Standing Side Bends with Dumbbells

Side bends with dumbbells

Side bends while holding dumbbells on one hand are a good exercise to do for working on your core muscles. This is different from the usual side bends where you hold a dumbbell on each hand, as that is also partly used to develop your hand muscles.

What is the correct position for doing side bends?

This particular exercise requires you to stand in a vertical position with your back straight and one arm straight down your side holding a dumbbell. Place your other hand behind your head with your elbow pointing outwards.

What muscles will I develop with this exercise?

       This exercise is designed to target your obliques, which are the muscle groups that are located on either side of your abdominal muscles (abs) and run from your hips to your rib cage. There are two muscles here: internal obliques and external obliques.

       The internal obliques are found directly under the external obliques and the muscle fibers of these travel perpendicular to each other.

When the dumbbell is on your left hand, you bend on that side to activate both your internal and external obliques. It is the same process for when the dumbbell is on the right. While doing this exercise, you must make sure not to lean forward or backward so that you will activate the correct muscles.

It is also safe to say that this exercise will help develop your arm and hand muscles due to the shifting of the free weights to that area.

In addition to your obliques, this exercise will also develop some smaller muscles located around and between the bones of your spine. These muscles include the psoas muscle, quadratus lumborum, iliocostalis, and gluteal muscles. Some muscles above your chest and shoulder areas such as the levator scapula and trapezius muscles.

You will find the video tutorial for this exercise down below.


What are the benefits of this exercise?

Some of the benefits to this exercise include the strengthening of your obliques, improved posture, and potential reduction of body fat in your hips and lumbar region. This basically means that developing this area of your body will give you a more toned look especially when standing up.

It may be good to note, however, that some people believe overworking this area may “over-inflate” your muscles and squeeze out the fat deposits to a nearby area Eddie hall world record deadlift, causing the sides of your body to look somewhat wider. However, if you adopt a healthy weight loss diet together with this exercise, you will be able to avoid this rather easily.

Because women have anatomically wider hips than men, they are more likely to want to try this exercise to achieve a slimmer figure. While this exercise will certainly help with that goal, you cannot rely on this alone to get your desired body shape. A proper diet coupled with a complete exercise program is essential for achieving the body that you want.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), where you alternate cardio muscles of the arm and strength exercises is a new popular exercise program due to its claims of increasing metabolic rate and burning fat faster. This type of exercise will target both your muscle strength and endurance, as well as your cardiovascular endurance. Deadlift world record-holder Eddie Hall’s training program is also one you might like to imitate.

The best abdominal exercises

feet rise in the viseSide bendsExercise “strap”Exercise “bicycle”Exercise “twisting”

Young woman doing press fitness exercise for stomach muscles
Exercise “strap”
Exercise “bicycle”
Exercise “twisting”
Side bends
feet rise in the vise

The Proper Technique for Side Bends with Dumbbells

As discussed earlier, the proper position is to stand upright with your back straight, holding the dumbbell on one hand and putting your other hand behind your head. While gripping the dumbbell, your palm must be facing your body.

Inhale while standing upright before bending your torso to the side where you have the dumbbell. When you reach the low point while bending, hold that position for a couple of seconds before exhaling and returning to the starting position.

After doing the number of reps you have set for yourself, move the dumbbell to your other hand, and repeat the exercise.

This is the most basic version of this exercise and as you get more and more used to it, you may want to try other ways to do it. Some people do side bends with the dumbbells on their shoulders, sitting on a bench, or replacing the dumbbells with other free weights shawn ray Hawaiian classic.


Despite looking very simple, there are several common mistakes that people make when doing this exercise. We have some tips and reminders so you can make sure you are doing it the right way:

  • The dumbbell should be kept as close as possible to the body for the entire trajectory.
  • Your torso should not lean forward or backward.
  • Do not rush. Keep a moderate pace.
  • Do not use weights that are too heavy for you. Straining your spine too much may cause a herniated disc.
  • It is recommended that you do this exercise 1-2 times a week for the first two months. 3 sets of 15-20 reps on each side is also a good starting point.


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4 thoughts on “Standing Side Bends with Dumbbells

  1. Will I lose weight if I do this exercise regularly?

  2. Weight loss is a matter of calorie deficit more than anything else. Regardless of what exercise or diet you participate in, the main goal must be to consume fewer calories than you spend daily. If you do this exercise regularly without doing anything else, you must make sure that the calories you eat will be less than what you burn through this exercise.

  3. What other exercises will be good to add to this one?

  4. Balance is key to any exercise or training program. As this exercise targets your core and arm muscles, it would be ideal to add lower body exercises as well as some more targeted shoulder exercises like presses. It would also benefit you well to add some cardio exercises like running or cycling to improve endurance.

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