If You Want Stronger Obliques and 6-Pack Muscles, Try the Side-Lying Crunch

Oct 7 2020 - 8:20am

I was doing an at-home workout the other night and didn't like one of the ab exercises the trainer had listed for the oblique muscles, so I decided to swap it out with a side-lying crunch. It's been years since I'd done this exercise, but I was quickly reminded of how challenging (in a good way!) it is. I'm typically not a fan of crunches as they put a lot of stress on the spine [1], especially when done without control, but this variation is fine in my book since it's more of a micromovement and you don't lift your body all the way up off the ground.

I also like this exercise because it primarily targets the obliques, your abdominal muscles on the sides of your trunk responsible for side flexion and trunk rotation, and your rectus abdominis muscles, aka the six-pack muscles, which help you flex your lumbar spine (the lower spine) and are used every time you have a bowel moment and laugh. If I've convinced you that this move should be added to your repertoire of ab exercises, continue reading for a step-by-step breakdown of how to do it.

How to Do a Side-Lying Crunch

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