12 and 20 kg) with the other hand. Stand with your feet about 1 shoulder width apart. Keep both heels down throughout the entire exercise. Look straight forward, preferably into a mirror. Don't twist your upper body or your head.
  • Bend to the side without twisting the upper body and without leaning forward or back. Your legs and the hips don't move at all. Lower the dumbbell very close to your thigh and inhale slowly. The other hand remains on the waist.
  • Ideally, you would stretch your obliques at the lowest position. Bend to the side as far as you can comfortably go. Stop immediately if you can't avoid moving your hips or legs! Make sure you don't swing the dumbbell away from your thigh.
  • Go back to the beginning position. The up-movement should be slightly slower than the down-movement. Exhale as you move back up.
  • Do between 20 to 25 repetitions per side, then rest and do another set.


  • The dumbbell side bend is not designed for heavy weights.
  • You can also do the dumbbell side bend with one hand behind the head.
  • Or just relax the other arm.
  • Avoid the following mistakes:
    • Don't lean to the side!
      Bend your entire upper body without moving the hips and the legs at all.
    • Don't swing the dumbbell away from your body.
    • Don't lean forward, don't twist your upper body, don't even turn your head. Bend to the side in ONE layer.