Side Crunches Exercise Guide

Reviewed by Valerie Zeller Valerie Zeller Printable version

Side Crunches are bodyweight exercise that works your obliques.

Side Crunches are great simple move. When done correctly, they can effectively target your core and waist.

They require no equipment to do.

Side Crunches
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Core Waist Obliques
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Core Waist Obliques

How to do Side Crunches


Lie on your back. Keeping your torso straight, bend your knees and bring them to one side so they are resting on the floor. Clasp your hands together behind your head. Lift your shoulders off the floor in a crunch motion. Keep your shoulders even as if you are doing a regular crunch. Bring your knees back up to center and down to the other side. Lift your shoulders and crunch again. Repeat, alternating sides.

Illustrated Guide

Learn how to do side crunches from this step-by-step illustrations:

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Muscles Worked

The muscles used for side crunches may change slightly based on the your trained range of motion and technique, but in the most general case, the muscles used for side crunches are:

Primary Muscles

  • Obliques

Synergyst Muscles

  • Lower Abs
  • Upper Abs
  • Transverse Abs

Frequently Asked Questions

What muscles do Side Crunches work?
Side Crunches work obliques.
What are Side Crunches good for?
Side Crunches are beneficial for conditioning, for endurance, for weight loss, love handles, side fat, to lose fat and to strengthen. They work the best for core and waist, as they work obliques. Side Crunch is is a great bodyweight exercise for men, men over 50, women and women over 50.
Is Side Crunch a good exercise?
Side Crunch is a popular bodyweight exercise for obliques.

Training, Progressions and Regressions

Interested in how to improve your Side Crunches faster?

Side Crunches Training and Progressions

Standards and Averages

Wonder how do others perform in Side Crunches and how should you?

Side Crunches Standards and Averages


Wonder how to work the same muscles with other exercises?

Side Crunches Alternatives


Wonder how to make Side Crunches either easier or more challenging?

Side Crunches Variations

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Type(s) Bodyweight, Calisthenic, Strength, Compound, Aerobic, Cardio, Endurance
Muscles Worked Obliques, Lower Abdominals, Upper Abdominals, Transverse Abdominis
Difficulty Level(s) Simple
Equipment No Equipment, Exercise Ball
Location At Gym, At Home, Outdoor
Major Exercise Ab Crunches

Muscles Worked

Target muscle(s) Obliques
Synergyst muscle(s) Lower Abs, Upper Abs, Transverse Abs

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