Barbell Side Bent (version 2)

Barbell Side Bent (version 2)

The Barbell Side Bent (version 2) is a compound exercise that primarily targets the obliques, but also engages the entire core musculature. It is considered an advanced variation of the traditional side bend exercise, as it requires stability, control, and strength. To perform the Barbell Side Bent (version 2), you will need a barbell and a suitable amount of weight plates. Begin by standing straight with your feet shoulder-width apart, grasping the barbell with an overhand grip, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Position the barbell across your upper back, resting it on your traps. From here, slowly lower your upper body towards the side, bending at the waist while keeping your back straight and core engaged. It is important to maintain a neutral spine throughout the movement to minimize stress on the lower back. Lower the barbell as far as comfortably possible, feeling a stretch in the oblique muscles on the opposite side. Next, engage your core and use your obliques to lift your torso back to the starting position. It's crucial to perform the exercise with controlled movements rather than relying on momentum. Repeat the movement for the desired number of repetitions on one side, then switch to the other side. The Barbell Side Bent (version 2) is an effective exercise to strengthen and tone the oblique muscles, leading to improved core stability and enhanced overall athletic performance. Remember to start with lighter weights to ensure proper form and gradually increase the load as you become more comfortable with the exercise. As always, consult with a fitness professional to determine if this exercise is suitable for your fitness level and goals.


  • Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a barbell with an overhand grip at your side.
  • Keep your core tight, your back straight, and your shoulders pulled back throughout the exercise.
  • Slowly bend to one side as far as you can without twisting your upper body, while keeping your legs and hips stationary.
  • Hold the stretched position for a brief moment, focusing on feeling the contraction in your oblique muscles.
  • Return to the starting position by slowly straightening your torso and engaging your obliques.
  • Repeat the movement on the other side, alternating sides with each repetition.
  • Continue this exercise for the desired number of reps or as recommended by your fitness trainer.
  • Ensure to use an appropriate weight that challenges your muscles but allows you to maintain proper form and control throughout the exercise.

Tips & Tricks

  • Engage your core throughout the entire movement to maintain stability and protect your lower back.
  • Keep your chest lifted and your shoulders down and back to maintain proper posture.
  • Control the movement and avoid using momentum to ensure targeted muscle engagement.
  • Breathe out as you perform the side bend movement, and breathe in as you return to the starting position.
  • Use a challenging but manageable weight that allows you to complete the desired number of repetitions with good form.
  • Focus on the mind-muscle connection, consciously contracting and engaging the targeted muscles during each repetition.
  • Incorporate a variety of other exercises that target the obliques to further strengthen and tone your core.
  • Adjust the height of the barbell to vary the intensity of the exercise and target different muscle fibers.
  • Cool down properly after your workout by stretching the muscles involved in the exercise to promote flexibility and prevent muscle tightness.
  • Maintain a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods to support your fitness goals and overall health.


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