Kettlebell Side Bend: How To, Muscles Worked, Benefits

The kettlebell side bends is one of the best exercises to target your core muscles. It is one of the few exercises that specifically target the side muscles of your side abs also known as “obliques”.

The kettlebell side bend is effective at targeting the internal and external obliques, strengthening the lateral flexion of your spine, improving spinal mobility, and helping to develop a strong and stable core.

When done with the right form and technique, it can help a great deal in increasing the strength of the oblique, and the overall strength and stability of the core.

In this article, we will discuss how to do kettlebell side bend and its benefits.

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Benefits of Kettlebell Side Bend

Including kettlebell side bends in your workout routine can have several benefits. The various kettlebell benefits include:

  • Training the oblique muscles will help in shaping and toning the waistline.
  • It also helps to get rid of the extra layer of fat around the waistline.
  • The side bend is an easy core exercise to practice at home.
  • It helps to contribute to a stronger core, reduce the risk of back pain and improve functional movements such as a serving a tennis ball or carrying a heavy object on one side of the body.
  • Side bends stretch the abdominal muscles and digestive organs. This aids and regulates digestion, elimination, and metabolism.

Muscles Worked

The kettlebell side bends works Obliques Muscles, (the external and internal obliques) at each side of the waist.

It also targets the Abs, Serratus anterior and the quadratus lumborum.

kettlebell Side Bend
Kettlebell Side Bend

Note: Use Kettlebell instead of dumbbell

How To Do kettlebell Side Bend

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart while holding a kettlebell in your right hand with your arm hanging at your side. You can place your free hand behind your head.
  2. Your posture should be tall with your shoulders over your hips.
  3. Maintain a neutral head and neck position throughout the exercise.
  4. Bend sideways at the waist to the left as low as possible, using your oblique muscles to pull your torso down.
  5. Hold for a second and return to the starting position.
  6. Complete the desired number of reps and repeat on the other side.
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Proper Form And Tips To Do Kettlebell Side Bend

It is crucial to perform exercises with good form as that helps in preventing any injuries as well as in getting the maximum benefits out of your workouts. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do side bends with proper form.

  • Keep the kettlebell close to your side, your elbow very slightly bent, and your hips still.
  • To work the oblique muscle, perform these exercises slow and steadily.
  • The weight should be supported by one side of the arm, which should be relaxed.
  • Avoid using a heavy kettlebell for this exercise. Large, overdeveloped oblique muscles will make your waist appear bulky.
  • You should only go as far as you can comfortably go.

Alternatives to kettlebell Side Bends

If you’ve gotten bored by side bends or are simply not enjoying them anymore, you can try the following kettlebell side bends alternative exercises.

Dumbbell Side Bend

Dumbbell side bend is the best alternate for kettlebell side bend. It engages and strengthens your core muscles as well as your lower back. This exercise helps to tone and tighten your abs and obliques and to trim your waist.

DB Side bend is an easy core exercise to practice at home. 

Alternate Heel Touches

Alternate heel touches also known as lying oblique reach is an at-home workout exercise that targets oblique and also involves abs.

It is one of the great oblique exercises that can be done easily by beginner and advanced athletes to activate and grow their midsection.

The exercise mimics other oblique exercises such as the kettlebell side bend and oblique crunch.


The side bend with kettlebell is a simple yet effective exercise to, provided you healthy spine.

Perform it with correct form, to strengthen your core muscles and increase their robustness and resistance to injury.

People Also Ask

What does kettlebell side bend do?

The side bend targets the obliques muscle and helps to develop a strong and stable core.

Can kettlebell lose belly fat?

Kettlebell exercises are great for an intense full-body workout to build strength and muscle tone, burn calories, and lose weight. They are particularly effective for losing belly fat.

Is the Kettlebell Side Bend dangerous?

If the exercise is done with proper foam and technique, it is not dangerous.

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