This week’s workout is Abdominal Side Bends. Abdominal Side Bends are a great exercise for strengthening your side obliques, tightening those pesky “love handles,” as well as your lower back muscles. These muscles are important to strengthen as they help with bending over, sitting down, and standing up. This exercise requires a weight, such as a dumbbell, but if you don’t have one, household objects like a can of soup will work too.
Here’s how to do Abdominal Side Bends:
- Start out by standing with your feet close together, holding a weight in one hand and keeping it next to your thigh.
- Next, place your opposite hand behind your head (or on your hip).
- Bend your waist to the side that is holding the weight, exhaling on the way down. You should feel tension in your side, above the waist.
- Finally, bring your body back up into the starting position. Congratulations, you just completed one abdominal side bend!
A few tips:
- Alternate sides, and be sure to do the same amount of bends on each side so you get an even workout.
- Important! Do not bend too far—the weight should not go past your knee, as it could cause straining in your back.
- Be sure to keep good posture, and remember to exhale on each bend.
- For added difficulty, hold a heavier weight or do the bends at a slower pace. Try doing multiple sets of 20-30 bends on each side.
We hope you’ll try Abdominal Side Bends over the weekend and then build this exercise into your daily routine Monday through Friday of the coming week.
Want more fitness ideas? If you’re a Health Advocate member with access to the Wellness Coaching program, reach out to your Wellness Coach for more healthy ideas to get—and stay—fit. And remember, talk to your doctor before beginning any new fitness regimen.