The standing side crunch, commonly known as the standing oblique crunch, is an exercise designed to strengthen and tone the abs, improve balance and burn calories. It’s an alternative to more common ab workouts such as the sit-up and side crunch that are usually done on the floor. Many people like it because the position reduces muscle strain on the neck and lower back. The standing side crunch is also favorable for those who are experiencing stress and pain on other parts of the body due to rigorous exercise or aging and for those who prefer not to workout on the floor.
To complete this exercise, stand with your legs shoulder-width apart, distributing your weight equally. Begin the movement by standing on your right leg and bending the left side, then squeeze the left leg so that the left knee can almost reach the base of the left elbow. Complete the same procedure with the right side bent down while standing on your left leg. Don’t forget to inhale while lifting your leg and to exhale when putting it down. Large inhales and exhales make your heart pump faster for healthy blood circulation and can help you increase the intensity of the stretch. For faster results, do the standing side crunch on a daily basis.
This exercise does not require you any equipment, so it is doable anytime, anywhere.
The standing side crunch mainly targets your oblique muscles, or the side muscles on your abdomen, your rectus abdominis, an abdominal muscle that brings your chest to your thighs, and your iliopsoas, which aids in rotating your spine.
This exercise tightens your entire side abdominal muscles, making them more toned and shaped. It also improves physical strength and stability and burns excess fat.
For beginners, start by performing the exercise for 30-seconds and increase the time to one minute when you can. This will result in about 10 repetitions on both sides. For advanced athletes, 25 repetitions in one minute is feasible for both sides.
Here is an Instagram video that demonstrates a standing side crunch.
A dumbbell pair is the perfect aid for adding a little challenge to the standing side crunch exercise. The smallest weight is two pounds, and the heaviest is 20 pounds. Start with the lightest weight and move up gradually until your body is able to handle the heaviest weight.
For faster results, add these exercises to your routine: lunges, side step-ups and sit-ups. All of these exercises targets the elbows, knees, shoulders, hips and glutes, engaging the whole body.
This movement effectively burns calories, so you’ll need to consume carbohydrates and protein before working out. Try foods like tofu, legumes and beans. After the workout, eat more vegetables and fiber to balance out the carbs such as rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes and avocados.
Here is a YouTube video that demonstrates how a standing side crunch works.
Beyoncé, one of the most glamorous performers in the world of music, has been including the standing side crunch exercise in her workout program as advised by her instructor to burn calories. She also balances out her protein and carbohydrate intake with good diet.
The extra strength in your obliques results in better balance. Continuous performance of the standing side crunch increases stability and strength. The important thing is that you are going to feel confident with the results you experience with your body.