How To Do Side Crunches Effectively

Side Crunch

Side Crunches, or oblique crunches, is one of the most effective upper-body workouts that target your obliques and build core strength.

What Muscles Does Side Crunches Work?

Side crunches, or oblique crunches, are a great way to target your obliques and build core strength.

  • Primary muscles worked: Abdominal and oblique muscles
  • Secondary muscles worked: Core
  • Equipment: Yoga mat
  • Calories Burned: 40 cal / 10min

How To Perform the Side Crunches Effectively

1. Lie on your back with your knees and feet together, hands behind your head.

2. Turn your legs to one side with knees remaining bent. Lift your shoulders off the floor, squeeze your obliques and hold for a moment.

3. Slowly release and bring your shoulders back down. Repeat but switch sides. 

Sets And Reps

  • Beginner: 1-2 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions on each side.
  • Advanced: 3 sets of 15 to 20 repetitions on each side.

Start by doing 1 or 2 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions. Over time, increase the number of sets and reps as you become stronger, until you can do 3 sets of 15 to 20 repetitions. 

Benefits of Side Crunches

  1. This exercise not only strengthens your abdominal muscles, but also the muscles on the sides of your body—including your internal and external obliques. These muscles play a key role in sculpting your waist, giving you a more shapely body. 
  2. It also gives you a strong core, reduced risk of injury, and enhances balance.
  3. It can help correct posture, prevent and manage lower back pain and stiffness, and it’s easy to do during your workouts at home. You can do this exercise anywhere, anytime. It’s convenient!

Side Crunches Variations

Once you master the basic sets, you can try more variations of the exercise:

  1. Side Lying Side Crunch
  2. Side Crunch on an Exercise Ball
  3. Plank Side Crunch
  4. Standing Side Crunch

Side Crunches FAQs

Do side crunches make your waist bigger?

Most people’s obliques are not visible at all until they start losing body fat. But by targeting these muscles directly, you can make them bigger. Because the obliques run mainly along the sides of your torso, this effect is to actually thicken your waist.

Do side crunches burn belly fat?

The short answer is no; sit-ups and crunches, or any abdominal exercise for that matter, does not burn belly fat. However, abdominal exercises can help to tone the belly.

Related Ab Exercises

Here are some other lower body exercises that will help you strengthen, sculpt and tone your thighs, hips, legs and glutes:

  • Leg raises
  • Flutter kicks
  • Single leg lunge
  • Lunges

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